Past Programmes

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Film Club -SUMMER CLASSICS: ALFRED HITCHCOCK: NORTH BY NORTHWEST (1959) - USA

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Screenplay: Ernest Lehman

Cast: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G. Carroll, Josephine Hutchinson, Phillip Ober, Martin Landau, Edward Platt

Academy Award Nominations: Screenplay, Editing & Production Design

This gripping, suspenseful and visually iconic film from Alfred Hitchcock's late-period of films laid the groundwork for countless action thrillers to follow. The director planned the film as a change of pace as he wanted to have light-hearted fun while ensuring maximum action in this sleek, wry and paranoid thriller.

The film's plot involves the kidnapping of an innocent advertising executive (Cary Grant) who is mistaken for a spy by thugs. The screenplay has great fun putting the protagonist through various nightmarish situations as he is relentlessly pursued north by northwest across America by both cops and secret agents. Each set piece follows the next in double-quick succession: a drunken cliff-top drive, his self-imposed arrest to escape the killers at an art gallery, framed with a body in one hand and a knife in the other inside the United Nations building, under fire in open country from a crop-dusting plane, trying to rescue the heroine (Eva Marie Saint) from the villain's mansion, and the final chase across the mountainside heads of Mount Rushmore. Almost all of Hitchcock's films were famous for their memorable set pieces but this one has the most exciting of them all.

Often cited as the first James Bond film because of its similarity to the slapdash action sequences with the hero passing quips despite being surrounded by constant danger. This is arguably one of Cary Grant's most remembered films as he starts off as an innocent and nonchalant businessman before becoming a tougher vigilante who dares to undertake every obstacle that comes in his way. It is also Hitchcock's most crowd-pleasing action-packed, edge-of-your-seat thriller.

Saturday, 4 September 2021

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITES OF SWAT VALLEY

Saturday, 4 September 2021

Foreign members interested to join this trip are requested to apply for their NOC well in time.

Swat is without doubt one of the most beautiful tourist destinations in northern Pakistan. Swat has a rich historical past. It was described as “Udyana” (the garden) in ancient Hindu epics and wherein 327 BC, Alexander the Great fought and won some of his major battles before crossing over to the plains of the five rivers. The famous Gandhara Buddhist civilization later flourished in this valley.

There are many remains of Buddhist stupas, monasteries, and settlements in the lower Swat. This area is full of rich and amazing archaeological sites in an environment still intact and dominated by the calm majesty of Mount Ilam. In the area south of Barikot, in about 200 sq km, archeologists have documented more than 400 sites from proto-history to Islam.

Under a joint venture, the Italian ACT- Field School Project and Sustainable Tourism Foundation Pakistan is working jointly to promote community-based ecotourism in the area of Lower Swat Valley. We have designed a very special three days archaeological exploration trip to lower Swat when this area looks most beautiful with spring blossom of fruit trees. The trip involves some easy hiking to reach the viewpoints of archaeological sites so wear good comfortable walking shoes. Detailed trip joining instructions will be issued to the confirmed trip participants well in time.

Trip Itinerary

Day-1

Departure from Islamabad at 07:30 am

En-route commentary about sites of tourist interest on the way.

Visit the archaeological site of Takht-e-Bahi near Mardan

Lunch: (carry pack lunch with you to save time)

Visit the archaeological site of Bazira near Barikot

Continue travel towards Mingora/Saidu Sharif

Visit Shingardar Stupa.

Arrival at Mingora/Saidu Sharif in the evening.

Transfer to hotels.

Dinner and night stay at hotel.

Day-2

Breakfast at the hotel.

Visit Swat Museum

Visits Batkara Stupa

Visit Jahanabad Buddha

Visit shops of handicrafts en route.

Lunch at the hotel along swat river

Return to hotel for rest and freshen up

Departure for a visit to Muraghzar to visit White Place of Wali-e-Swat

Return to hotel and dinner and night stay at hotel.

Day-3

Breakfast at the hotel.

Check out from the hotel

Departure for return travel to Islamabad.

