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Going to Pakistan with American Wife: Ongoing Updates

YeBeWarned

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Thank you to both of you for all of your efforts in promoting the real Pak! God Bless and I pray your efforts payoff.



@Starlord My wife's immigration app for her parents was taking a really long time. When we contacted them, they would say it's in process and this went on for years. Finally, someone suggested to contact our local congress representative from the US House. That did the trick. By law, immigration is required to research and submit a response to your congress person in a reasonable amount of time. The answer was that the immigration had misplaced the paperwork. We resubmitted everything and due to the pressure from my local congressman, the issue was resolved favorably and quickly.

The congress reps have dedicated staff to handle constituents issues like immigration. Your wife should contact her rep. She might need to provide a copy of the Receipt (and the Receipt number) you got when you applied. Here is the link to find who your rep is and try contacting the office when they open up again: https://www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

This is better than getting an attorney.
bro I already contacted US senator Lindsey Graham, He emailed US embassy and i have his response with me on Email and my Wife Got letter, they did not give him any positive reply except that our is still in Administrative processing . I talked to someone who lived in US for over 20 years and have seen and heard many immigration cases, he told me that my case is put under cold storage, and they will reopen it when they feel like it, they just use this " Investigation " as cover to delay the process , so we would need a lawyer to File Writ of Mandamus , and so Judge will ask them to make a decision .
 

Meengla

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@Meengla what are your wife's impressions about Pakistan so far? I ask as we are used to bad press and coverage here.
We really haven't spoken much about the trip since we got back; we are STILL tired, plus it's the Holiday Season here and that requires focus on other things.

But I could say with confidence that her impression of Pakistan is positive after the trip. Not once people were disrespectful to her. On the contrary. But some things did put a bad taste in our mouth: Extortionist entrance fees (Rs. 20 for local vs Rs. 500 for foreigners to the Shalimar Garden, Lahore, for example!!!). Weird bathroom showers in many places (you know, the open shower area where the water is all over the place, including on the toilet bowl), and asking for tips and expectations of tips everywhere...

On the money angle, while we definitely would never accept freebies--you know, there are videos out there about 'everything is free in Pakistan' myth--even I was surprised and a bit disappointed to see locals often taking advantage of our money. Many times we were the one who paid for even others' expenses for Chai/Samosas or dinners or even entrance fees while the locals either didn't even offer their part or offered half-heartedly. Then also bad instances like the guy we hired for a day trip in Islamabad, after agreeing to Rs. 5000 for the day, asked for more at the end of the day and even Rs. 6000 didn't make him happy.

I can safely say that we spent at least Rs. 20,000 on others for gifts, food, chai, snacks, entrance fees, Uber ride shares etc etc. That's barely $100+ but you get the point.

For us, one clear purpose of the trip was to promote Pakistan and injecting money in Pakistan's economy was something we wanted to do anyway, so no huge deal. Still surprised me. One local had to message me: "Please be aware. People look at foreigners and they think that foreigners have money trees in their countries and the locals here expect to get some of the money from those trees. Don't tip them for everything. They wouldn't ask or expect tips from the locals but would from you. "

But overall people were very warm toward her. Lots of selfies requests! No leaning on her. Respectful distance. Not even much groping eyes. People often unsure of their English skills but most would smile and open doors and be deferential to us in very respectful ways.

I think she will want to go back to Pakistan for another trip in 1-2 years. She has definitely formed a connection with Pakistan after being my wife for 18 years. And she does love Pakistani food and now shalwar qameez as dress to wear. Next time, she and I would rather skip Karachi. Had it not been for the family in Karachi, I wouldn't have spent more than 1-2 days in Karachi. One of her major regrets from the trip is that she didn't get to go to the mountain areas in Gilgit Baltistan due to shortage of time but she absolutely loved Islamabad.

Well, I hope I have't offended anyone here with this post.
 

Crusher

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........................................................ One of her major regrets from the trip is that she didn't get to go to the mountain areas in Gilgit Baltistan due to shortage of time but she absolutely loved Islamabad.

Well, I hope I have't offended anyone here with this post.
For some reason the foreign origin wives of Pakistanis tend to like Islamabad the most compared to any other city in Pakistan, the reason could be that Islamabad comes close to being an organized city that most european and american people are used to. Here is a video about Islamabad trip that I recently watched of a Romanian girl married to a Pakistani guy, she also seem to have loved her experience in Islamabad, but she is a different kind of girl, very fluent in Urdu so that may have helped her during her stay in Islamabad.


