Mountain TV I Gilgit-Baltistan http://mountaintv.net The local angle Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:09:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.10 G-B formulating growth-oriented ADP policy http://mountaintv.net/g-b-formulating-growth-oriented-adp-policy/ http://mountaintv.net/g-b-formulating-growth-oriented-adp-policy/#respond Tue, 25 Jul 2017 07:09:39 +0000 http://mountaintv.net/?p=7894 7894The Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government has announced that for the first time it has utilised 100 per cent of the funds they had allocated for Annual Development Programme (ADP) in their annual budget owing to ongoing development works and involvement from the concerned department, officials said on Monday. The fiscal year 2016-17 was the most successful year in the developmental history of G-B, an official of the regional government said while pointing towards the strict fiscal discipline and a strong moratorium on the excessive throw forward of funds. The official said that constant monitoring and facilitation by the Planning and Development Department of the region and timely response from other associated departments had helped achieve this target. He said that for the fiscal year 2017-18, the federal government had allocated Rs7.025 billion more for the region’s ADP and the PSDP schemes when compared to the previous year.  The officials further stated that they had formulated a policy of encouraging growth in ADP 2017-18. “To honour our commitments with respect to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Pakistan Vision 2025, appropriate interventions on a mega scale have also been incorporated,” he added. He further said that they the planning department had successfully conducted its first ever Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) during 2016-17, gaining valuable baseline information for 121 indicators. He added that recently, the department had completed its rudimentary key finding report (KFR) of the survey which has been sent to senior government officials to review it. Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2017.]]> 7894The Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government has announced that for the first time it has utilised 100 per cent of the funds they had allocated for Annual Development Programme (ADP) in their annual budget owing to ongoing development works and involvement from the concerned department, officials said on Monday. The fiscal year 2016-17 was the most successful year in the developmental history of G-B, an official of the regional government said while pointing towards the strict fiscal discipline and a strong moratorium on the excessive throw forward of funds. The official said that constant monitoring and facilitation by the Planning and Development Department of the region and timely response from other associated departments had helped achieve this target. He said that for the fiscal year 2017-18, the federal government had allocated Rs7.025 billion more for the region’s ADP and the PSDP schemes when compared to the previous year.  The officials further stated that they had formulated a policy of encouraging growth in ADP 2017-18. “To honour our commitments with respect to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Pakistan Vision 2025, appropriate interventions on a mega scale have also been incorporated,” he added. He further said that they the planning department had successfully conducted its first ever Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) during 2016-17, gaining valuable baseline information for 121 indicators. He added that recently, the department had completed its rudimentary key finding report (KFR) of the survey which has been sent to senior government officials to review it. Published in The Express Tribune, July 25th, 2017.]]> http://mountaintv.net/g-b-formulating-growth-oriented-adp-policy/feed/ 0 2017 Shandur Polo Festival to start on July 29 http://mountaintv.net/2017-shandur-polo-festival-to-start-on-july-29/ http://mountaintv.net/2017-shandur-polo-festival-to-start-on-july-29/#respond Sat, 22 Jul 2017 05:16:08 +0000 http://mountaintv.net/?p=7887 7887The 2017 Shandur Polo festival is all set to kick off on July 29. A total of five teams each from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral will take part in the three days long freestyle polo showdown. Meanwhile, a 23 members polo team from GB has reached Phander in Ghizer valley for the purpose of practice. The festival held at the world’s highest polo ground Shandur is a major tourist attraction. Polo, known as the king of games and game of kings was introduced by the spirited people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). Later, the British discovered and promoted it. In ancient times, Chitral and Gupis were two states ruled by kings. Both the kings enjoyed cordial relations but there were intermittent disputes too. Shandur was the common meeting area, where they held dialogue over the disputes. Along with conversation on the issues that arise between the two states, it was part of the tradition to organise polo matches between the states too. Today this game is played between traditional rival polo teams of GB and Chitral in the month of July every year. The festival continues for three days. The tournament is played between the local teams in the world’s highest field Shandur – located at an altitude of 12,200 feet. The lush green polo ground surrounded by blue lakes gives the impression of a paradise. At the Shandur polo ground natural plateaus serve as chairs, where the spectators enjoy the game. This stunning feature of the polo ground is the reason, which grabs the attention of a tourist. The Gilgit-Baltistan Union of Journalist President, Raja Adil Ghayas, while talking about the historical background of polo, said that the UK Administrator for Northern Areas Evelyn Hey Cobb played immense role in the promotion of polo. He added that Cobb was impressed by the game and he had played polo at night in moonlight. Later the polo ground became famous as “Mass Jinali” words in Khowar language which means “Moon Ground”, he added. Raja further said that in 1948, Gen Ziaul Haq for the first time declared Shandur Polo Festival as a national event and till this day, the game is played continuously from seven to nine July every year. He said that in the last few years this event was disturbed owing to certain reasons such as floods and boycott by GB. The president also added that in 1999 Gen Pervez Musharraf declared Shandur Polo Festival an international event and invited all the foreign ambassadors residing in Pakistan to it. He said that from that day onwards it became an international event and tourists from all over the globe started to visit. This year Shandur Polo Festival will start from July 28th, 2017 and continue till July 30th, 2017. The event was supposed to be held on fixed dates, from July 7 till 9 but because of Ramazan the dates were postponed. Shandur Polo Festival has been organised with the collaboration of Gilgit-Baltistan and KP governments. The festival also includes folk music, folk dance, paragliding, motor gliding, and traditional sports. In the three-day festival, teams from various regions of GB and Chitral will play polo. The teams have been categorised into different groups on the basis of their performance in previously played matches such as A, B, C and D. Ghayas said that the games would be played one by one and the game would be initiated just after the ball had been thrown by guest of the day. He maintained that on the first day of the event two polo matches would be played, --- one between team Ghizer and team Laspur, while the other match would be played between team Gilgit-D and team Chitral-D. Ghayas said that on the second day, in the morning, a match would be played between team Gilgit-C and team Chitral-C, while team GB-Officers would face team Chitral-Officers later. Team Gilgit-B would play team Chitral-B the same day. Ghayas mentioned that day third would be final and the most important because on this day, a match would be played between the strongest teams of both the regions. He also said that team Gilgit-A, and team Chitral-A were considered to be the strongest teams of the regions, and this day was also of great importance because of the esteemed chief guest. Moreover, Ghayas said that it was not confirm yet as to who would be the chief guest on the final day of the festival. GB wants Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to be the chief guest, while the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa wants PTI Chairman Imran Khan to be the chief guest. The clash is due to the fact that in GB, Pakistan Muslim League-N was in power and in KP PTI was in power, he added. Ghayas also said that soon after Eid holidays a meeting would be conducted where the chief guest would be decided. Ghayas said that the high altitude was quite dangerous for the heart and asthma patients. He said they should take all necessary precautionary measures. Similarly, Ghayas added that the high altitude was also hazardous for the horses, which were used for polo game. He mentioned that those horses were brought to Shandur a month before the festival to familiarise them with the climate so that there should be no mishap during the match. Ghayas, while sharing details of security setups taken for the event, said that just like other international events in the country, Shandur Polo Festival would be given full security with the help of GB Scouts, Chitral Scouts, and police. He further added that Shandur Polo Festival was the only mega event in which not a single mishap had been reported till date. While talking about the importance of Shandur Polo Festival, the president of journalist union said that this event could increase the soft image of Pakistan worldwide, the natural beauty of area had a lot of power to attract tourists from across the world. He said that both of the provincial governments GB and KP, as well as the federal government, should take keen interest in tourism promotion and should provide more funds for the expansion of the festival. Ghayas mentioned that the routes to Shandur valley were in poor condition. Natural disasters such as flood, land sliding and heavy rain had damaged the roads consequently this has led tourists to suffer a lot. The roads from Chitral as well as Gilgit needed full attention of the government. Source: The Nation]]> 7887The 2017 Shandur Polo festival is all set to kick off on July 29. A total of five teams each from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral will take part in the three days long freestyle polo showdown. Meanwhile, a 23 members polo team from GB has reached Phander in Ghizer valley for the purpose of practice. The festival held at the world’s