Arrival Udegram

Visit archaeological sites of Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi’s Mosque

Visit remains of Raja Gira’s Castle (short hike involve)

Visit Galeghai cave and Buddha image on a rock along the road.

Departure for Amluk-Dara Stupa.

Visit Amluk-dara Stupa

Carry pack Lunch to save time

Return to the main road

Stop en-route for tea and freshen up

Departure for Islamabad.

Estimated time of arrival of group at Islamabad at around 6:30 pm

End of tour.

  • The costing is based on a group of minimum of 6 persons.
  • Items covered in the above cost: transport, hotel accommodation on twin sharing basis with breakfast and services tour guide.
  • Tour departure points will be informed to registered members.
  • Trip joining instructions will be sent to all registered members.
  • For vehicle details please send an email to Aftab Rana at afopak@yohoo.com
Friday, 20 August 2021

ADVENTURE WEEKEND IN SHOGRAN, KAGHAN VALLEY

Friday, 20 August 2021

Foreign members are requested to apply for their travel NOC well in time.

Shogran, one of the most beautiful plateaus in Kaghan Valley is situated 219 km from Islamabad. It takes about six hours to reach here via Abbottabad, Mansehra, Balakot, and Kawai. Surrounded by thick pine forests and with an altitude of 2,362m, the autumn climate of Shogran is pleasantly cold in October. From Shogran you have a breathtaking view of Kaghan Valley’s snow-covered peaks such as Musa Ka Musalla (4,419m), Makra (3,885m), and Malika Parbat (5,290m). We have planned two options for the same trip.

Option-I

For participants that are interested in easy walks Shogran and day excursion trip to Sari Paya by Jeep.

Option-II

For hardcore hikers who will climb Makra Mountain from Paya.

Programme:

On Friday morning we will drive in a coaster to Shogran with a couple of photo/refreshment stops en route. Shogran will be our base station where we will stay for two nights in a comfortable hotel. The afternoon will be free to walk around Shogran to enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery.

On Saturday, we will go by 4x4 jeeps to Sari and Paya. Group members interested in Option-I will walk around the place and enjoy the beautiful panoramic views of mountains from the ridge of Paya, Paya at 3,079 is a lush green meadow with a spectacular view of Malika Parbat and other snow-covered mountains of Kaghan Valley. This group will come back to Shogran b 4x4 jeeps in the afternoon will be free for rest and recreation.

The hikers' group (availing option-II) will go to Paya by 4x4 jeeps and climb Makra Mountain (3,885m). They will return to Shogran in the late afternoon using the trekking route. We will come back to Shogran by jeeps and spend the night at the hotel.

On Sunday, the morning will be free for rest and recreation in Shogran till 11.am. We will leave for Islamabad at around 11.30 am and reach Islamabad in the afternoon with a lunch stop at Abbottabad.

The cost of the trip covers transport, hotel accommodation (on a twin sharing basis)including breakfast and services of English speaking tour guide.

· For vehicle details please send an email to Aftab Rana at afopak@yohoo.com

 

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Film Club - SUMMER CLASSICS: ALFRED HITCHCOCK:VERTIGO (1958) - USA

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Screenplay: Alec Coppel & Samuel L. Taylor, based on the novel by Pierre Boileau

Cast: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones

Academy Award Nominations: Production Design & Sound Design

The dark, complex, and hypnotic film was unsuccessful at the box office when it first came out but is now universally acknowledged as one of the greatest films ever made. A masterpiece from Alfred Hitchcock, the film is a stylish, multi-layered psychological character study and a mystery where the secrets are far less important than what they represent and how they influence the behavior of its key players.

A detective (James Stewart) suffering from vertigo, and recently retired from the police force, is hired by an old college friend to shadow his wife (Kim Novak), who seems to be experiencing some sort of spiritual possession. As he follows her through her journeys through San Francisco, he quickly falls in love with her, a love that will turn into obsession when a sudden tragedy strikes. The plot falsely climaxes about two-thirds of the way through only to restart and go far deeper and darker into the realms of obsession and control.