Surprisingly she even visited my own city Gujranwala also on her way to Islamabad via GT road.

 
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Meengla

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slamabad the most compared to any other city in Pakistan, the reason could be that Islamabad comes close to being an organized city that most european and american people are used to.
Yes, Islamabad is a world apart in Pakistan. Growing up in 80s/90s a joke was something like 'Islamabad is only ten miles from Pakistan!'. Haha.

But they say that ISB basically shuts down late night and that's were Lahore and Karachi excel. To me, Lahore was an eye opener: I had the stereotype of a very chaotic, dusty, dirty, crime-infested city; my stereotype was that of someone from Karachi from decades ago who had thought that Karachi was superior to everything in Pakistan as a city. But, boy, Lahore impressed a lot. Karachi paled in comparison at least in the just-concluded trip. But some fellows in Karachi did defend Karachi saying that it's the political infighting hampering development of Karachi, and that the under-construction BRT mass transit system is causing the dirt, debris, and potholes... And that come back when the BRT system is done... We shall see!
 
Jun 15, 2016
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I don’t like to stay too long in Islo. Yes it is comfortable and all that, but I don’t like the people. They are arrogant and not friendly in my experience. I usually run off to Chitral after a few days in Islamabad. My wife belongs to Chitral. Now that is a place that I like. Friendly people and natural beauty all around. I like the mountain folks in Pakistan.
 

airmarshal

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For some reason the foreign origin wives of Pakistanis tend to like Islamabad the most compared to any other city in Pakistan, the reason could be that Islamabad comes close to being an organized city that most european and american people are used to. Here is a video about Islamabad trip that I recently watched of a Romanian girl married to a Pakistani guy, she also seem to have loved her experience in Islamabad, but she is a different kind of girl, very fluent in Urdu so that may have helped her during her stay in Islamabad.


Surprisingly she even visited my own city Gujranwala also on her way to Islamabad via GT road.

Elena seems to be a very nice lady and her husband is extremely lucky guy. God bless them both.
 

Meengla

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I don’t like to stay too long in Islo. Yes it is comfortable and all that, but I don’t like the people. They are arrogant and not friendly in my experience. I usually run off to Chitral after a few days in Islamabad. My wife belongs to Chitral. Now that is a place that I like. Friendly people and natural beauty all around. I like the mountain folks in Pakistan.
Chitral does sound very interesting from the videos I have seen. Which part of Chitral? I sometime think of eventually settling down in a small mountain town in Chitral like Buni. Cold winters but peaceful.
 
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Chitral does sound very interesting from the videos I have seen. Which part of Chitral? I sometime think of eventually settling down in a small mountain town in Chitral like Buni. Cold winters but peaceful.
Ayun. This part of Chitral is the gateway to Bumburet valley. Before you visit Kalash you have to go through Ayun.



If you ever visit Chitral let me know. The family there can accommodate you. There is hill on the mountains where the prince family has a cottage and beautiful orchard for visitors. A lot of foreign tourists come to visit.
 

Meengla

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If you ever visit Chitral let me know. The family there can accommodate you. There is hill on the mountains where the prince family has a cottage and beautiful orchard for visitors. A lot of foreign tourists come to visit.
Wow! What a generous offer for such a great place.
Truth be told, I have often thought of Chitral valley as a place where I'd retire to one day in Pakistan. What kind of business potentials are there? Say if $80,000 USD invested into hotels? Home prices? How about business around Hot Spring (Garam Chasma)?
Thanks!
 

Meengla

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I had posted about this event in a separate thread many moons ago: Quaid e Azam M.A. Jinnah visiting my grandpa's house pre-Partition in Ahmadabad, India. During this trip to Pakistan, I had the honor to see the original picture which is in the custody of one of my uncles in Karachi. My grandpa is the tall one right behind Fatima Jinnah, sort of in between behind MAJ and FJ. I took a pic of the original picture. The uncle was proud to show this pic and many others, including with famous cricketers like Hanif/Sadiq Mohammad, veteran actor Nadeem and many dignitaries from a long bygone era...

