National Geographic : 2010 Jul
Indian Army focused its recruiting and its Paki- stani successor still does. Hashim Khan is one of the system's bene cia- ries. A retired brigadier, he works for a military contractor and lives in the army-run develop- ment. He met me near the entrance in his black Lexus SUV and drove me to his 10,000-square- foot home, where a gilt-framed portrait of his army o cer father hung in the marble foyer. A hearty sort with a mustache and straight brown hair, Khan showed me into the study he called his I Love Me Room, which was equipped with a humidor and a refrigerator stocked with Heine- ken. Pavarotti played in the background. Army personnel, however, have no monop- oly on upscale neighborhoods. In the north- eastern city of Sialkot, the roads are anked by sidewalks, sewers are covered, and digital dis- plays count down the seconds at tra c lights. As it happens, Sialkot is one of the world's top manufacturing centers for surgical instruments as well as sports equipment---especially hand- stitched soccer balls sold under brands such as Nike and Adidas---and some of the exporters contribute to public amenities of the sort they often see on business trips abroad. Khawar Anwar Khawaja, a Sialkot native whose com- pany makes cricket balls and bats in partner- ship with a British rm, says " ere was always this simmering anger that we were so far be- hind." Exporters had for years lamented the need to truck their goods to airports in Islam- abad or Lahore. So Khawaja persuaded fellow movers and shakers to buy shares in a new private airport---the only one of its kind in Pakistan---to serve cargo and passenger ights from the Middle East and Europe. It opened in late 2007. Khawaja is under no illusions, though. He is as frustrated as anyone by daily power failures, TEN GALLON HATS, waiters who slam drinks on tables, and Beyoncé videos set the tone at Gun- smoke, a cowboy-themed steak house that is one of the more conspicuous examples of Western in uence in Lahore. Religious conservatism hasn't dimmed its popularity.