Pakistan’s highways often look like a stream of colours, and its trucks, large canvases of dreams and surreal imagination. The fascination with trucks has an elusive history here.
In North Waziristan, it is military vehicles that draw everyone’s attention. The mountainous region bordering Afghanistan has been has been a hub for the Taliban and other militant groups.
There’s one particular jeep, however, that attracts the biggest crowds. It used to belong to the army, but not anymore. Behind the wheel of this vehicle is a civilian, Mastan Khan, who combs his moustache with one hand while driving his expensively bejewelled automobile “just for fun”.
Khan’s magnificent bling machine seems straight out of MTV’s Pimp My Ride, a 2004 American reality show which was known for transforming an old beat up car into a customised beauty.
The only difference is that Khan funds this transformation himself and continues to surprise locals in his tribal district with every new accessory. Rapper Xzibit, host of the MTV series, would surely “approve”.