The film is also a study about Hitchcock himself in terms of his domination and objectification of women but above all, it's about how spellbinding his imagery is, from the disorienting dolly zooms (signifying the cop's acute vertigo) to the eerily dream-like photographic effects and the unforgettable San Francisco locations.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Hiking - The Second Ridge

Sunday, 8 August 2021

The Second Ridge is basically just outside Islamabad, in the KPK region. NOC may be required for the foreigners/ diplomats

The Second Ridge has been one of our favourite hiking tracks, the views of the snowclad Himalayas make this very special as it shows the diversity of the flora of the Margalla Hills. The whole track is covered with tall pine trees and listening to the whispering of pines in cool breeze is an experience on its own!

The climax of the hike is the lake's view point from where both Khanpur and Rawal Lake can be seen, if the weather is clear.

The total distance is 12Km (return trip). Hike rating is Medium (Easy long walk on top of the ridge)

We will go together in our own cars as a convoy. Due to the pandemic, we discourage carpooling.

Wear sturdy shoes; bring your own refreshments. Dress appropriately. Don’t forget your camera/phone for some

special memories!

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Film Club - SUMMER CLASSICS: ALFRED HITCHCOCK: STRANGERS ON A TRAIN (1951) - USA

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Bruno Antony thinks he has the perfect plot to rid himself of his hated father, and when he meets tennis player Guy Haines on a train he thinks he's found the partner he needs to pull it off. His plan is relatively simple: Two strangers each agree to kill someone the other person wants gone. For example, Guy could kill his father and he could get rid of Guy's wife Miriam, freeing him to marry Anne Morton, the beautiful daughter of a U.S. Senator. Guy dismisses it all out of hand, but Bruno goes ahead with his half of the "bargain" and disposes of Miriam. When Guy balks, Bruno makes it clear that he will plant evidence to implicate Guy in her murder if he doesn't get rid of his father. Guy had also made some unfortunate statements about Miriam after she had refused to divorce him. It all leads the police to believe Guy is responsible for the murder, forcing him to deal with Bruno's mad ravings.

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Cycling - RIDE TO SHAKARPARIAN

Saturday, 17 July 2021

Summer Time: Bring along your family & friends and join us on an early morning ride around Shakarparian to take in the fresh environment...Looking forward to an active participation!

Those returning during the ride please inform the coordinators.

It is an easy ride and it’s on the road so all kinds of bicycle can join.

Please observe required SOP's!

 

Sunday, 11 July 2021

ADVENTURE TRIP TO FAIRY MEADOWS & BASE CAMP OF NANGA PARBAT

Sunday, 11 July 2021

Nanga Parbat (8126m) is the second-highest mountain peak of Pakistan and the ninth-highest in the world. Its base camp is one the most beautiful and most accessible base camps of any 8000-meter peak in the world. Fairy Meadows, named by German mountaineers is an alpine pasture at an elevation of 3300 feet from sea level and offers an excellent view of Nanga Parbat and other high peaks.

On this 5 days adventure trip planned in collaboration with Sustainable Tourism Foundation, we will take you to the Fairy Meadows side of Nanga Parbat. This area offers excellent trekking opportunities with lush green meadows, pine-covered slopes, and superb views of Nanga Parbat and other high peaks. May is the best time to visit this place. It is a lifetime opportunity for adventure and nature lovers. On this trail, porters will carry the heavy luggage while you hike carrying your day pack to the Fairy Meadows camping site (an easy to moderate hike of about 3 hrs.).

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Departure from Islamabad at 05:00 a.m. for Chilas. Travel on Karakorum Highway in air-conditioned transport and cover distance in about 11 to 12 hrs. with a break for lunch and refreshments. Overnight stay at a hotel in Chilas.

Day 2: Early Breakfast at the hotel. Leave for Roikot Bridge (about 1 ½ hrs. drive). Roikot to Jhel on 4x4 jeeps (1 ½ hrs. jeep ride). Trek from Jhel to Fairy Meadows (3 to 4 hrs.). Those who are not interested in trekking can hire a pony to reach Fairy Meadows in about 3 hrs. Overnight stay in wooden huts/tents at Fairy Meadows.