highest polo ground Shandur is a major tourist attraction. Polo, known as the king of games and game of kings was introduced by the spirited people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). Later, the British discovered and promoted it. In ancient times, Chitral and Gupis were two states ruled by kings. Both the kings enjoyed cordial relations but there were intermittent disputes too. Shandur was the common meeting area, where they held dialogue over the disputes. Along with conversation on the issues that arise between the two states, it was part of the tradition to organise polo matches between the states too. Today this game is played between traditional rival polo teams of GB and Chitral in the month of July every year. The festival continues for three days. The tournament is played between the local teams in the world’s highest field Shandur – located at an altitude of 12,200 feet. The lush green polo ground surrounded by blue lakes gives the impression of a paradise. At the Shandur polo ground natural plateaus serve as chairs, where the spectators enjoy the game. This stunning feature of the polo ground is the reason, which grabs the attention of a tourist. The Gilgit-Baltistan Union of Journalist President, Raja Adil Ghayas, while talking about the historical background of polo, said that the UK Administrator for Northern Areas Evelyn Hey Cobb played immense role in the promotion of polo. He added that Cobb was impressed by the game and he had played polo at night in moonlight. Later the polo ground became famous as “Mass Jinali” words in Khowar language which means “Moon Ground”, he added. Raja further said that in 1948, Gen Ziaul Haq for the first time declared Shandur Polo Festival as a national event and till this day, the game is played continuously from seven to nine July every year. He said that in the last few years this event was disturbed owing to certain reasons such as floods and boycott by GB. The president also added that in 1999 Gen Pervez Musharraf declared Shandur Polo Festival an international event and invited all the foreign ambassadors residing in Pakistan to it. He said that from that day onwards it became an international event and tourists from all over the globe started to visit. This year Shandur Polo Festival will start from July 28th, 2017 and continue till July 30th, 2017. The event was supposed to be held on fixed dates, from July 7 till 9 but because of Ramazan the dates were postponed. Shandur Polo Festival has been organised with the collaboration of Gilgit-Baltistan and KP governments. The festival also includes folk music, folk dance, paragliding, motor gliding, and traditional sports. In the three-day festival, teams from various regions of GB and Chitral will play polo. The teams have been categorised into different groups on the basis of their performance in previously played matches such as A, B, C and D. Ghayas said that the games would be played one by one and the game would be initiated just after the ball had been thrown by guest of the day. He maintained that on the first day of the event two polo matches would be played, --- one between team Ghizer and team Laspur, while the other match would be played between team Gilgit-D and team Chitral-D. Ghayas said that on the second day, in the morning, a match would be played between team Gilgit-C and team Chitral-C, while team GB-Officers would face team Chitral-Officers later. Team Gilgit-B would play team Chitral-B the same day. Ghayas mentioned that day third would be final and the most important because on this day, a match would be played between the strongest teams of both the regions. He also said that team Gilgit-A, and team Chitral-A were considered to be the strongest teams of the regions, and this day was also of great importance because of the esteemed chief guest. Moreover, Ghayas said that it was not confirm yet as to who would be the chief guest on the final day of the festival. GB wants Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to be the chief guest, while the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa wants PTI Chairman Imran Khan to be the chief guest. The clash is due to the fact that in GB, Pakistan Muslim League-N was in power and in KP PTI was in power, he added. Ghayas also said that soon after Eid holidays a meeting would be conducted where the chief guest would be decided. Ghayas said that the high altitude was quite dangerous for the heart and asthma patients. He said they should take all necessary precautionary measures. Similarly, Ghayas added that the high altitude was also hazardous for the horses, which were used for polo game. He mentioned that those horses were brought to Shandur a month before the festival to familiarise them with the climate so that there should be no mishap during the match. Ghayas, while sharing details of security setups taken for the event, said that just like other international events in the country, Shandur Polo Festival would be given full security with the help of GB Scouts, Chitral Scouts, and police. He further added that Shandur Polo Festival was the only mega event in which not a single mishap had been reported till date. While talking about the importance of Shandur Polo Festival, the president of journalist union said that this event could increase the soft image of Pakistan worldwide, the natural beauty of area had a lot of power to attract tourists from across the world. He said that both of the provincial governments GB and KP, as well as the federal government, should take keen interest in tourism promotion and should provide more funds for the expansion of the festival. Ghayas mentioned that the routes to Shandur valley were in poor condition. Natural disasters such as flood, land sliding and heavy rain had damaged the roads consequently this has led tourists to suffer a lot. The roads from Chitral as well as Gilgit needed full attention of the government. Source: The Nation]]> http://mountaintv.net/2017-shandur-polo-festival-to-start-on-july-29/feed/ 0 A recognition of excellence: AKU-EB’s students triumph in Pakistan’s educational landscape http://mountaintv.net/a-recognition-of-excellence-aku-ebs-students-triumph-in-pakistans-educational-landscape/ http://mountaintv.net/a-recognition-of-excellence-aku-ebs-students-triumph-in-pakistans-educational-landscape/#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 12:32:33 +0000 http://mountaintv.net/?p=7882 7882Press Release Despite being a relatively young institution, the Aga Khan University Examination Board has repeatedly proved that its students are capable of attaining success by virtue of the quality education that they receive during their secondary school education. While our annual results and internal student accomplishments have always been a source of pride for us, this year’s May 2017 results for both our Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) examinations are also accompanied by a sense of both vindication and triumph due to the positive validation that AKU-EB has attained from external sources. We are therefore pleased to announce that this year’s examination results have reaffirmed how talented our students are. SSC The overall pass rate for Year I and Year II SSC students came out at 85.7 per cent and 90.6 per cent, respectively. Furthermore, 69.4 per cent of Year I students and 81.2 per cent of Year II students scored at or above 60 per cent across all of their examinations. The SSC Year II High Achievers were all girls, with first position belonging to Fizza Rubab of P.E.C.H.S. Girls’ School. Fizza attained an impressive 1037 out of 1100 total marks, i.e. a total of 94.27 per cent across all her exams, and a grade of A-1. “This came as a huge surprise to me and I am immensely grateful to my school, teachers, friends and family for their support, encouragement and prayers throughout the year,” says Fizza. “The style of AKUEB made it possible to achieve this position. Under this marvelous board, we are focused and precise unlike the style of conventional study practiced in Pakistan.” In second place, Samreen Raja of Nusrat Jehan Academy Girls High School obtained 1029 out of 1100 marks, scoring 93.54 per cent. In third place, Shamsa from Aga Khan School – Garden attained 1027 out of 1100 marks and scored 93.36 per cent. HSSC Continuing a trend of strong academic foundations, the pass rates for Year I and Year II HSSC candidates was tallied as being 87.9 per cent and 87.8 per cent, respectively. In addition, 72.7 per cent Year I Candidates and 75.2 per cent Year II candidates scored 60 per cent or above across all of their examinations. As with this year’s SSC results, female candidates proved themselves at the higher end of scores, with all of our top three overall positions belonging to women. Mariam Sajjad from the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karimabad, Karachi, obtained first position by scoring 1050 out of 1100 total marks (95.45 per cent) across her HSSC examinations. “I feel on top of the world. I can't express my feelings in words; it feels great to see your hard work pay off,” says Mariam. “Studying with AKU-EB infused a sense of curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, which helped broaden my horizons. My advice to current and future AKU-EB students is that even if the path seems tough, don't stop because once you reach your destination, you will realize that all the hard work was totally worth it.” Urooj Usmani, also from the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karimabad, Karachi, scored 1028 out of 1100, i.e. 93.45 per cent, which earned her second place. Finally, Nusrat Jahan College’s Muqaddas Alvi came third in the national average by obtaining 1022 out of 1100 marks and a 92.90 per cent score. Shahina Aliraza, principal of the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karimabad, has good cause to celebrate. “Feeling delightful and ecstatic on our students’ remarkable achievement both 1st and 2nd position in Pakistan,” she states. “AKU-EB students, as compared to other Boards, are more confident and critically conscious. They are the kind of learners who always strive to reach and explore their potential.” AKU-EB director Dr Shehzad Jeeva notes, “AKU-EB students consistently perform better in University Entrance Tests, as demonstrated by the fact that 90 per cent of our 2015 HSSC graduates received admission to various universities. This is also reaffirmed by a recent study conducted by a national body on examination quality and standardization, which found that students from AKU-EB are more likely to perform better on University Entrance Tests as compared to other examination boards.” Associate Director of Assessment, Dr Naveed Yousuf adds: “My heartiest congratulations to the successful students of AKU-EB. I am sure their strong educational foundation