A few years back I had the opportunity to visit Shah Abdul Latif University (SALU) Khairpur for an international conference. After listening to all the technical presentations and mingling with engineers and scientists around lunches and tea breaks for three days I was ready to break free. Its not that I do not like science and technology, I love it, but there is only so much you can digest in three days. So when I heard that there was trip being planned to Faiz Mahal Khairpur on the last day of the conference I was quite thrilled.

Khairpur was a princely state at the time of partition that decided to annex with Pakistan. It remained a princely state until 1955 when the Government of Pakistan abolished all princely states. Faiz Mahal was the home of Talpur princes since 1798 and to this day is looked after by the Talpur family. When we visited Faiz Mahal we were invited by the resident prince to his quarters and were offered tea and coffee. To our surprise the prince was educated overseas and was quite a fan of Hollywood movies especially James Bond Series.

The prince had a lot of stories to tell about the history of Khairpur state and its sorry state under the Government of Pakistan. According to the prince the Khairpur state was amongst the wealthiest states in the subcontinent and it offered free education and healthcare to its residents. The silk produced by Khairpur Textile Mills (KTM) was of such high quality that it was worn by the Queen of England. But all this changed after the Government of Pakistan under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto nationalized KTM. Today the twin cities Khairpur and Sukkur are in a dilapidated state although the incumbent Chief Minister is from this region.

I wanted to spend some more time at this beautiful and historical site but I was getting late for my onward journey to Karachi. So I said my good byes and boarded the Daewoo Bus to Karachi for which I already had a reservation.

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