Grandpa.jpg
 

k s ahmed

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Yes, Islamabad is a world apart in Pakistan. Growing up in 80s/90s a joke was something like 'Islamabad is only ten miles from Pakistan!'. Haha.

But they say that ISB basically shuts down late night and that's were Lahore and Karachi excel. To me, Lahore was an eye opener: I had the stereotype of a very chaotic, dusty, dirty, crime-infested city; my stereotype was that of someone from Karachi from decades ago who had thought that Karachi was superior to everything in Pakistan as a city. But, boy, Lahore impressed a lot. Karachi paled in comparison at least in the just-concluded trip. But some fellows in Karachi did defend Karachi saying that it's the political infighting hampering development of Karachi, and that the under-construction BRT mass transit system is causing the dirt, debris, and potholes... And that come back when the BRT system is done... We shall see!
Karachi is called bride of the cities. But fucked up govts and retarded rulers looted all the money and made the mess of road network and cleanliness. . It sril shuts v late and has a great vibe and cooler sea breeze in hot summer evenings.
( I am promoting and also being said about Karachi )
 
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Wow! What a generous offer for such a great place.
Truth be told, I have often thought of Chitral valley as a place where I'd retire to one day in Pakistan. What kind of business potentials are there? Say if $80,000 USD invested into hotels? Home prices? How about business around Hot Spring (Garam Chasma)?
Thanks!
You must visit Chitral. People are friendly. The literacy rate is also much higher as opposed to other regions in Pakistan including some bigger cities.

Business wise there is a lot of potential, but like so many mountainous areas in Pak it has been neglected by governments. Gas supply is non-existent like many other mountain regions in Pak. Electricity depends on area. Some areas have their own electricity generation. These are basic necessities and if there is no supply of gas and electricity life is difficult. The locals manage.

The clean water that flows from mountains in this area is an enormous blessing, but unfortunately wasted when it merges with rivers. No initiative to bottle or put this precious water into reservoirs. Winters are very cold. People survive by creating a food stock in the winter months. Summers can be hot depending on the region. Chitral happens to be the biggest district of KP. It is a massive area. Upper Chitral is worth seeing. It is a little far away from the main city, but if you love nature this is the place. You have a place called Broghil valley. Worth seeing. There are other interesting places like Shandur valley where you have the highest polo ground. There is also Gol national park which is more easily accessible from the main city.

Chitral is good to enjoy the beauty when you are retired. The honest truth is that as long as the government doesn't invest in gas, electricity and proper infrastructure it is difficult to live in such areas. Especially for someone from the outside. There is likelihood that Chitral is also going to become a part of CPEC route in the near future. This has the potentional of changing the fortune of the area and the people.
 
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k s ahmed

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I don’t like to stay too long in Islo. Yes it is comfortable and all that, but I don’t like the people. They are arrogant and not friendly in my experience. I usually run off to Chitral after a few days in Islamabad. My wife belongs to Chitral. Now that is a place that I like. Friendly people and natural beauty all around. I like the mountain folks in Pakistan.
It's a slippery slope to label women as 'prostitutes' and requiring marriage certificate for a couple in public places! Why such vigilantism? Pakistan is not Iran or Saudi Arabia. If couples are not displaying overt affection in public then no offense is there.

When wife and I checked into our hotel in Islamabad 2-3 weeks ago, the manager was insisting on a marriage certificate. I told him to compare the last names on our passports but he ignored that. Then as I was going for my wallet to pay he asked again. To which I responded that I am coming from Karachi where no marriage cert was required in the 3 hotels I had stayed in, and that I was checking into his hotel after a 23 hours, tiring train ride, and that if he is not satisfied then I am ready to go some place else! He got the message. He was respectful after that.
And of wife doesn't change last name , then ?
.and why they need that certificate ? It's just plain old stupid. We can be with whoever want. Not that rest of the country is all.angels
 

k s ahmed

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Wow! What a generous offer for such a great place.
Truth be told, I have often thought of Chitral valley as a place where I'd retire to one day in Pakistan. What kind of business potentials are there? Say if $80,000 USD invested into hotels? Home prices? How about business around Hot Spring (Garam Chasma)?
Thanks!
I would.also be interested in running tours there. Been searching for a trust worthy person in Pak. Please keep me updated.
 

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