Past Programmes

Saturday, 5 November 2022


Saturday, 5 November 2022

Plan Ahead!

Self-Drive- Drive in convoy

Please Note:

  • NOC's essential for foreigners.
  • Diplomats: A PERMISSION NOC has to be requested at least 10 business days ahead of time. This is different from the routine notification NOC required for other non-restricted places.
  • Apply well in advance to avail of this rare & exclusive opportunity to visit Pakistan’s historic brewery!
  • Deadline for submission:Thursday,October 20.

One of the oldest public companies of the Sub-continent, it is also the oldest continuing industrial enterprise referred to as " The Murree Brewery Company Ltd".

The Ghora Gali Brewery was among the first modern businesses established in Asia in 1860 near Murree, which then, was the most popular resort. The products of the Brewery were popular among the British troops who were largely barracked in the 'Galis' of these hills.

Brief history:

Between 1885 & 1890 the Company established itself in Rawalpindi and Quetta and acquired an interest in the Oticumand (South India) and Norailiya (Ceylon) breweries. It was the first to be awarded a medal for product excellence at the Philadelphia Exhibition in 1876, followed by numerous awards over the past 140 years.The business was managed by the family of General Reginald Dyer. In the 1940s, the share in the enterprise was obtained by a Parsi gentleman, the late Mr. Peshton Bhandara. His son, the late Mr.M.P. Bhandara later carried on the business, and it is now being run by his grandson, Mr.Isphanyar Bhandara.

In 1935, a massive earthquake totally demolished the Quetta outlet as well as a substantial part of Quetta town, killing thousands of persons. In the 1920s, the activities were mostly transferred to Rawalpindi, but malting continued at the Ghora Gali outlet till the 1940s when the property was sold. This historic building built in Gothic-style architecture was burnt during the partition riots of 1947/48. The ruins are still visible as you drive up to Murree and have served as a backdrop to many Pakistani and some International films!

The current Murree Brewery is located in Rawalpindi.

Sunday, 30 October 2022


Sunday, 30 October 2022

Join us for an exclusive programme- specially organised for the ASG- through the newly opened ‘Leopard Trail’ in the Leopard Preservation Zone, Margalla Hills National Park (MHNP) Islamabad.

With scenic views, serene nature and a barely touched ecosystem, this trail is located in the heart of Leopard territory, which means that there are good chances of spotting leopards, deer and other wildlife!

Since we intend to witness wildlife up close, we will be accompanied and guided by trained staff of MHNP who will tell us about their experiences with the leopards, their nature, habitat and recordings from trap cameras and about the other wildlife in the newly formed Leopard Preservation Zone. The programme will end with a projector documentary about the new trail and wildlife in MHNP.

The hike is approximately 2 Km, we suggest that you use a mosquito repellant, wear full-sleeved clothes and sturdy shoes. Bring refreshments!

The guided tour is a rare opportunity for nature enthusiasts for unique insights -by experts in the field -regarding leopards and their habitat!

Sunday, 23 October 2022

Gardening / Botanical Walks - GREEN SOLUTIONS!

Sunday, 23 October 2022

As Pakistan is ravaged by Climate Change ,the need for innovative approaches to horticulture is desperately required. The Green Impex nursery is doing just that by establishing a climate controlled greenhouse for their flowers.

Established in 1994, Green Impex is well known, and the owners have recently built a state of the art modern greenhouse that covers more than 10,000 square feet, is powered by solar energy, ventialted by large fans and cooled with water pads!

The Asian Study Group has been allowed exclusive access to this dynamic new facility.It is an excellent opportunity for horticulturalists looking for green solutions for the impact of unpredictable weather patterns, flower enthusiasts and those who want to learn more about how technology can help horticulture.

You will be able to view & purchase unique flower pots and seedlings including Lisianthus (prairie gentian- botanical name: Eustoma), best described as a tulip in the shape of a rose, Lilac (Syringa Vulgaris) -plants that have a strong fragrance, Potato Tree (Solanum Erianthum) also known as velvet nightshade, new varities of Teak (Sagwan) trees, herbs such as stevia, oregano and thyme and more...much more!!

It is a 15 minute drive to the nursery and we will travel in convoy. You are welcome to bring light refreshments to enjoy in the garden sitting area of the nursery, though you will be treated to cardamom tea and cookies!

Saturday, 22 October 2022

Adventure Club, Photography – AUTUMN IN HUNZA

Saturday, 22 October 2022


(4 days /3 nights)

Foreigners: Please apply for your NOC well in time. (Please note:Foreigners with tourist/visit visas do not need any NOC).

