Ibrahim Ahmad, the son of the owner of the Imperial Bagpipe Manufacturing Co., tests a bagpipe at a factory in Sialkot, Pakistan. The Pakistani city is the largest producer of the instruments most commonly associated with Scotland.
Credit Farooq Naeem / AFP/Getty Images
Naeem Akhbar is chief executive of Halifax and Co., a more than 70-year-old bagpipe manufacturer in Sialkot. Here, he plays the most expensive bagpipe his company produces, which sells for $700 in Pakistan and more than $1,600 in Europe and the U.S.
Credit Mike Shuster / NPR
A lathe operator in the workshop of Halifax and Company turns out wood spindles that will be part of the pipes in toy bagpipes.
Bagpipes and Scotland? Aye, it's a natural association: Played for centuries, the instrument is especially identified with the Scottish military and traditional Scottish dress, tartan kilts and shawls.
But bagpipes and Pakistan? Nae, you say? Think again.
Turns out no place in the world manufactures more bagpipes than Pakistan. And no city in Pakistan makes more of them than Sialkot.
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