will lead them to greater successes in life. It is only through perseverance and determination that they can achieve their goals” Position Holders: ]]> 7882Press Release Despite being a relatively young institution, the Aga Khan University Examination Board has repeatedly proved that its students are capable of attaining success by virtue of the quality education that they receive during their secondary school education. While our annual results and internal student accomplishments have always been a source of pride for us, this year’s May 2017 results for both our Secondary School Certificate (SSC) and Higher Secondary School Certificate (HSSC) examinations are also accompanied by a sense of both vindication and triumph due to the positive validation that AKU-EB has attained from external sources. We are therefore pleased to announce that this year’s examination results have reaffirmed how talented our students are. SSC The overall pass rate for Year I and Year II SSC students came out at 85.7 per cent and 90.6 per cent, respectively. Furthermore, 69.4 per cent of Year I students and 81.2 per cent of Year II students scored at or above 60 per cent across all of their examinations. The SSC Year II High Achievers were all girls, with first position belonging to Fizza Rubab of P.E.C.H.S. Girls’ School. Fizza attained an impressive 1037 out of 1100 total marks, i.e. a total of 94.27 per cent across all her exams, and a grade of A-1. “This came as a huge surprise to me and I am immensely grateful to my school, teachers, friends and family for their support, encouragement and prayers throughout the year,” says Fizza. “The style of AKUEB made it possible to achieve this position. Under this marvelous board, we are focused and precise unlike the style of conventional study practiced in Pakistan.” In second place, Samreen Raja of Nusrat Jehan Academy Girls High School obtained 1029 out of 1100 marks, scoring 93.54 per cent. In third place, Shamsa from Aga Khan School – Garden attained 1027 out of 1100 marks and scored 93.36 per cent. HSSC Continuing a trend of strong academic foundations, the pass rates for Year I and Year II HSSC candidates was tallied as being 87.9 per cent and 87.8 per cent, respectively. In addition, 72.7 per cent Year I Candidates and 75.2 per cent Year II candidates scored 60 per cent or above across all of their examinations. As with this year’s SSC results, female candidates proved themselves at the higher end of scores, with all of our top three overall positions belonging to women. Mariam Sajjad from the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karimabad, Karachi, obtained first position by scoring 1050 out of 1100 total marks (95.45 per cent) across her HSSC examinations. “I feel on top of the world. I can't express my feelings in words; it feels great to see your hard work pay off,” says Mariam. “Studying with AKU-EB infused a sense of curiosity and a thirst for knowledge, which helped broaden my horizons. My advice to current and future AKU-EB students is that even if the path seems tough, don't stop because once you reach your destination, you will realize that all the hard work was totally worth it.” Urooj Usmani, also from the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karimabad, Karachi, scored 1028 out of 1100, i.e. 93.45 per cent, which earned her second place. Finally, Nusrat Jahan College’s Muqaddas Alvi came third in the national average by obtaining 1022 out of 1100 marks and a 92.90 per cent score. Shahina Aliraza, principal of the Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Karimabad, has good cause to celebrate. “Feeling delightful and ecstatic on our students’ remarkable achievement both 1st and 2nd position in Pakistan,” she states. “AKU-EB students, as compared to other Boards, are more confident and critically conscious. They are the kind of learners who always strive to reach and explore their potential.” AKU-EB director Dr Shehzad Jeeva notes, “AKU-EB students consistently perform better in University Entrance Tests, as demonstrated by the fact that 90 per cent of our 2015 HSSC graduates received admission to various universities. This is also reaffirmed by a recent study conducted by a national body on examination quality and standardization, which found that students from AKU-EB are more likely to perform better on University Entrance Tests as compared to other examination boards.” Associate Director of Assessment, Dr Naveed Yousuf adds: “My heartiest congratulations to the successful students of AKU-EB. I am sure their strong educational foundation will lead them to greater successes in life. It is only through perseverance and determination that they can achieve their goals” Position Holders: ]]> http://mountaintv.net/a-recognition-of-excellence-aku-ebs-students-triumph-in-pakistans-educational-landscape/feed/ 0 The Clean Energy Revolution http://mountaintv.net/the-clean-energy-revolution/ http://mountaintv.net/the-clean-energy-revolution/#respond Thu, 20 Jul 2017 04:14:35 +0000 http://mountaintv.net/?p=7879 7879By Tayyab Shafique Pakistan is a developing country and ranking 6th in terms of population size. It has an incredible amount of natural resources and a variety of ecological regions from the Karakoram Himalayas in the north to the coastal zone in the south. Pakistan is situated along the Arabian Sea coastal line and has a sufficient length of highly productive coastal zones. Pakistan has naturally provided with a landscape having mountainous, nourished riverine and mangrove forests, and vital ecological services. Despite having incredible economic development and environmental opportunities, Pakistan has been facing frequent challenging issues including substructure, inadequate refined resources, infertile or obsolete factories, water and sanitation, poverty, climate change and energy crisis. Pakistan’s dominant challenges are energy demand and climate change. Whereas Pakistan has been struggling to fulfill energy demand but it is also facing climate change catastrophe. Worldwide, Pakistan has little contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and rank 135th among all the countries, in contrast, as reported by Germanwatch Climate Risk Index, 2017, it ranks 7th on vulnerability to climate change adverse impacts having 30.50 Climate Risk Index (CRI). Moreover, these adverse impacts of climate change are not in the distant future but are imminent. Indeed, Pakistan already has started suffering from ever-increasing frequency and ferocity of climate-induced catastrophes. As explained in Pakistan’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (PAK-INDC) report, the last floods (2010-2015) have resulted in monetary losses of over US$ 18 billion with 38.12 million people affected, 3.45 million houses damaged and 10.63 million acres of crops destroyed. Likewise, over 1200 people lost their lives due to the unprecedented heat wave in Karachi in 2015. Energy is vital in the industrial sector, transportation, infrastructure, information technology, agriculture, household uses and others. Any nation that wants to grow its economy and improve living standards must secure a robust energy supply. The main energy consumption sectors of the country include domestic, industrial, agricultural, transport, commercial, thermal power generation and other government services. Though, Pakistan is an energy-deficient country, it mainly depends upon Oil (Petroleum Products), Natural Gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Nuclear Energy and Renewable Energies such as Wind, Solar, Biomass / Waste-to-Energy are the main sources for producing energy. According to a study conducted in 2017 on ” Energy Security and renewable energy policy analysis of Pakistan” (Tauseef Aized, et al, 2017), the demand-supply gap of Pakistan's energy sector is increasing mainly due to high population growth rate which is currently estimated at 2%, the demand is increasing while supply has shown growth at snail's pace. Energy use increases with the rise of incomes. As more countries rise out of poverty and develop their economies, energy demand rises correspondingly. The energy is costlier. Due to volatility in prices, supplies are becoming less secure, even for several fast-growing countries. Therefore, lowest-cost energy become important. Pakistan is a developing and an energy starved country which needs energy on cheaper cost. To overcome this deficiency as well as to develop suitable environment, marvelous efforts are required. The Government of Pakistan (GoP) is engaged to provide energy at cheaper cost. Pakistan has signed MoU with China in 2013 with aims to expedite the development of country under the umbrella of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with special focus (Early Harvest) on energy projects. According to CPEC Power and Energy Project report, Chinese companies are investing about $35 billion in power projects which will generate about 12,134 MW of electricity under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). CPEC is investing about $15 billion in coal power projects for generation about 10080 MW, about $5.619 billion in Hydel power projects for generation of about 2714 MW, $550 million for Gas Fired power projects, $1.35 billion in Solar power projects for 1000 MW and $659 million in wind power projects for 300 MW. The renewable energy sources like wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, ocean energy, biomass energy and fuel cell technology can be used to overcome energy shortage in Pakistan.  Energy Sector Project report (2016) explained that Pakistan’s current energy generating capacity is 24,830 MW, though the country currently faces energy shortfalls of over 4,500 MW on a regular basis with routine power cuts of up to 5 hours per day, which has shed an estimated 2–2.5% of its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Pakistan, being a signatory of Paris agreement and part of the international climate policy regime is obligated to achieve stabilization of GHGs in the atmosphere. Pakistan is committed to the objectives of United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for the global benefit. Therefore, Pakistan’s active assignation with the international community in the development of responsive global climate governance is a positive approach. Together with other Parties, Pakistan is responsible for promoting and supporting low-carbon, climate resilient development. Being a Paris Agreement custodian, Pakistan must be proved itself to promote green and clean energy instead of other non-environmental friendly energies. Only clean energies can meet the environmental standards, regulations, and compliance. Clean renewable energy technologies can meet much of the growing demand at prices lower than those usually forecast for conventional energy. Renewable energy technologies (i.e., Solar, Wind, Bio, and Hydro) are clean sources of energy that have a much lower environmental impact than conventional high-cost energy technologies. Furthermore, clean renewable energy could enable Pakistan to achieve sustainable development and to combat climate change as well as it provides necessary support to get rid of our over-dependence on oil, while strengthens our economy and defense capability. Pakistan has an enormous potential for harnessing clean energy and its share in the low carbon emission. Opportunities are unlimited in renewable energy sector.  