Moin Khan: Building a positive image of Pakistan on wheels

Published: August 8, 2013
Moin Khan sees a warm welcome when he arrives in Lahore on December 31, 2011. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

Moin Khan sees a warm welcome when he arrives in Lahore on December 31, 2011. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB

This short documentary takes us on the journey of a young Pakistani motorcyclist, Moin Khan, who has combined his passion for motorcycling with the love for his country.

Khan decided to travel from San Francisco to Lahore on nothing but  his motorcycle. After graduating from university, he worked two to three jobs per day for two years to gather money for this venture. He met many people on his way to Pakistan, mostly to ask for directions, as he had decided not to carry any electronic device to get directions.

This turned out to be a great idea; he made many memorable and beautiful experiences not only for himself, but also for the people of many different countries, cultures and regions that he interacted with.

His journey, however, was not easy and Khan had to face many difficulties and hardships. He had a lot of accidents, some nearly fatal. The first accident took place near Munich, Germany, while a second took place in Romania. He broke several bones in the second accident. However, what was much more devastating for him was that his motorcycle was destroyed.

His experience with the people he had earlier met on his journey, and how much people loved and believed in his purpose was unbelievable. Khan not only received well wishes from all over the world, but also received care and love from the people he was meeting for the first time.

People from all over the world would send him motorcycle parts so that he could continue his journey. A mechanic in Romania got to know of Moin’s story, found him and then repaired his motorcycle. With a more carefully planned journey and love and support from the people, Moin was able to reach Lahore on December 31, 2011.

He was welcomed like a hero because of his extraordinary endeavor. Moin then planned to go on a journey to the north of Pakistan on a very old, 1962, yellow scooter.

He met a lot of people on this journey and set a record for taking such an old bike to the heights of the Pak-China bordar.

Moin wants to work for the freedom of expression for women in the future, and plans to do this by teaching them how to ride motorbikes. He has started a motorbike driving institution for women, where he provides all the bikes and equipment for riding.

Since a woman riding a motorbike is not considered to be decent in Pakistani culture, Moin wants to change this sort of thinking by his actions and give women their deserved freedom.

During his journey of nearly 40,000 kilometers, there wasn’t even a single incident which he would say was unhappy or negative, he claims with pride.

Khan hopes he helped build a positive image of Pakistan in the hearts of the people he met.



This film is part of Black Box Sounds production, an initiative specializing in production aimed at social and development issues, behavior change communication and mass awareness since 2006. For further information, you can visit their website or Facebook page.



Do you think opening a motorbike driving institute for women is a good idea?

     View Results

Polls are non-scientific, reflect only the online audience and can be manipulated.
Loading ... Loading ...

Facebook Conversations

Reader Comments (11)

  • Pukhtoons
    Aug 8, 2013 - 3:17PM

    Proud of The Pukhtoon brave blood.Recommend

  • Khurram
    Aug 8, 2013 - 3:55PM

    @Pukhtoons: I could not understand the reason of dragging Ethnicity. I have met Moin Khan and his family and they are Pakkay Lahoris and I have never seen him speaking any other language other than Urdu and English. He was born and bred there in Lahore. Many people in Punjab especially Janjuas, Rajputs, Awans, Khokhars etc write Khans as their family name but writing Khan does not make you a Pushtoon and neither they have an inclination to write it for that matter. My Grandfather writes Khan in his name as well as many family members so this does not make them a Khan as this name Originated from Persia not from NorthWest. Take the example of Amir Khan, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and many more who are not Pukhtoons and were from Punjab but write Khan as their family name.


  • Hamid Khan
    Aug 8, 2013 - 4:41PM

    @Pukhtoons Could you end your Racist Superiority complex ?. Every Khan is not a Pukhton. Also everyone in Pakistan is brave in my view and one ethnicity should stop making such a fuss as everyone is brave, intelligent and responsible in my view in Pakistan.Recommend

  • maestro
    Aug 8, 2013 - 6:35PM

    I remember calling the relevant police SHO’s and DSP’s in Quetta and Lahore to tell them that this kid was coming on a motorbike bike from San Fran, broke several bones in an accident on the way and is still wearing a Pakistan flag on his way home! They said what do you want us to do? I said please escort him into the country with shining Pakistan police escort vehicles all the way to Lahore from Quetta. They said we will. :-)


  • AlChemist
    Aug 8, 2013 - 7:15PM

    Moin, you are a great example for Pakistani youth to follow.


    Aug 8, 2013 - 9:03PM

    surely this comment from neighbours trolls


    Aug 8, 2013 - 9:04PM

    cheap thoughts mate…


  • capslock
    Aug 9, 2013 - 1:12AM

    Kudos to you Moin ! Have always dreamt about doing such kind of a trip. And, yes you have done a great job to follow your passion. Bravo ! Being a TEDx curator I would like to invite you to one of the talks. I hope I find your contact soon to talk in person.

    Alongside, the comment relating to being a Pukhtoon is a radically negative. We must promote Nationalism instead of the ethnic roots.. Yes, I discourage it, but on the same side the comments proceeding it should not have levitated it to make it the centre of attention while digressing.

    Having said that, there is a difference between Pathan and Pukhtun.
    Pathan is a geographical term; people who are from NWFP (
    KPK is totally an inappropriate name) region. While Pukhtoon are is a caste term for people who speak Pashto language.
    As in NWFP, there are people speaking Urdu, Hindko, Seriaki languages. They are Pathans but not Pukthoons.

    Thank you all.


  • Fazal Khan
    Aug 13, 2013 - 2:31PM

    Good Job Dude.


  • Umar Shuja
    Aug 21, 2013 - 11:29PM

    This guy deserves a lot of respect, coverage and appriciation too!

    Hats off! Long live Pakistan and Mion Khan..!


  • Muhammad Omer
    Aug 22, 2013 - 1:44AM

    Moin, Keep it up boy.. I also this know Moin at the time when we used to study together in the same college, he being my junior. He was always up for somethng new and unique and somthng that would surprise us all..and he did it ! U made us proud!

    and For all the rest excluding the very first comment, For Heaven sakes, STOP criticising. This nation know nothing besides pointing fingers, backbiting and criticising. Stop being decisive on the six words that the poor wrtoe! Grow up guys! try to appreciate, wont hurt you much !!!!


More in Pakistan