Autumn is the time when the landscape of Hunza and Nagar Valleys is at its most picturesque. The trees throughout the valley seem to be on fire, as their leaves turn to gold, red, orange and bronze contrasting sharply with the barren mountains. Situated in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. It is approximately a two hour drive from Gilgit city on the Karakoram Highway.

At an elevation of 2500 meters it is situated on the north/west of Hunza River and spread over 7900 square kilometers, it hosts a number of famous peaks of more than 6000 meter in height: Rakaposhi, Diran, Golden Peak, Ultar Peak and Ladyfinger.

Truly, a photographer’s dream come true, the tour provides a golden opportunity to capture the stunning autumn scenery through the lens of a camera. At the end of the Photo Safari there will be a Photographic Competition among the participants of this tour. Certificates of merit will be awarded to the three best photographers.


Day 1: Islamabad to Gilgit by early morning flight (duration one hour). From Gilgit travel on Karakorum Highway and reach Hunza. Enjoy scenic views of high mountains all the way. Sort stay at Rakaposhi View Point. Arrival at Hunza and transfer to hotel. Evening free for local sightseeing and photography. Overnight stay in hotel at Hunza.

Day 2: Full day to explore Hunza and part of Nagar Valley. Visit Duikar, Altit Fort, Baltit Fort and Hopper Valley. Overnight stay in hotel at Hunza.

Day 3: Full day trip to Upper Hunza. Visit Attabad Lake, Gulmit, Passu, Borit Lake to enjoy most scenic landscape and experience simple way of life of local people. Return to Gilgit for night stay.

Day 4:Return flight from Gligit to Islamabad.

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Film Club - THE PAST (2013) – IRAN / FRANCE

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Director: Asghar Farhadi

Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi

Award: Cannes Film Festival – Best Actress (Bernice Bejo)

Cast: Berenice Bejo, Ali Mosaffa, Tahar Rahim, Pauline Burlet, Elyes Aguis, Jeanne Jestin, Sabrina Ouazani, Babak Karimi

Like Farhadi’s previous film (“A Separation”) this one also confirms his unique ability to explore how constant chatter and anguished outbursts obscure the capacity for honest communication. This story is secretly like a detective mystery about relationships only partially understood by their participants.

Ahmad (Ali Mosaffa) arrives in Paris from his native Iran four years after separating from his French wife Marie (Berenice Bejo) in order to finalize their divorce. He finds the family at an uneven crossroads: While Marie plans to marry Samir (Tahar Rahim), her daughter Lucie (Pauline Burlet) from an earlier marriage maintains distance from her mother as she is frustrated by the older woman’s string of fleeting romances. Meanwhile, she must contend with the presence of preadolescent Fouad (Elys Aguis), Samir’s son, who lives with the family in the suburbs while Samir works in the city. Ahmad uncovers its most troublesome aspect through casual discussion: Samir’s wife lies comatose in a hospital after a botched suicide attempt.

The screenplay slowly reveals its puzzle pieces exposing troubled people trapped by a network of errors and tragedy in this wrenching, relentlessly intelligent drama..

Sunday, 16 October 2022


Sunday, 16 October 2022

Self Drive

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

Join us for a hike on one of our favourite tracks:the Second Ridge. The spectacular views of the snowclad Himalayas make it very special, as it shows the diversity of the flora of the Margalla Hills. T

The whole track is covered with tall trees and listening to the whispering of the pines in the cool breeze, is an experience of its own! If the weather is clear, the climax of the hike is the 'lakes view point' - from where both Khanpur and Rawal Lakes can be seen...

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

We will travel in convoy. Due to Covid concerns, we discourage carpooling.

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

special memories!



Saturday, 15 October 2022


Saturday, 15 October 2022

Perfect weather and an easy ride for’s on the road so all kinds of bicycles can join!

We will cycle to the Rose and Jasmine Garden -a public space located within the recreational area of Shakarparian -near the Sports Complex on Kashmir Highway. The park contains numerous kinds of roses, over 10 kinds of jasmine, and an array of other flowers. A horticulturists haven,the garden hosts many festivals and flower shows annually!



Saturday, 8 October 2022

Cuisine Club- A 'ROYAL' LEGACY!

Saturday, 8 October 2022

Here is your chance to relive the bygone era at this very special 'Royal Hyderabad Deccan' cuisine event!