The area of renewable energy sources is expanding day by day and numerous innovations, as well as applications, are taking place rapidly. As discussed in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, a research study conducted on “Renewable Energy Technologies in Pakistan: Prospects and Challenges” reveals that the decentralized renewable energy systems concept has been recognized as an answer to meeting the energy demands both in the household and in the agro-industrial environment. Some opportunities are discussed below as per study: Pakistan has great blessings of God, especially it is idyllically situated in the sun-drenched belt and can get many benefits of solar energy technologies. The solar energy is lavishly obtainable in many areas of the country. A daily average of global irradiation falling on a horizontal surface is about 200–250 watt per m2. Only a single solar (solar WHAT?) has the potential of 2.9MW because of eight to nine hours of the sunshine per day the climatic conditions in Pakistan which are ideal for solar power generation. “Renewable Energy Resource Mapping (World Bank Group) has also described solar and wind maps of the Pakistan shows huge potential in the west of the country, as well as biomass potentials opening up a new frontier for future development.” Pakistan, also has another blessing of God is an agriculture-based variety. In our villages, every family has a sufficient livestock to produce enough animal waste and this can be used for the making of biogas. In our rural areas, usually, the animal waste is burned for the domestic purpose like cooking food, etc. This waste could be used for producing the biogas at domestic level. So, it is very good opportunity for using biogas to make small domestic biogas plants in the rural areas of the country. The Wind is also another renewable energy source that could be utilized to overcome the energy crisis of the Pakistan. About 1000 km lengthy coastline in the south and some northern mountains of Pakistan has excellent resources for wind energy. Wind power is also suitable for Pakistan because of the existence of a logical wind corridor in the coastal belt of Sindh province with wind speeds averaging more than 7 m/s at a height of 80m 18 MW can be produced only a single wind farm on 1 square kilometer, overall 340,000 MW from the wind. The northern part of the country is rich in hydel power resources.  There are numerous sites in the high terrain, where natural and manageable waterfalls are abundantly available. The recoverable potential in micro-hydro power (MHP) up to 100 kW is roughly estimated to be 300 MW on perennial waterfalls in northern Pakistan, overall 100,000MW can capacity. Pakistan is basically an “agrarian country” more than 60% population is involved in the agricultural activity, Millions of tons of solid biomass comprised of cotton and wheat stalks, rice husk, corn cobs and other crop residues are produced in Pakistan annually. There is a huge potential of generating electricity from biomass in Pakistan. Only the sugar industry has a potential of producing more than 1,000 MWs of electricity from bagasse. Pakistan has bioenergy potential of cane trash is around 9,475 GWh per year from Agricultural residues, 23,654 GWh from animal manure, and 13,900 GWh per annum from municipal solid waste. In addition to the opportunities discussed, Pakistan is also blessed with other renewable energy sources such as Geothermal, Tidal/wave, Bio-fuels Biodiesel and Ethanol. Pakistan has been in the limelight in the climate change arena for the wrong reasons, this obvious investment in coal and fossil fuel heavy energy should raise alarm bells, Economically, Pakistan has its sights set on becoming the 25th largest economy in the world; its ‘Vision 2025’, an economic road map, aims to achieve this through “human resource development, regional connectivity, knowledge economy, inclusive growth and shared prosperity”, and whilst the fossil fuel industry is having negative impacts on climate change  and could be cause of endangering millions of people in the country but the roadmap does take into account the “looming threat of climate change”, on the ground, the very real threat of climate change to Pakistan is not reflected. The possibility is, clean energies required huge investment and however, fossil fuel based are possible solutions for mass scaled power generation on a short turnaround time but how we can compromise with the future threats of climate change and endanger the people. Currently, Pakistan’s focus is coal based power generation about 10,000 MW while planned renewable energy projects that together would generate around 3,900 MW, which means we are going to compromise with environmental and climate change disasters. Even other countries like Australia, United States, Mexico even China and several other countries are going to shut down their coal based power plants or employing coal capture technologies so that carbon is not emitted into the air and Pakistan is welcoming and relying exclusively even already we are inhaling unhealthy air and faced smog incidence like in Karachi and Lahore. Coal based plants are significant in global warming, sulfur dioxide, 2nd major emitters of Nitrogen oxides, Toxic coal ash, mercury emissions, and other dangerous emissions include, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and cadmium. These cause human disease and death through strokes, heart attacks, lung cancer, and other respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Pakistan is already facing worse air pollution issues, more than 22,600 adult deaths in 2005 were caused in some way by urban air pollution. Released by the World Bank, outdoor air pollution alone causes more than 80,000 hospital admissions per year, nearly 8,000 cases of chronic bronchitis, and almost five million cases of lower respiratory cases in children under the age of five.  Air pollution will rise within the operation of the plants which may create more dangerous figures of affected peoples or drastic scenario. We really need a clean energy revolution despite dirty energy, a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all as well as environmental friendly which does not make harm to peoples, we don’t need climate risky energies in our country. Global Environment and Technology and Technology Foundation (GTEF) declared that this is essential for minimizing climate risks, for reducing poverty and improving global health, for empowering women and meeting the Millennium Development Goals, for global economic growth, peace and security, and the health of the planet. We should not make our image bad as Coal power plants would accelerate the trajectory of emissions will tarnish Pakistan's image as one of the lowest carbon emitters.  The government of Pakistan (GoP) must consider clean energies as we have a huge potential rather than encourage killer energies. GoP could fail to achieve Paris agreement compliance according to projected emissions reductions if we will not consider clean energies option.  The country really needs such a comprehensive plan to develop long-term socio-economic alternatives and, in the process, phase out its dependence on fossil fuels. Long-term planning rather than conflicting short-term needs will have to be prioritized. This alone will enable the government to improve the quality of life of its increasingly impoverished population. Finally, if the plan proceeds as it is, Pakistan could see a country-wide smog like a situation similar to China. The effects of climate change could also be made worse. The government either has to set up coal capture technologies on all plants or make use of alternate power sources which aren’t as hazardous to Pakistan’s future and its people and do not snag on clean energies.]]> 7879By Tayyab Shafique Pakistan is a developing country and ranking 6th in terms of population size. It has an incredible amount of natural resources and a variety of ecological regions from the Karakoram Himalayas in the north to the coastal zone in the south. Pakistan is situated along the Arabian Sea coastal line and has a sufficient length of highly productive coastal zones. Pakistan has naturally provided with a landscape having mountainous, nourished riverine and mangrove forests, and vital ecological services. Despite having incredible economic development and environmental opportunities, Pakistan has been facing frequent challenging issues including substructure, inadequate refined resources, infertile or obsolete factories, water and sanitation, poverty, climate change and energy crisis. Pakistan’s dominant challenges are energy demand and climate change. Whereas Pakistan has been struggling to fulfill energy demand but it is also facing climate change catastrophe. Worldwide, Pakistan has little contribution to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and rank 135th among all the countries, in contrast, as reported by Germanwatch Climate Risk Index, 2017, it ranks 7th on vulnerability to climate change adverse impacts having 30.50 Climate Risk Index (CRI). Moreover, these adverse impacts of climate change are not in the distant future but are imminent. Indeed, Pakistan already has started suffering from ever-increasing frequency and ferocity of climate-induced catastrophes. As explained in Pakistan’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (PAK-INDC) report, the last floods (2010-2015) have resulted in monetary losses of over US$ 18 billion with 38.12 million people affected, 3.45 million houses damaged and 10.63 million acres of crops destroyed. Likewise, over 1200 people lost their lives due to the unprecedented heat wave in Karachi in 2015. Energy is vital in the industrial sector, transportation, infrastructure, information technology, agriculture, household uses and others. Any nation that wants to grow its economy and improve living standards must secure a robust energy supply. The main energy consumption sectors of the country include domestic, industrial, agricultural, transport, commercial, thermal power generation and other government services. Though, Pakistan is an energy-deficient country, it mainly depends upon Oil (Petroleum Products), Natural Gas, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), Nuclear