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.”


'No set timeline' for Peshawar school attack commission report — spokesman

Updated 15 December 2019

'No set timeline' for Peshawar school attack commission report — spokesman

  • Over 150 people, most of them children were gunned down by Taliban militants in an attack on an army-run school in Dec. 2014
  • Parents of the victims have made calls for a high-level investigation to identify officials, both civil and military, whose negligence allowed the attack to take place

The spokesman of a commission set up last year to investigate a 2014 militant attack in which 132 children were killed in the Pakistani city of Peshawar said on Friday there was “no set timeline” for when the body would deliver its final report. 
Over 150 people, most of them children were gunned down by Taliban militants in an attack on an army-run school in the northwestern town of Peshawar on December 16, 2014, the bloodiest massacre the country had seen for years.
Last October, five years after the attack, the Supreme Court formed a one-man commission comprising Justice Muhammad Ibrahim Khan of the Peshawar High Court and gave him six weeks to compile a report into the causes of the attack, including official negligence. 
Over a year later, the findings of the commission have yet to be submitted before the top court.
“Justice Khan is a serving judge; whenever he gets time from his court responsibilities he works on the report,” Imran Ullah, the focal person of the commission, told Arab News when asked when the investigation would be completed and the confidential report submitted to the court. “There is no set timeline. It could take a while.”
Though Pakistan executed four men for involvement in the massacre in 2015, parents of the victims have made calls for a high-level investigation that would identify officials, both civil and military, whose negligence allowed the attack to take place. 

The parents’ plea revolves around a letter by the National Counter Terrorism Authority, written a few months prior to the assault, alerting authorities about a plan to hit an army-run educational institution.
“Why was the security of the school not increased? Why was the threat not taken seriously?” said Ajoon Khan, a lawyer who represents some of the victims’ parents and whose son was also gunned down in the attack. “All those responsible should be made accountable.”
Until now, the commission has recorded the statements of a 100 parents and 50 state officials from the military, police, and bureaucracy, the commission’s spokesman said, adding that the final report had been delayed on account of many of the statements being very long and therefore difficult to compile, as well as due to a delayed response from military officials to a list of queries.
Andaleeb Aftab, a longtime teacher at the army school, whose 16-year-old son was killed in the attack, said she had little expectation the commission would deliver justice.
“The commission has been working for over a year and so far there is only silence from their side," Abbas said. "Our children were innocent. They were young. They had their whole life in front of them. But no one wants to give us justice.”