A closer look at Pakistan’s signature truck art

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Abdur Rehman, a young welder, is busy arranging his tools to start working on a truck on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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Skillful artists preparing the main body of a truck on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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A welder is preparing the base to install new frame on a truck on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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Truck Art is colorful and uses striking shades to attract people. Picture taken on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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Artists also use printed stickers to decorate trucks. Picture taken on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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An artist is cutting stickers before pasting them on a truck on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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Artists paste stickers on a truck body on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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Imported stickers from China are pasted on a truck on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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The owner of a truck is keeping an eye on the artists painting his vehicle on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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Artists giving final touches to a truck on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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70-year-old artist, Muhammad Saleem, has decorated trucks for the last 45 years. Picture taken on Nov. 11, 2019. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
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The tradition of decorating trucks in Pakistan is long and colorful. Artist use everything from metal, wood, jangling chains and shiny objects to decorate their trucks, making this unique form of art popular across the world. (AN Photo by Saba Rehman)
Updated 14 November 2019

A closer look at Pakistan’s signature truck art

  • It takes several weeks to completely decorate a truck
  • Truck art allows us to project a positive image of our country, says an artist

ISLAMABAD: The tradition of decorating trucks in Pakistan is long and colorful. Artist use everything from metal, wood, jangling chains and shiny objects to decorate their trucks, making this unique form of art popular across the world.
Truck drivers also ask the artists to paint images of different personalities, including celebrities and political figures, animals, flowers and landscapes. Similarly, artists mainly work with contractors who make deals with truck owners.
60-year-old Khurshid Khan from Mardan city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province migrated to Islamabad in 1986. Since then, he has been painting trucks that can be seen on highways and roads across the country.
Khan said he recently sent a decorated truck to Saudi Arabia.
“Malik Ibrar, a Pakistani businessman, from Peshawar paid us seven million rupees to paint and decorate a truck that could be parked at a family restaurant in Al-Azizia [in the Kingdom],” he told Arab News, adding that 12 artists completed Ibrar’s truck in two months’ time.
70-year-old Muhammad Saleem is also associated with this profession for the last 45 years. “I started doing this to earn some money, but with the passage of time I devoted [my life] to this profession. I have decorated hundreds of trucks,” Saleem said, adding that truck art allowed him to project “Pakistan’s positive image to the world.”


Pakistan’s move to reopen border will strengthen business ties, says Afghan special envoy 

Updated 12 July 2020

Pakistan’s move to reopen border will strengthen business ties, says Afghan special envoy 

  • Pakistani-Afghan border was sealed in mid-March as part of containment measures against COVID-19
  • Kabul-Islamabad trade was $1.2 billion per annum before the coronavirus outbreak 

PESHAWAR: The Pakistani government’s decision to reopen all main border checkpoints with Afghanistan will help increase business and reduce trust deficit between the two countries, Afghan special envoy Muhammed Umer Daudzai told Arab News on Sunday, as the Kharlachi crossing in Kurram district, Khyber Pakhtunkwa resumed operations after a long coronavirus closure.

The Pakistani-Afghan border was sealed in mid-March as part of containment measures against the COVID-19 outbreak. After reopening its crossings at Chaman in Balochistan, and Torkham, Ghulam Khan and Angoor Adda in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the past few weeks to facilitate trade, Pakistan on Saturday unsealed Kharlachi, which is the fifth main checkpoint on the borderline.

“These all are very positive signs. This (border opening) is a step toward right direction. This will increase businesses, people-to-people contact and remove trust-deficit,” the Afghan special envoy for Pakistan said.

Pakistani Foreign Office spokeswoman Aisha Farooqui also said the border’s reopening will help strengthen bilateral ties.

“The opening of the fifth Kharlachi border in Kurram tribal district with Afghanistan tends to encourage trade between the two countries, which will help strengthen their ties in future,” she told Arab News.

According to Faiz Muhammad from the Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI), Pakistan’s move to reopen the five border crossings with Afghanistan was “a remarkable initiative” and would have a huge positive on trade between the two countries.

“Pakistan can regain Afghanistan trade market if it offers incentives to traders and reduce duty on items,” said the senior executive at SCCI, the chamber which role is to stimulate trade and business activity in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the province in which most border crossings with Afghanistan are located.

He said that the quantum of Kabul-Islamabad trade was $1.2 billion per annum before the coronavirus outbreak and dropped to an estimated $1 billion after the border closure.