Energy and Renewable Energies such as Wind, Solar, Biomass / Waste-to-Energy are the main sources for producing energy. According to a study conducted in 2017 on ” Energy Security and renewable energy policy analysis of Pakistan” (Tauseef Aized, et al, 2017), the demand-supply gap of Pakistan's energy sector is increasing mainly due to high population growth rate which is currently estimated at 2%, the demand is increasing while supply has shown growth at snail's pace. Energy use increases with the rise of incomes. As more countries rise out of poverty and develop their economies, energy demand rises correspondingly. The energy is costlier. Due to volatility in prices, supplies are becoming less secure, even for several fast-growing countries. Therefore, lowest-cost energy become important. Pakistan is a developing and an energy starved country which needs energy on cheaper cost. To overcome this deficiency as well as to develop suitable environment, marvelous efforts are required. The Government of Pakistan (GoP) is engaged to provide energy at cheaper cost. Pakistan has signed MoU with China in 2013 with aims to expedite the development of country under the umbrella of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) with special focus (Early Harvest) on energy projects. According to CPEC Power and Energy Project report, Chinese companies are investing about $35 billion in power projects which will generate about 12,134 MW of electricity under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). CPEC is investing about $15 billion in coal power projects for generation about 10080 MW, about $5.619 billion in Hydel power projects for generation of about 2714 MW, $550 million for Gas Fired power projects, $1.35 billion in Solar power projects for 1000 MW and $659 million in wind power projects for 300 MW. The renewable energy sources like wind energy, solar energy, geothermal energy, ocean energy, biomass energy and fuel cell technology can be used to overcome energy shortage in Pakistan.  Energy Sector Project report (2016) explained that Pakistan’s current energy generating capacity is 24,830 MW, though the country currently faces energy shortfalls of over 4,500 MW on a regular basis with routine power cuts of up to 5 hours per day, which has shed an estimated 2–2.5% of its annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Pakistan, being a signatory of Paris agreement and part of the international climate policy regime is obligated to achieve stabilization of GHGs in the atmosphere. Pakistan is committed to the objectives of United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for the global benefit. Therefore, Pakistan’s active assignation with the international community in the development of responsive global climate governance is a positive approach. Together with other Parties, Pakistan is responsible for promoting and supporting low-carbon, climate resilient development. Being a Paris Agreement custodian, Pakistan must be proved itself to promote green and clean energy instead of other non-environmental friendly energies. Only clean energies can meet the environmental standards, regulations, and compliance. Clean renewable energy technologies can meet much of the growing demand at prices lower than those usually forecast for conventional energy. Renewable energy technologies (i.e., Solar, Wind, Bio, and Hydro) are clean sources of energy that have a much lower environmental impact than conventional high-cost energy technologies. Furthermore, clean renewable energy could enable Pakistan to achieve sustainable development and to combat climate change as well as it provides necessary support to get rid of our over-dependence on oil, while strengthens our economy and defense capability. Pakistan has an enormous potential for harnessing clean energy and its share in the low carbon emission. Opportunities are unlimited in renewable energy sector.  The area of renewable energy sources is expanding day by day and numerous innovations, as well as applications, are taking place rapidly. As discussed in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, a research study conducted on “Renewable Energy Technologies in Pakistan: Prospects and Challenges” reveals that the decentralized renewable energy systems concept has been recognized as an answer to meeting the energy demands both in the household and in the agro-industrial environment. Some opportunities are discussed below as per study: Pakistan has great blessings of God, especially it is idyllically situated in the sun-drenched belt and can get many benefits of solar energy technologies. The solar energy is lavishly obtainable in many areas of the country. A daily average of global irradiation falling on a horizontal surface is about 200–250 watt per m2. Only a single solar (solar WHAT?) has the potential of 2.9MW because of eight to nine hours of the sunshine per day the climatic conditions in Pakistan which are ideal for solar power generation. “Renewable Energy Resource Mapping (World Bank Group) has also described solar and wind maps of the Pakistan shows huge potential in the west of the country, as well as biomass potentials opening up a new frontier for future development.” Pakistan, also has another blessing of God is an agriculture-based variety. In our villages, every family has a sufficient livestock to produce enough animal waste and this can be used for the making of biogas. In our rural areas, usually, the animal waste is burned for the domestic purpose like cooking food, etc. This waste could be used for producing the biogas at domestic level. So, it is very good opportunity for using biogas to make small domestic biogas plants in the rural areas of the country. The Wind is also another renewable energy source that could be utilized to overcome the energy crisis of the Pakistan. About 1000 km lengthy coastline in the south and some northern mountains of Pakistan has excellent resources for wind energy. Wind power is also suitable for Pakistan because of the existence of a logical wind corridor in the coastal belt of Sindh province with wind speeds averaging more than 7 m/s at a height of 80m 18 MW can be produced only a single wind farm on 1 square kilometer, overall 340,000 MW from the wind. The northern part of the country is rich in hydel power resources.  There are numerous sites in the high terrain, where natural and manageable waterfalls are abundantly available. The recoverable potential in micro-hydro power (MHP) up to 100 kW is roughly estimated to be 300 MW on perennial waterfalls in northern Pakistan, overall 100,000MW can capacity. Pakistan is basically an “agrarian country” more than 60% population is involved in the agricultural activity, Millions of tons of solid biomass comprised of cotton and wheat stalks, rice husk, corn cobs and other crop residues are produced in Pakistan annually. There is a huge potential of generating electricity from biomass in Pakistan. Only the sugar industry has a potential of producing more than 1,000 MWs of electricity from bagasse. Pakistan has bioenergy potential of cane trash is around 9,475 GWh per year from Agricultural residues, 23,654 GWh from animal manure, and 13,900 GWh per annum from municipal solid waste. In addition to the opportunities discussed, Pakistan is also blessed with other renewable energy sources such as Geothermal, Tidal/wave, Bio-fuels Biodiesel and Ethanol. Pakistan has been in the limelight in the climate change arena for the wrong reasons, this obvious investment in coal and fossil fuel heavy energy should raise alarm bells, Economically, Pakistan has its sights set on becoming the 25th largest economy in the world; its ‘Vision 2025’, an economic road map, aims to achieve this through “human resource development, regional connectivity, knowledge economy, inclusive growth and shared prosperity”, and whilst the fossil fuel industry is having negative impacts on climate change  and could be cause of endangering millions of people in the country but the roadmap does take into account the “looming threat of climate change”, on the ground, the very real threat of climate change to Pakistan is not reflected. The possibility is, clean energies required huge investment and however, fossil fuel based are possible solutions for mass scaled power generation on a short turnaround time but how we can compromise with the future threats of climate change and endanger the people. Currently, Pakistan’s focus is coal based power generation about 10,000 MW while planned renewable energy projects that together would generate around 3,900 MW, which means we are going to compromise with environmental and climate change disasters. Even other countries like Australia, United States, Mexico even China and several other countries are going to shut down their coal based power plants or employing coal capture technologies so that carbon is not emitted into the air and Pakistan is welcoming and relying exclusively even already we are inhaling unhealthy air and faced smog incidence like in Karachi and Lahore. Coal based plants are significant in global warming, sulfur dioxide, 2nd major emitters of Nitrogen oxides, Toxic coal ash, mercury emissions, and other dangerous emissions include, arsenic, chromium, nickel, and cadmium. These cause human disease and death through strokes, heart attacks, lung cancer, and other respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Pakistan is already facing worse air pollution issues, more than 22,600 adult deaths in 2005 were caused in some way by urban air pollution. Released by the World Bank, outdoor air pollution alone causes more than 80,000 hospital admissions per year, nearly 8,000 cases of chronic bronchitis, and almost five million cases of lower respiratory cases in children under the age of five.  Air pollution will rise within the operation of the plants which may create more dangerous figures of affected peoples or drastic scenario. We really need a clean energy revolution despite dirty energy, a revolution that makes energy available and affordable for all as well as environmental friendly which does not make harm to peoples, we don’t need climate risky energies in our country. Global Environment and Technology and Technology Foundation (GTEF) declared that this is essential for minimizing climate risks, for reducing poverty and improving global health, for empowering women and meeting the Millennium Development Goals, for global economic growth, peace and security, and the health of the planet. We should not make our image bad as Coal power plants would accelerate the trajectory of emissions will tarnish Pakistan's image as one of the lowest carbon emitters.  The government of Pakistan (GoP) must consider clean energies as we have a huge potential rather than encourage killer energies. GoP could fail to achieve Paris agreement compliance according to projected emissions reductions if we will not consider clean energies option.  