Dec 15, 2008 - travel    28 Comments

Aesthetically jarring scenery at Islamabad airport

I went to Islamabad earlier this month after a gap of over six months and a lot has changed in those six months.

The first shock I got was the landing announcement. When the stewardess announced that we were landing at the ‘Benazeer Bhutto Shaheed International Airport’ instead of good ol’ Islamabad International Airport, I did wonder for a very brief moment if I am disembarking at the desired airport.

The second shock was more visual and mind numbingly brutal. Islamabad airport now looks more like a venue of lucky Irani circus – complete with pictures of a variety of clowns and a tent – rather than an international airport. Instead of images of elephants, lions and midgets, we get plastered with faces of Bhutto dynasty and of course erstwhile senator, current supremo and all time lothario, Mr. Zaradri.

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  • oo.. i miss lucky irani circus 😀 !!!

  • whaoo i live here and sometimes i think i dont.
    everything has evolved for the worse!

  • LOL, we have a fair number of airports dedicated to the Gandhi (Nehru, Indira and Rajiv) dynasty in India.

    Then again, we do have a Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road in the centre of every city and town in India (I kid you not). And he isn’t even related to the afore-mentioned Gandhis.

  • And I thought only Indians had this billboard problem… be fair, though, our Indian politicians haven’t caught on to the airport-billboard game yet….when they do, our airports will probably look the same.

    @Stray: 90% of the airports, 70% of stadia/cultural centres etc, and yes, one road in every city….


    Quirky Indian

  • OMG, picture number two is….well I’m just speechless because I haven’t been there in a long time.

    Is that a poster with Benazir and an AIRPLANE that I see in the middle? LOL, the government’s taking this whole loyalty-to-the-party thing too far!

  • Lovely! Just like India 🙂

  • wow, the last time i was in islamabad was in 2005 and i dont remember the airport looking this bad lolz

  • Well, as a fellow blogger said, and I quote, we are living in a Bhuttocracy.

  • Oh noooooo!!! Islamambad Airport even as Islamabad International Airport was no eye candy…but this is utterly aaaaa…im out of words…just fill in the blank ughhh

  • Who’s that guy on the posters that looks like Ghulam Ali? And is the lady with the baby yelling at the guy with the baby in pic 3?

  • Urghh.

  • sadly, lahore is becoming partner to this menace. politico billboards spewing the roads like hell

  • Sami,

    Lucky Irani circus has cute clowns and this one has “martyrs”who were martyred while accumulating unaccounted for wealth for themselves.


    Bhuttocracy run by a Zardari? Oh the irony!!!


    I thought the billboard problem is quite old in Lahore. I remember going there for Rafi Peer festival in 2006 and all I saw was Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi beaming fron every available surface on Mall road claiming responsibility for passing the women protection bill.

  • Actually the Union elections of PIA were held about week ago and PPP group won, that’s why there were so many banners at the airport 🙂 for latest pakistani news

  • i was never a benazir fan but it kills me to see that a twice elected prime minister of our country is assasinated and all the crooks do is RENAME airports, roads and hospitals after her.she deserved better.some justice maybe.

  • yes well we do have the obligatory Chaudary beaming down. but recently we’ve got PML-N, PTI and PPP buying out my sky space. its rather painful

  • bless you

    i drive by this every morning

    i take it you did not catch the ‘zardari lovers’ poster?

  • Ufff!! This is horrible!

  • Awesome! Had you noticed the ads that PPP had put there on all Shahra-e-Faisal billboards in days when IDEAS was being held? Breaking all previous records of using thesaurus when absolutely unnecessary, one of those ads read “samar tine for the helpless”. Now, make anything out of it. [:P]
    Btw, why was the tent there?

  • Gosh… ur so right…
    It’s been happening here in Lahore as well….

    Stupid photos with words like “Fakhar-e-Pakistan”… now that’s a good laugh 😀

  • oh yes! very familiar sight!

    i was totally gobsmacked when i was greeted by the lettering ‘benazir bhutto international’. what the hell!
    have to say though there have been significant amouts of positive changes at that airport too (try going from jeddah to islamabad and it’ll be much more obvious!).
    despite all it’s garishness it’s still a-ok!

  • me thinks im going to be sick

    have you noticed BB’s pics right up there with quaid as our president speaks with the media?


    im seriously reconsidering my nationality. i wonder if anyone else will take me

  • Oh yeah! I ive near the poor airport and it makes my blood boil everytime we pass the disgusting display. Abhi to, most of the posters dotting Pindi and Islamabad have disappeared – it was bad enough to make anyone gag!

  • Ibteda,

    You live near the airport yet drive all the way to Geo office in that crazy traffic??? hats off to you.


    I have already checked, only Zimbabwe is willing to give us nationality but they have Mugabe. Its your choice now, what do you want, Mugabe or Zardari?

  • M,

    oh we have a Zardari Lovers grup here in Karachi as well.


    of course i have seen them, my personal favourite was “Amulet of hounour”
    what a laugh!

  • Akh thu

  • Its a sorry tale really, all of this, the way we have fallen out of the Musharraf frying-pan into this smoldering fire made of remains of Benazir Bhutto “Shaheed” and the antics of her very alive widower.
    The jiyalas are s^#@Rs for anything that will make a big enough tamasha and what could have been more opportune than the timely “shahadat” of Bhutto’s daughter to infuse fresh zeal into this big sham of a political party!

  • haha!!
    that was quite amazing to know!!

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