Ahmed Sajjad Zaidi

Entrepreneur, trekker, and photographer based in Pakistan

Happy Independence Day

It is the 14th of August and Pakistan’s 67th anniversary today. Although it is supposed to be a day that celebrates our freedom, sadly it means being trapped inside the capital for the citizens of Islamabad. In fear of Imran Khan’s “Azadi March” (freedom march), the government has blocked all roads in and out of Islamabad and a number of public areas within the city are off-limits.

Islamabad 14 August fireworks

It hasn’t dampened people’s spirits however. They were still out on the roads, late into the night, playing music, doing tricks with their cars and dancing in front of their vehicles in the numerous traffic jams.

Official celebrations were restricted to the areas around the parliament and open only to the privileged few with invitations. These included a fly past of air force jets and helicopters, followed by this distant, but amazing display of fireworks.

Serenity of Rawal Lake

Islamabad’s Rawal Lake and the adjacent Lakeview Park, provide scenic views, especially before and after sunset.

Serenity of Rawal Lake at dusk

Here is a large tree, lit up from the lights at the newly installed aviary and reflected in a quiet part of the lake.

Let there be light

Built in 1849, Abbasi Masjid is situated right at the entrance of the Derawar Fort. It follows the style of the Moti Mosque in Lahore, as well as that of the Jamia Mosque in Delhi. The beautiful building is usually adorned with colorful lights.

Abbasi Mosque night lights

The night before the annual Cholistan Desert Jeep Race, a flood light was placed behind it that caused the dusty sky to light up.

Flowers in the Desert

Spent the weekend in Southern Punjab for the Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally. It is an annual racing event organized by the Tourism Development Corporation of Punjab (TDCP) and draws in some of the meanest off-road vehicles from all over the country.

Derawar Fort fireworks

We were told that there would be a fireworks display at the historic Derawar Fort on the night before the final race. However, by 10pm nothing had happened and we assumed it was just a rumor. Just then, the fireworks started and we made a dash to capture them.

Most people instinctively made a run towards the fireworks. My friend Xeeshan and I went further away and our efforts were rewarded with some amazing shots. I managed to swap out my mid-range zoom for an ultra-wide lens and caught this shot in the nick of time.