The country really needs such a comprehensive plan to develop long-term socio-economic alternatives and, in the process, phase out its dependence on fossil fuels. Long-term planning rather than conflicting short-term needs will have to be prioritized. This alone will enable the government to improve the quality of life of its increasingly impoverished population. Finally, if the plan proceeds as it is, Pakistan could see a country-wide smog like a situation similar to China. The effects of climate change could also be made worse. The government either has to set up coal capture technologies on all plants or make use of alternate power sources which aren’t as hazardous to Pakistan’s future and its people and do not snag on clean energies.]]> http://mountaintv.net/the-clean-energy-revolution/feed/ 0 Gilgit-Baltistan: PIA to initiate special flights http://mountaintv.net/gilgit-baltistan-pia-to-initiate-special-flights/ http://mountaintv.net/gilgit-baltistan-pia-to-initiate-special-flights/#respond Sun, 16 Jul 2017 14:53:19 +0000 http://mountaintv.net/?p=7877 7877Islamabad: Advisor to Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan Friday said special flights of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) would soon be started for Gilgit and Skardu to boost tourism in the northern areas. The announcement came after a meeting between Mehtab and Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman on Friday. PIA will also collaborate with G-B tourism department, said a press release. Mehtab said the special flights would be utilised as a tool to not only strengthen the country’s economy but also to present a soft and positive image of Pakistan. The planes designated for these flights would be decorated with different literary and cultural artifacts of Pakistan. via ET]]> 7877Islamabad: Advisor to Prime Minister on Aviation Sardar Mehtab Ahmad Khan Friday said special flights of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) would soon be started for Gilgit and Skardu to boost tourism in the northern areas. The announcement came after a meeting between Mehtab and Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman on Friday. PIA will also collaborate with G-B tourism department, said a press release. Mehtab said the special flights would be utilised as a tool to not only strengthen the country’s economy but also to present a soft and positive image of Pakistan. The planes designated for these flights would be decorated with different literary and cultural artifacts of Pakistan. via ET]]> http://mountaintv.net/gilgit-baltistan-pia-to-initiate-special-flights/feed/ 0 My Friends And I Were Sexually Harassed In Skardu. And None Of It Came From The Locals http://mountaintv.net/my-friends-and-i-were-sexually-harassed-in-skardu-and-none-of-it-came-from-the-locals/ http://mountaintv.net/my-friends-and-i-were-sexually-harassed-in-skardu-and-none-of-it-came-from-the-locals/#respond Sun, 16 Jul 2017 05:19:01 +0000 http://mountaintv.net/?p=7874 7874By Wishal Raheel I recently came across a post about a girl getting harassed by some men while visiting the Khunjerab Pass. Basically, a girl who was travelling with her husband via a travel group was cornered and forced to take selfies with a group of men who thought there was no harm in committing such an atrocity. I couldn’t help but admire the woman’s bravery for she took pictures of the men and ensured that they went viral. That’s something my friends and I couldn’t do when we were harassed almost on a daily basis at roughly the same time while travelling to Skardu. It started in Naran, when we were sexually objectified, pushed and touched against our will. Walking down a perfectly spacious Naran Bazar became difficult as men kept bumping into us. We had to increase our pace when we realized a man had started following us. We couldn’t even sit in the hotel’s courtyard without getting bumped into, touched and commented on by random men. Let’s not even get started on the constant stares that we got. Moving forward, we thought the harassment would end. Naran, after all, is a bit too commercial now and all sorts of people have access to the once beautiful hamlet. We were wrong. Stopping at a small dhaba like restaurant for breakfast at Juglot, one of our fellow travelers was greeted by an ‘I love you’ by one of the workers while another had her shoulder grabbed by the same guy. We still remained optimistic. Skardu would be better. The beautiful city of Skardu greeted us with its huge mountains, its beautiful forts and its creepy tourists. A friend and I had some free time one morning and we decided to walk through the market to explore the city. We barely managed to walk for 5 minutes before being forced to return to our hotel room because random cars started stopping by us and offering us ‘lifts’. We couldn’t explore the city. During a visit to a waterfall, we got followed by a group of men to the extent that none of pictures can be uploaded since they have random men in them. Our fear of walking over a wooden bridge was exploited by these men who, when we went up the bridge, found it amusing to shake the bridge leaving us crippled with fear. One of the girls also got asked to pose for a selfie with a man she had never seen before. Deosai had to be different, we thought. Far from civilization, this breathtaking place isn’t very easily accessible. We dressed up nice for we had to pose for amazing pictures in the Land of Giants. Little did we know that we would end up fighting with a guy for taking pictures of us without our consent. All through this time, I couldn’t help but notice one thing; all the harassment except the one incident in Juglot took place at the hands of tourists, not locals. The locals, who we believe to be ‘conservative’ were welcoming and accepted us the way we were. They did not ogle us, they did not bump into us. The locals didn’t want to be part of our selfies, something we respected too. The locals did not harass me when I had to hold my guide’s hand throughout a rather scary trek. They did not harass us when two of us somewhat lost our way. It was the tourists. Men from big cities, who are believed to be more ‘liberal’ were the ones harassing us. The fact that the girl took photos of the men harassing her and made them viral is something that must be highly appreciated. If every girl started doing that, this harassment would come to an end. Of course, it takes a lot of courage to be able to take out your camera in that moment but I believe that’s something all Pakistani women will have to do in order to be able to enjoy ourselves while we are on vacation. Pakistan has some of the most beautiful places on earth; our experiences at these places should not be tarnished by these criminals. via Dunya News Blog]]> 7874By Wishal Raheel I recently came across a post about a girl getting harassed by some men while visiting the Khunjerab Pass. Basically, a girl who was travelling with her husband via a travel group was cornered and forced to take selfies with a group of men who thought there was no harm in committing such an atrocity. I couldn’t help but admire the woman’s bravery for she took pictures of the men and ensured that they went viral. That’s something my friends and I couldn’t do when we were harassed almost on a daily basis at roughly the same time while travelling to Skardu. It started in Naran, when we were sexually objectified, pushed and touched against our will. Walking down a perfectly spacious Naran Bazar became difficult as men kept bumping into us. We had to increase our pace when we realized a man had started following us. We couldn’t even sit in the hotel’s courtyard without getting bumped into, touched and commented on by random men. Let’s not even get started on the constant stares that we got. Moving forward, we thought the harassment would end. Naran, after all, is a bit too commercial now and all sorts of people have access to the once beautiful hamlet. We were wrong. Stopping at a small dhaba like restaurant for breakfast at Juglot, one of our fellow travelers was greeted by an ‘I love you’ by one of the workers while another had her shoulder grabbed by the same guy. We still remained optimistic. Skardu would be better. The beautiful city of Skardu greeted us with its huge mountains, its beautiful forts and its creepy tourists. A friend and I had some free time one morning and we decided to walk through the market to explore the city. We barely managed to walk for 5 minutes before being forced to return to our hotel room because random cars started stopping by us and offering us ‘lifts’. We couldn’t explore the city. During a visit to a waterfall, we got followed by a group of men to the extent that none of pictures can be uploaded since they have random men in them. Our fear of walking over a wooden bridge was exploited by these men who, when we went up the bridge, found it amusing to shake the bridge leaving us crippled with fear. One of the girls also got asked to pose for a selfie with a man she had never seen before. Deosai had to be different, we thought. Far from civilization, this breathtaking place isn’t very easily accessible. We dressed up nice for we had to pose for amazing pictures in the Land of Giants. Little did we know that we would end up fighting with a guy for taking pictures of us without our consent. All through this time, I couldn’t help but notice one thing; all the harassment except the one incident in Juglot took place at the hands of tourists, not locals. The locals, who we believe to be ‘conservative’ were welcoming and accepted us the way we were. They did not ogle us, they did not bump into us. The locals didn’t want to be part of our selfies, something we respected too. The locals did not harass me when I had to hold my guide’s hand throughout a rather scary trek. They did not harass us when two of us somewhat lost our way. It was the tourists. Men from big cities, who are believed to be more ‘liberal’ were the ones harassing us. The fact that the girl took photos of the men harassing her and made them viral is something that must be highly appreciated. If every girl started doing that, this harassment would come to an end. Of course, it takes a lot of courage to be able to take out your camera in that moment but I believe that’s something all Pakistani women will have to do in order to be able to enjoy ourselves while we are on vacation. Pakistan has some of the most beautiful places on earth; our experiences at these places should not be tarnished by these criminals. via Dunya News Blog]]> http://mountaintv.net/my-friends-and-i-were-sexually-harassed-in-skardu-and-none-of-it-came-from-the-locals/feed/ 0 Gilgit-Skardu Road blocked due to landslides http://mountaintv.net/gilgit-skardu-road-blocked-due-to-landslides/ http://mountaintv.net/gilgit-skardu-road-blocked-due-to-landslides/#respond Sat, 15 Jul 2017 14:37:42 +0000 http://mountaintv.net/?p=7871 7871GILGIT: Heavy landslides have blocked the Gilgit-Skardu Road (S-1) at eleven different locations over the past two days, however, the road blocks at five locations have so far been cleared, the National Disaster Management Authority said on Friday. The landslides came after a spell of heavy rain in the region. Authorities, though, are working to clear the road blocks. Tourists too have been advised to be cautious while traveling on the roads. Meanwhile, Gilgit Baltistan, Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman on Friday directed the Gilgit Baltistan Disaster Management Authority (GBDMA), districts administration, department of communication and works and other concerned stakeholders to remain alert to help people cope with any eventuality during the monsoon season, a statement read. Rehman directed the concerned departments to take quickly repair roads and highways which had been affected by the rains. Moreover, they were directed to take measures which would help tourists visiting the region and to limit damage owing to possible heavy torrential rains in the province. The district administration was also directed to take adequate measures to drain water from highways and roads. Availability and stocks of food, medicines and others necessary goods should also be ensured. Rescue 1122 have also been put on high alert. Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2017.]]> 7871GILGIT: Heavy landslides have blocked the Gilgit-Skardu Road (S-1) at eleven different locations over the past two days, however, the road blocks at five locations have so far been cleared, the National Disaster Management Authority said on Friday. The landslides came after a spell of heavy rain in the region. Authorities, though, are working to clear the road blocks. Tourists too have been advised to be cautious while traveling on the roads. Meanwhile, Gilgit Baltistan, Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman on Friday directed the Gilgit Baltistan Disaster Management Authority (GBDMA), districts administration, department of communication and works and other concerned stakeholders to remain alert to help people cope with any eventuality during the monsoon season, a statement read. Rehman directed the concerned departments to take quickly repair roads and highways which had been affected by the rains. Moreover, they were directed to take measures which would help tourists visiting the region and to limit damage owing to possible heavy torrential rains in the province. The district administration was also directed to take adequate measures to drain water from highways and roads. Availability and stocks of food, medicines and others necessary goods should also be ensured. Rescue 1122 have also been put on high alert. Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2017.]]> http://mountaintv.net/gilgit-skardu-road-blocked-due-to-landslides/feed/ 0 The sectarian spectre in Gilgit-Baltistan: Part – I http://mountaintv.net/the-sectarian-spectre-in-gilgit-baltistan-part-i/ http://mountaintv.net/the-sectarian-spectre-in-gilgit-baltistan-part-i/#respond Wed, 12 Jul 2017 06:05:27 +0000 http://mountaintv.net/?p=7868 7868By Aziz Ali Dad The issue of sectarian violence in Gilgit-Baltistan cannot be analysed through an idealised view that tends to paint the region as an idyllic paradise where no violence ever occurred before the advent of modernity. The reality is that sectarian violence has been a part of the history of Gilgit-Baltistan. Throughout history, Gilgit had been depopulated and devastated various times because of intermittent wars between regional polities and different religions. This region was home to different religions, including Bon Mat, Shamanism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and local forms of animism. Usually, a new religion disturbed the existing arrangements sanctified and legitimised by the dominant religion. The tendency of the dominant religion to use violence against other religious groups essentially stems from its struggle to maintain control over power and the ideological apparatus. This is done by declaring the other religion detrimental to the system. At times, confrontation between different groups in the region appeared in the form of skirmishes, battles and civil wars. An example of the violent engagement between the old and new religions is evident from the long altercation between the local Balti religion of Bon Chos and Buddhism. The confrontation between both eventually turned into a civil war in the 8th century and continued until the emergence of Ali Sher Khan Anchan in the 16th century. Buddhism exterminated Bon Chos through the power of the sword. So it is a myth that Buddhism is essentially a peaceful religion. Events in Gilgit-Baltistan took a sharp turn in about the eight century AD. Commenting on this period, Dr Ahmed Hassan Dani writes “in about eighth century AD international politics around Gilgit took a new turn. With this change began the mediaeval history of Gilgit. The Arab advance into Central Asia and their conquest of Samarkand, Tashkent, Farghana and right up to Kashgar created a great stir among the then non-Muslim Turkish population of the region (Gilgit-Baltistan)”. During this period, Islam came to the region. Muslim religious figures and preachers emerged on the historical scene of Gilgit-Baltistan to fill the power vacuum created by the withdrawal of Tibetans and Chinese on the one hand, and changes in the neighbouring region of Central Asia on the other. Professor Karl Jetmar marks the 12th century as the end of Buddhism in Gilgit-Baltistan. According to local historians, the dynasty of Azar or Shamsher became Sunni through a wave of conversions. The majority of preachers came from Central Asia. However, the situation started to change when the local Raja of Gilgit, Mirza Khan, became Shia. Karl Jetmar in his paper ‘Northern Areas of Pakistan: An Ethnographic Sketch’ writes that: “this was the beginning of a religious division between the local population, causing troubles to the present day.” Contrary to the common perception in the modern period, when Islam permeated into the indigenous communities of Gilgit-Baltistan, it did not disturb local social order and culture. In fact, it allowed local shamanistic traditions, cultural rituals and festivals to coexist in the same social space. By doing so, it assimilated in the local culture and social milieu. In addition, owing to its rugged geographical terrain and harsh climatic conditions, Gilgit-Baltistan remained almost aloof from the rest of the world, though religious pilgrims from neighbouring regions used to trickle in and out. The isolation and the absence of organised religion allowed local people to develop their own theological and mythical interpretative scheme about self, society and the cosmos. However, Gilgit-Baltistan society started to change drastically with the advent of the British in the mid of the 19th century. It is wrong to assume that the British were the first invaders and conquerors from outside. Gilgit-Baltistan had witnessed numerous invaders who were later either assimilated with the locals or driven out. What makes the British advent different from previous invaders was that they brought modern institutions, lifestyle and ideas along with their military might, and they did not assimilate with local culture. Until the advent of the British, religious difference was not an issue for the local communities of Gilgit-Baltistan. That is why people did not face sectarian violence. A new dimension in the power relation was added during the British period in the shape of the Kashmiri establishment. Though they were few in numbers, they were strong and powerful. The addition of the Kashmiri rule to the power relation had long-term repercussions on society, and the emergence of sectarianism in Gilgit-Baltistan. With the conquest of Gilgit-Baltistan in the mid-19th century by the Sikhs, the concept of pure Muslim among was introduced among the local population which till then was following syncretic traditions. The commander of the army was appalled by the practices and rituals observed by nominal Muslims of Gilgit-Baltistan, and intended to turn them into pure Muslims. To turn the local populace into observant Muslims, a cadre of clerics was brought from Kashmir. There are anecdotal stories of how Muslim mullahs under the Dogras tried to purge local Muslims of their pagan practices and rituals. Frederic Drew closely observed this process and reports that Nathu Shah, the army commander “acquired over these Dards a great influence, and he exerted to make ‘good Muhammedans’ of them, to get them to attend more carefully to the forms of their religion. It is a fact that before Nathu Shah came (say in 1842) the Astor people used to burn their dead and not bury them as Muhammedans should.” From the above discussion, it can be said that the concept of puritan Islam was grafted in Gilgit-Baltistan society during the colonial period. The major issue at that time was not religion but the incessant fighting between different princely states in various valley domains of Gilgit-Baltistan. When the first British officers, Major Van and W Agnew, arrived in Gilgit in the first half of the 19th century, they found Gilgit depopulated because of the continuous state of war with its neighbouring states. The repercussions of the fighting between regional states did not remain confined to the military front, but permeated into every sphere of life ranging from architecture, settlement pattern, representations to literature, music and social ethos. The arrival of the British on the political scene of Gilgit-Baltistan broke the cocoon of regionalism and exposed it to the outside world. Until then, the shell of inwardness kept the populace immune from exogenous lifestyles, things, ideas and institutions. The opening up of society propelled the region on a trajectory which was new to the local populace. The current phase is the late phase in the path of the historical trajectory of modernity embarked upon by Gilgit-Baltistan during the colonial period. Unlike the then local rulers of Gilgit-Baltistan, the British dominated every valley of the region as well as large swathes of territory with diverse people around the world. Owing to the complexity and diversity within regional principalities and polities in Gilgit-Baltistan, the British introduced modern institutions and laws that could ensure peaceful rule over the people with minimum efforts and resources. That helped eliminate the local practices of kidnapping, slave trading and vendetta killings from the region. It is during the British rule