National Geographic : 1967 Jan
KODACHROME© NATIONALGEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Daughter beams like a china doll as father shows her off in his home in the Hanna Valley near Quetta. The farmer pushed back his furniture, stacked his blankets, and spread tea and cookies for the occasion-a visit from an American. Photographer Moldvay found the adobe-walled rooms around a courtyard reminiscent of the U. S. Southwest. the provincial capital was a sad mixture of elaborate mosques and ramshackle dwellings. In 1946 a leopard was shot where a ten-story building now stands. Few industries existed, for the province had sent most of its produce, even its 70 percent of the world's jute crop, to Calcutta for processing. With Calcutta across an unfriendly border, local industry grew and money came to Dacca. In pursuit of it came the villagers by tens of thousands, until today Dacca's population has reached an estimated 600,000. Even more than in Karachi, the streets clamor with new construction. Everywhere coolies squat beside piles of whole bricks, laboriously hammering them into walnut-size chunks for concrete aggregate. Alluvial top soil covers most of East Pakistan, and natural gravel scarcely exists. One of the world's largest jute processing centers clusters around Narayanganj, ten miles from Dacca. Jute spinning and weaving mills line both banks of the Sitalakhya River there, and spinners and raw-fiber traders together handle more than half the world's jute supply for burlap sacking (pages 36-7). East Confronts West in Dining Room On my visit to the immense Adamjee jute plant, a steady stream of country boats wal lowing to the gunwales under incredible loads of baled fiber swept crabwise across the cur rent to unload at the river docks. White bearded boatmen manning the 18-foot sweeps were muscled like adolescent gymnasts. Adamjee's company dining room shows the confusion of allegiances in Pakistan caused by the swirling currents of postwar diplomacy.