Moin Khan’s Different Agenda
By A.H. Cemendtaur
Photos by Asghar Aboobaker
Though the ‘T’ word never comes up in Moin Khan’s speech it is obvious that the Taliban and the 30-year old Bay Area motorcycle enthusiast are working on diametric agendas: the Taliban are destroying the tourism industry in Pakistan, Moin Khan wants to revive tourism in his homeland by taking foreigners on trips to the northern areas in Pakistan.
Ever since his adventurous 2011 mostly overland San Francisco to Pakistan trip, Moin Khan, originally from Lahore, has been giving talks about his ‘Different Agenda’. His agenda is to promote Pakistan, to convince the international community that in spite of the gruesome, violent news stories coming out of Pakistan, most of the Pakistanis are as normal as citizens of any other country, and that many parts of Pakistan are very safe to travel in.
Moin Khan’s latest talk and a screening of his documentary film "Rediscovering Pakistan - The Untold Tale" took place at the Pakistani American Culture Center in Milpitas where PACC’s president Rabia Adil welcomed the audience. The event was cosponsored by the Bay Area Riders Forum. Rabia Adil called Moin Khan a great ambassador for Pakistan for showing to people the part of Pakistan normally ignored by the international medi
Talking to the audience Moin Khan described how when he came to the US in 2005 he did not have a passion in his life. Going to the DeAnza College and then to the San Francisco State University he changed his major ten times, finally graduating in marketing.
Khan said when he was in college “bad news out of Pakistan did not stop.” He did not like it, but he wanted someone else to do something positive which he could then read about.
When that did not happen he decided to be the change he wanted to see. In 2011 he rode a motorcycle from San Francisco to Pakistan to let the world meet a common Pakistani. Moin Khan wanted to show the world that the Pakistanis are like everybody else: regular, peace loving people.
Khan said to save up for the trip to Pakistan he worked 70 hours a week for eighteen months before the trip. “I ate a lot of rice and ketchup.” He said he crashed in Romania and broke three ribs, shoulder, wrist, and a finger; later, he also had an accident in Germany. He said the journey through 22 countries before reaching Pakistan took six months during which he traveled 25,000 miles.
Moin Khan said six months after reaching Pakistan he bought a 1962 Vespa scooter and rode it all the way to the Chinese border. Few months later, traveling in Vietnam he suddenly felt that motorcycles were no longer his passion; his passion was the love for his country, Pakistan. He decided to invite his Bay Area biker friends to Pakistan. In 2013 only two bikers came on his invitation. In 2014 he arranged two tours, the first tour had nine people, the second one had three people. Brighto Paints (a Pakistani paint manufacturer) sponsored the documentary film that was shot during the first trip.
Moin Khan’s talk at the PACC was attended by over 150 people.
An audio file of the program is present here: