National Geographic : 1967 Jan
"You can fertilize Pakistan wheats just so much, profitably; then the new growth runs to long, skinny stalk instead of grain. The top-heavy plants fall over, or 'lodge,' making the grain difficult or impossible to harvest. Mexican dwarf wheats, on the other hand, have short and wiry stalks. You can apply much more nitrogen, the new growth runs to grain, and the plants remain upright. "With fertilizer we can boost wheat production of any given acre from a ton and a half at best to three tons and more, just by sowing Mexican instead of con ventional varieties." Khalifa Anwar Hussain, director of the Ayub Re search Institute, told me what this meant in terms of hunger. "An increase of only 164 pounds of wheat per acre would wipe out our present wheat deficit," he said. "Widespread planting of a wheat variety that would increase production ten times 164 pounds would turn us from a hungry, have-not nation to a big-time wheat exporter. Who knows? From these fields we may soon wipe out hunger in my homeland for my lifetime and longer." 300,000 Worshipers Throng Huge Mosque On the drive to Lahore, the second largest city in Pakistan, with a populace of 1,500,000, we passed buses, trucks, and creaking bullock carts loaded to axle-breaking point with Punjabi peasants. It was the last night of Ramadan, and the next day was Eid al Fitr, most festive day of the Islamic calendar. Paki stan's Punjab is almost 98 percent Moslem, and the peasantry was traveling all night to say their Eid prayers at Lahore's huge Badshahi Mosque. Though friends had tried to prepare me for Bad shahi, last architectural triumph of the great Mogul emperors, I was staggered when I first saw it in the mist of dawn on Eid al-Fitr. Four minarets tower 176 feet high at the corners of the vast open courtyard. Through two-story gates in the fortresslike walls, thousands of the faithful streamed into the mosque and took their places for prayer. The courtyard alone covers 61/2 acres. Long before the sun had risen, the mosque was filled, and late-comers formed prayer lines in nearby gardens, streets, and squares, pressing as close as they Walking to water: Bugti tribesmen follow a gas line across the Sui Gas Field to reach water taps provided by Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. Carried 35 miles from the Indus River in separate pipelines, the water gives these desert nomads their first assured supply. Pros pecting for oil in 1952, the company discovered the huge natural-gas field that now supplies new West Pakistan industries. Feathery plumes of sugar cane toss above a field in the Sind region north of Karachi. Cane covers thousands of acres irrigated by the Indus.