An image can speak a thousand words, so the old saying goes. This is only partially true, however. For much depends on the gaze of the voyeur and where it lands and why. Such factors introduce a prevailing narrative of sorts that puritans believe have no business being there.We, at this newspaper, beg to differ. Every picture has, after all, a story to tell. And countries from this part of the world struggle to go beyond the one-dimensional visual representation that western media affords them. In Pakistan’s case, for example, this is limited to a nation playing a double game on terror; a land of fundamentalists; a nuclear-armed state that lives in constant fear of the lunatics taking over the asylum. And so, the list goes on. All of which makes projects like Everyday Pakistan incredibly important. At first glance, it may appear to cross over into the territory of casual tokenism with its promise of showcasing the ‘real’ Pakistan. But nothing could be further from the truth. The beauty of this Instagram-based visual mission is to engage with people around the world in an online cultural exchange that relies not on the barriers of language.Indeed, where Everyday Pakistan has really taken off is with virtual visitors from across the border in India. Indeed, it has proved invaluable in connecting what is left of the pre-Partition generation with their erstwhile homelands. This is crucial given the state of political play between the two sides. Another area where the venture could have even more success is across the Durand Line; that other border. For while its premise remains looking beyond the externally imposed prisms of terrorism and warfare — it may well be therapeutic for the Afghan people to reclaim the narrative of what it means to live in perpetual states of conflict. After all, images can humanise those caught up in the horrors of war to reveal moments of sheer beauty. Be that as it may, increasing visual literacy across cultural divides brings peoples together. It touches hearts and wins minds. So, bravo Everyday Pakistan. Keep snapping away. *Published in Daily Times, July 8th 2018.