Day 3: One-day trekking excursion to explore Bial Camp and Nanga Parbat base camp (8 to 9 hrs. both ways) Those who are not interested to go on a long hike can stay back at Fairy Meadows and explore the area around the camping site and enjoy a nature walk, photography and spend time at leisure. Overnight stay in wooden huts/tents at Fairy Meadows. Dinner with Bonfire.

Day 4: Breakfast at the camping site. Enjoy morning hours to do photography, explore the area towards Fantori or relax in the beautiful mountain environment. After lunch trek back to Jhel (easy downhill trekking of about 2 ½ hrs.). Jhel to Raikot bridge travel by 4x4 jeeps in 1 ½ hrs. Raikot to Chilas by van in another 1 ½ hrs.). Overnight stay at a hotel in Chilas.

Day 5: Early morning departure for Islamabad. Travel on KKH via Dasu, Besham, Thakot, Mansehra, and Abbottabad. En route stop for breakfast, lunch, and afternoon tea. Reach Islamabad at around 9:00 p.m. End of trip.

Tour cost is based on a minimum of 6 persons.

· Cost includes Transport, accommodation in a deluxe room at Chilas and wooden huts/tents at Fairy Meadows as per package, meals (3 breakfast, 4 lunch, 4 dinner), services of English speaking tour guide.

· Foreign members are requested to apply for their travel NOC well in time. For vehicle details please send an email to the group coordinator at afopak@yohoo.com

· Pakistani members should bring their national ID cards with them.

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Hiking - To the Highest Point of Galiyat - Miranjani Peak

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Outside Islamabad : Foreigners/ diplomats will require NOC to participate.

Miranjani at 2980m (9800ft) is the highest mountain of the Galiyat region. The hike is around 5Km long (one way) and has stunning views of the beautiful valleys and the Himalayas of Kashmir. If lucky, we may get a glimpse of the mighty Nanga Parbat from the top. We will take the road via Murree and it will take us about an hour and half to reach Nathia gali from where the hike will start.

Our transport will be coaster with limited seats due to the pandemic, hence the extra cost. It is recommended to bring your own snacks and drinks to avoid depending on the local shops as much as possible.

Wear sturdy shoes; bring bottle of drinking water, and your picnic lunch/ snacks. Dress appropriately.

Don’t forget your camera/phone for some special memories!

Hike Rating is Hard (same as Trail3 hike) with a distance of around 10Km for the complete loop.

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Film Club-SUMMER CLASSICS: ALFRED HITCHCOCK: PSYCHO (1960) - USA

Thursday, 24 June 2021

Duration: 1 hour 40 minutes

Screenplay: Joseph Stefano, based on the novel by Robert Bloch

Cast: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Janet Leigh, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Simon Oakland, Frank Albertson, Patricia Hitchcock, Vaughn Taylor

Academy Award Nominations: Best Director (Alfred Hitchcock), Supporting Actress (Janet Leigh), Cinematography & Production Design

An Iconic film that blazed a bloody trail for the much loved slasher cycle of films. All it took was a knife, a scream and some chocolate sauce that doubled for blood to create one of the most blood curdling murder sequences in film history. It was conceived by Alfred Hitchcock as a departure from his previous films, as it was shot on a very low budget and in black and white.

The plot centers on an encounter between an on-the-run embezzler, Marion Crane (Janet Leigh), and a shy motel proprietor Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) and its aftermath, in which a private investigator (Martin Balsam), Marion's lover (John Gavin) and her sister (Vera Miles) all investigate the cause of her disappearance.

The film is now considered one of Hitchcock's best films and is arguably his most famous work. It has been praised as a major work of cinematic art by critics and scholars due to its slick direction, tense atmosphere, impressive camerawork, memorable music score, and iconic performances. Often ranked among the greatest films of all time, it set a new level of acceptability for violence, deviant behaviour, and sexuality in American films.