'The real gems were in the kitchens of the fabled Nizams of Hyderabad Deccan, of the Indian Subcontinent- and not in their treasury… the ‘'haute cuisine" became a princely legacy as it began to further develop under their patronage…’

Hyderabadi /Deccani culinary style of cooking and presentation is an amalgamation of South Asian, Mughal, Turkic, and Arabic-along with the local Telangana and Marathwada influences. It comprises a broad repertoire of rice, wheat and meat dishes and the skilled use of various spices, herbs and natural edibles...slow cooked to divine perfection, the taste lingers on- because it is not just simple food- it is heritage!

Nida Aamer has been cooking and catering for over fifteen years and comes from a couple of generations of cooking connoisseurs. She enjoys sharing her love of cooking with other foodies like us! She will be making a few of the most famous dishes like the delicious Biryani, Mirchi ka salaan, Bhagarey Baingan, Special Achaar ghost… and for dessert- the utterly divine Double Ka Meetha...not to be missed.

Join us and indulge!



Thursday, 6 October 2022


Thursday, 6 October 2022


"Ishq"( The Passion)- the musical staged at the prestigious Saddlers Wells theatre in London- produced by Serendip Productions- is Pakistan’s first Anglo- Punjabi- Sufi musical based on the immortal legend of ‘Heer Ranjha’ one of the most famous Punjabi romantic tragedies in South Asian literature.

It predates Shakespeare’s era and is often claimed that the bard may have been inspired by the tale for his famous Romeo and Juliet!

In 2017…the musical celebrated 70 years of Pakistan’s independence and Pakistan / UK friendship by bringing together talent from both countries for an extravaganza of song and dance that ran to critical acclaim.

In a recap…the director Huma & Dr. Farooq Beg will take us back on a journey of how this mega premier musical was brought to the stage in a record time of three months!

Through behind the scenes scenarios, video clips, interviews and audience reactions the director gives us an insight into the trials and tribulations, the agony and ecstasy of working with and within two diverse cultures to create a show that is not just a love story, but also a powerful portrayal of women empowerment!

Established in 1997 by Huma Mustafa Beg and Dr. Farooq Beg- an International, award-winning producer & director duo...Serendip Productions is one of Pakistan's premier fully integrated Production & Media Communication Company based in Islamabad,


  • Producer: Huma Beg
  • Direction & lyrics: Dr. Farooq Beg
  • Script: Mushfiq Murshed
  • Music: Emu (Fusions band) & Ian Brandon
  • Choreography: Suhaee Abro & Owen smith


Heer Ranjha is part of the 'Qissa' genre of tragic love stories- as the plot involves a romance opposed by family members and ends with the two lovers dying. One of several popular tragic romances of Punjab, There are several poetic narrations of the story, the most famous being Heer by Waris Shah written in 1766 who stated that the story has a deeper meaning, referring to the unrelenting quest that man has towards God...


Heer, an extremely beautiful woman, belongs to a wealthy Rajput family & Ranjha, to the tribe of Jats. He is the youngest of four brothers and lives in the village of Takht Hazara by the river Chenab in Punjab. Being his father's favourite son, unlike his brothers who toil in the lands, he leads a life of ease, playing the flute.

In Waris Shah's version of the epic, after his father’s death-Ranjha leaves home because his brothers' wives refuse to pander to him.Eventually he arrives in Heer's village and falls in love with her. She -mesmerized by the way he plays his flute – reciprocates. They meet each other secretly until they are caught by Heer's uncle, the evil Kaido.. Heer is forced by her family to marry another man.

Ranjha heartbroken wanders the countryside alone, until eventually he meets a Jogi (ascetic), and becomes a Jogi himself, piercing his ears and renouncing the material world. While reciting the name of the Lord, he wanders all over Punjab, eventually finding the village where Heer now lives. Finally Heer's parents agree to their marriage…but alas- On the wedding day, Kaido poisons her food and she dies. Hearing this news, Ranjha rushes to her, but is too late. Brokenhearted, once again, he eats the remaining poisoned food and dies by her side. They are buried in Heer's hometown, Jhang.

Love-smitten couples and others often pay visits to their tomb to seek benediction...

Monday, 3 October 2022

Literature - YOUNG VOICES!

Monday, 3 October 2022

Join us for an exciting and thought provoking evening showcasing the talents of a cast of rising stars, each of whom brings their own unique style, voice and perspective to the page. A collection of poetry in English, that cleverly uses language to explore a range of themes, inviting passionate responses and critical reflection. The presentations do not shy away from challenging topics and subject matter!

Curated by poet Risham Amjad, the readings will feature poetry written in English- and read by Islamabad based poets, among them Syed Jarri Haider, Mavra Tanveer as well as Risham Amjad herself. Their work has appeared in print and online journals here and abroad…