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Voices from Gilgit-Baltistan

Karakorum International University (KIU) Gilgit

By Amir Hussain The government faces a series of challenges in exercising its political writ in the remote regions of the country. But it seems to have no palpable plans to address the sense of deprivation, political exclusion and economic marginalisation that exist in those areas. There are a host of political problems which can easily be resolved with some ...

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Agha Ziauddin’s killer shot dead


By Shabbir Mir GILGIT: A man who was accused of killing noted Shia cleric Agha Ziauddin has been killed in a police encounter. Shakirullah Jan was among the four terrorists killed by the Counterterrorism Department (CTD) in an alleged encounter near Sheikhupura on Wednesday, a CTD spokesperson confirmed. Shakirullah Jan and Arifuddin escaped from Gilgit jail three years back after reportedly ...

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Dadi Jawari – the Queen who gifted water to her subjects


GILGIT: Through the centuries, most people have tried to seek ‘immortality’ through different means. Some tried to do it through pictures or stories about themselves. Others built statues to remind subsequent generations. Others still built giant monuments as a testimony to their grandness. But few have of these methods have stood the trial of time. But for four centuries, the name ...

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Connecting the Dots: Himalayan Glaciers, Changing Surface Water Regimes and Groundwater Resources

Photo: Alex Treadway/ICIMOD.

Anjal Prakash and Arun B Shrestha The Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) is one of the most dynamic, diverse, and complex mountain systems in the world, providing fresh water resources to more than 210 million people in the mountains and 1.3 billion people downstream. Several river and glacial systems originate in the HKH, making the region a “Third Pole” of the ...

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Broghil valley: Yak attack!


High up in the mountains is another world entirely. Protected by towering peaks are unique ecosystems and otherworldly geographical features. And here too are the isolated and fascinating cultures, which we only glimpse in pictures in travelogues. A view of yak polo match The Broghil valley, situated about 250km from Chitral, is one such place. Its extended glaciers, incredible wildlife, ...

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Remembering Deputy Commissioner Osama Warraich — a champion for Chitral’s welfare


FAHIM ZAMAN We first met Osama Ahmed Warraich, deputy commissioner Chitral, in his office around 8.30pm on Nov 26, 2015. While talking to us, he continued signing compensation checks for Rs200,000 each for the affectees of the Oct 26 earthquake. A young DMG officer of 37 Common, Osama graduated from the civil services academy in 2010. He joined the KPK ...

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Renowned mountaineer Hassan Sadpara passes away


Renowned mountaineer Hassan Sadpara passed away in Rawalpindi on Monday. Sadpara was first Pakistani to have climbed eight of the world’s 14 tallest mountains including Mt Everest (8848m), K2 (8611m), Gasherbrum I (8080m), Gasherbrum II (8034m), Nanga Parbat (8126 m) and Broad Peak (8051m). He was suffering from multiple diseases, including blood cancer and was brought to a private hospital ...

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How music students in Gojal are trying to keep their culture alive


Wakhi language, culture, and music face extinction. SYED MEHDI BUKHARI It is said that Mughal Emperor Jalaluddin Mohammad Akbar asked Tansen, his court singer and one of his ‘nine jewels,’ if he was the most melodious person on earth. Tansen responded that his mentor Swami Haridas was one. Akbar expressed his desire to have Swami Haridas in his court but ...

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Gilgit Baltistan: That part of Pakistan where coexistance is a reality


By Kashif Chaudhry Gilgit Baltistan is one of the most bestowed and beautiful places on our planet. And its people: equally marvellous. I had heard about the tolerance and religious harmony in Gilgit but until recently, I hadn’t seen a practical example of this coexistence that Gilgitis so often boast about. I am sharing this beautiful story for the rest of the Pakistanis, it is ...

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Moving south for the winter: The rich move out as the poor freeze in Gilgit-Baltistan

Snowfall in Gojal Valley

By Shabbir Mir GILGIT: The wagon door slams into place. The last of the bags have been loaded onto the car and businessman Safdar Khan’s family is ready for the long journey south, out of Gilgit. But they are not heading out for a vacation. Despite the fact that it is 2016, people living in the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan still ...

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