So I met this Turkish origin backpacker in Tashkent who wanted to do the whole stans-trip and was going to Iran next–solely to secure a Pakistan visa.

I, another Pakistani from Faisalabad who had a visa interview with the Georgian embassy (cause they don’t have one in Pakistan), and the Turkish guy were sitting in the spacious and well-lit living area of this community art hostel in Tashkent where we were staying.

The Turkish guy wanted advice on how safe and sane was Pakistan.

“I know you guys are very hospitable but I see all this coverage around religious issues and groups, protests about every other thing and restrictions on eating in Ramzan, which I don’t see in other Muslim countries. It just seems like… I don’t know how to put it,” he was struggling – or perhaps didn’t want to say it outright.

“Like we are “more muslim” than others?” I asked.

He nodded fervently.