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Travel to Pakistan: Rural Punjab

The Punjab is the irrigated heart of Pakistan, and some day the Mirror will take a closer look at this land of one-time jungle and British irrigation colonies--among the most ambitious on the planet.  For now, just a glimpse of the country around Faisalabad (formerly Lyallpur), with a nod to the hills.

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Pakistan: Rural Punjab picture 1

The British made the Punjab--that is, they built the canals that made it a granary.  Here, part of the Chenab system.

Pakistan: Rural Punjab picture 2

Nearby, two teens harvest mixed and irrigated grains.

Pakistan: Rural Punjab picture 3

A "pucca nucca," or well-built channel divider. A little mud and the circular plug can be moved from one side to the other. Will the farmers take turns, as they are supposed to? It seems that Pakistani farmers are more disciplined than those to the east, perhaps because farmers know that a man who feels dishonored is likely to take lethal corrective action.

Pakistan: Rural Punjab picture 4

Excess irrigation has brought the water-table to the surface, where the water evaporates and leaves a salt crust, white as snow.

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There's plenty of life left in the irrigation department's inspection bungalows.

Pakistan: Rural Punjab picture 6

From Murree, a British hill station: It's amazing how many old churches knock about South Asia. They're almost always locked, but somewhere there's a caretaker with a key.

Pakistan: Rural Punjab picture 7

One of the many polished brass plaques inside the church.


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