An aspiring travelogue


WHENEVER any natural calamity or man-made disaster took place in Pakistan, without wasting time, the Custom officer Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah along with his devoted teams of Customs Health Care Society reached the affected areas and helped the helpless people by providing them the basic necessities of life and medical assistance. He also wrote 20 related-books. Being a social worker, he got Sitare Imitiaz. His new book, Dekha Ham Ne Cheen surprises everyone, as he availed the opportunity of visiting China for 15 days in connection with a training course and wrote this book which is an excellent travelogue owing to the vivid description of his personal observation and interaction with the Chinese people, belonging to various fields and those from other Islamic countries in wake of his participation in the classes of the course.
While, narrating the city of YangZhou, Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah pointed outs its temple White Pagoda, Daming Temple, Slender West Lake, parks, old street, Statue-horse of Marco Polo, De Garden, Museum, Huaisheng Mosque, Lu-Salt Merchant House, Family Hall of Quyang Wenzhong etc. and ancient history in a comprehensive way. Dr Asif Jah who also paid visit to the tombs of Bahauddin Zakaria and Hazat Sa’d ibn Abi Waqqas and writes that Islam reached China 1000 years ago, when Arab preachers came there and now, 8 crore Chinese are Muslims.
Regarding his visit of the Wuxi city, Dr. Asif Mahmood Jah mentions in the book that it is one of the famous industrial cities of China. He saw beautiful places such as historical Grand Canal, old buildings, China Agriculture Bank, Wanda Plazaa and underground buildings, Silk Route Museaum, while writing about the background of the Silk Route and also indicated the Pak-China road which is also called Silk Road. Now, it is the basis of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Moreover, description of Suzhou Village, Suzhou Village Park, Window Plaza, Metro Bus Service, underground plazas, Hauxi City Ecology, bullet lift of the Long Wish Hotel, wide roads and Sojou Park appeal both to the mind and heart of the readers.
The book covers China’s online tax system, marriage ceremony, food, shopping centers, hotels, restaurants, herbal medicines, acupuncture and architecture, which the author himself observed and experienced through his visits. As regards the observation-power of the author, readers can note, that starting from Lahore to Bangkok, from Bangkok to Shanghai from Shanghai to Yang Zhou and other cities and towns, he has also mentioned the system of immigration and Custom-clearance of the passengers, including taxi-drivers—as how to learn Chinese language in a short time to interact with the Chinese persons, which will guide any individual who wants to visit China. Undoubtedly, the book Dekha Ham Ne Cheen can rightly be called literacy CPEC of social, cultural and logistical interactions between Pakistan and China.
—The writer is freelance columnist based in Lahore.
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