that people of the region witnessed a modern system that was impersonal, unlike the personal institutions of kinship. Inter-sect relations during the colonial period were mostly amicable as older identities of region and kinship still superseded other markers of identity. The traditional governance system did not allow any space for the clergy in its power structure. Religious figures were supposed to perform limited religious duties. Within the overall power relations, religion did not have an overt and significant role. Furthermore, the clergy did not even engage in theological issues, for the majority of the people relied on the cultural worldview to deal with their daily lives. A layperson never raised a question pertinent to theology. The clergy started to become more important when people could not understand the modern order of things and newer issues through their old worldview. Rampant illiteracy and lack of exposure to the outside world provided an opportunity for religious figures to find a niche in society through their power of knowledge, however little, and exert more influence on people’s hearts and minds. To be continued The writer is a freelance columnist based in Gilgit. Email: azizalidad@gmail.com SOURCE: THE NEWS]]> 7868By Aziz Ali Dad The issue of sectarian violence in Gilgit-Baltistan cannot be analysed through an idealised view that tends to paint the region as an idyllic paradise where no violence ever occurred before the advent of modernity. The reality is that sectarian violence has been a part of the history of Gilgit-Baltistan. Throughout history, Gilgit had been depopulated and devastated various times because of intermittent wars between regional polities and different religions. This region was home to different religions, including Bon Mat, Shamanism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism and local forms of animism. Usually, a new religion disturbed the existing arrangements sanctified and legitimised by the dominant religion. The tendency of the dominant religion to use violence against other religious groups essentially stems from its struggle to maintain control over power and the ideological apparatus. This is done by declaring the other religion detrimental to the system. At times, confrontation between different groups in the region appeared in the form of skirmishes, battles and civil wars. An example of the violent engagement between the old and new religions is evident from the long altercation between the local Balti religion of Bon Chos and Buddhism. The confrontation between both eventually turned into a civil war in the 8th century and continued until the emergence of Ali Sher Khan Anchan in the 16th century. Buddhism exterminated Bon Chos through the power of the sword. So it is a myth that Buddhism is essentially a peaceful religion. Events in Gilgit-Baltistan took a sharp turn in about the eight century AD. Commenting on this period, Dr Ahmed Hassan Dani writes “in about eighth century AD international politics around Gilgit took a new turn. With this change began the mediaeval history of Gilgit. The Arab advance into Central Asia and their conquest of Samarkand, Tashkent, Farghana and right up to Kashgar created a great stir among the then non-Muslim Turkish population of the region (Gilgit-Baltistan)”. During this period, Islam came to the region. Muslim religious figures and preachers emerged on the historical scene of Gilgit-Baltistan to fill the power vacuum created by the withdrawal of Tibetans and Chinese on the one hand, and changes in the neighbouring region of Central Asia on the other. Professor Karl Jetmar marks the 12th century as the end of Buddhism in Gilgit-Baltistan. According to local historians, the dynasty of Azar or Shamsher became Sunni through a wave of conversions. The majority of preachers came from Central Asia. However, the situation started to change when the local Raja of Gilgit, Mirza Khan, became Shia. Karl Jetmar in his paper ‘Northern Areas of Pakistan: An Ethnographic Sketch’ writes that: “this was the beginning of a religious division between the local population, causing troubles to the present day.” Contrary to the common perception in the modern period, when Islam permeated into the indigenous communities of Gilgit-Baltistan, it did not disturb local social order and culture. In fact, it allowed local shamanistic traditions, cultural rituals and festivals to coexist in the same social space. By doing so, it assimilated in the local culture and social milieu. In addition, owing to its rugged geographical terrain and harsh climatic conditions, Gilgit-Baltistan remained almost aloof from the rest of the world, though religious pilgrims from neighbouring regions used to trickle in and out. The isolation and the absence of organised religion allowed local people to develop their own theological and mythical interpretative scheme about self, society and the cosmos. However, Gilgit-Baltistan society started to change drastically with the advent of the British in the mid of the 19th century. It is wrong to assume that the British were the first invaders and conquerors from outside. Gilgit-Baltistan had witnessed numerous invaders who were later either assimilated with the locals or driven out. What makes the British advent different from previous invaders was that they brought modern institutions, lifestyle and ideas along with their military might, and they did not assimilate with local culture. Until the advent of the British, religious difference was not an issue for the local communities of Gilgit-Baltistan. That is why people did not face sectarian violence. A new dimension in the power relation was added during the British period in the shape of the Kashmiri establishment. Though they were few in numbers, they were strong and powerful. The addition of the Kashmiri rule to the power relation had long-term repercussions on society, and the emergence of sectarianism in Gilgit-Baltistan. With the conquest of Gilgit-Baltistan in the mid-19th century by the Sikhs, the concept of pure Muslim among was introduced among the local population which till then was following syncretic traditions. The commander of the army was appalled by the practices and rituals observed by nominal Muslims of Gilgit-Baltistan, and intended to turn them into pure Muslims. To turn the local populace into observant Muslims, a cadre of clerics was brought from Kashmir. There are anecdotal stories of how Muslim mullahs under the Dogras tried to purge local Muslims of their pagan practices and rituals. Frederic Drew closely observed this process and reports that Nathu Shah, the army commander “acquired over these Dards a great influence, and he exerted to make ‘good Muhammedans’ of them, to get them to attend more carefully to the forms of their religion. It is a fact that before Nathu Shah came (say in 1842) the Astor people used to burn their dead and not bury them as Muhammedans should.” From the above discussion, it can be said that the concept of puritan Islam was grafted in Gilgit-Baltistan society during the colonial period. The major issue at that time was not religion but the incessant fighting between different princely states in various valley domains of Gilgit-Baltistan. When the first British officers, Major Van and W Agnew, arrived in Gilgit in the first half of the 19th century, they found Gilgit depopulated because of the continuous state of war with its neighbouring states. The repercussions of the fighting between regional states did not remain confined to the military front, but permeated into every sphere of life ranging from architecture, settlement pattern, representations to literature, music and social ethos. The arrival of the British on the political scene of Gilgit-Baltistan broke the cocoon of regionalism and exposed it to the outside world. Until then, the shell of inwardness kept the populace immune from exogenous lifestyles, things, ideas and institutions. The opening up of society propelled the region on a trajectory which was new to the local populace. The current phase is the late phase in the path of the historical trajectory of modernity embarked upon by Gilgit-Baltistan during the colonial period. Unlike the then local rulers of Gilgit-Baltistan, the British dominated every valley of the region as well as large swathes of territory with diverse people around the world. Owing to the complexity and diversity within regional principalities and polities in Gilgit-Baltistan, the British introduced modern institutions and laws that could ensure peaceful rule over the people with minimum efforts and resources. That helped eliminate the local practices of kidnapping, slave trading and vendetta killings from the region. It is during the British rule that people of the region witnessed a modern system that was impersonal, unlike the personal institutions of kinship. Inter-sect relations during the colonial period were mostly amicable as older identities of region and kinship still superseded other markers of identity. The traditional governance system did not allow any space for the clergy in its power structure. Religious figures were supposed to perform limited religious duties. Within the overall power relations, religion did not have an overt and significant role. Furthermore, the clergy did not even engage in theological issues, for the majority of the people relied on the cultural worldview to deal with their daily lives. A layperson never raised a question pertinent to theology. The clergy started to become more important when people could not understand the modern order of things and newer issues through their old worldview. Rampant illiteracy and lack of exposure to the outside world provided an opportunity for religious figures to find a niche in society through their power of knowledge, however little, and exert more influence on people’s hearts and minds. To be continued The writer is a freelance columnist based in Gilgit. Email: azizalidad@gmail.com SOURCE: THE NEWS]]> http://mountaintv.net/the-sectarian-spectre-in-gilgit-baltistan-part-i/feed/ 0 ‘We have to be a generous society,’ says the Aga Khan on his Diamond Jubilee http://mountaintv.net/we-have-to-be-a-generous-society-says-the-aga-khan-on-his-diamond-jubilee/ http://mountaintv.net/we-have-to-be-a-generous-society-says-the-aga-khan-on-his-diamond-jubilee/#respond Wed, 12 Jul 2017 03:21:55 +0000 http://mountaintv.net/?p=7864 7864Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, the 49th Imam of the Shia Ismailis, celebrates 60 years today since he inherited the leadership of his community from his grandfather and became the Aga Khan. Prince Karim is best known for a life dedicated to social services for some of the most underprivileged communities in Asia and Africa. He is the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), renowned around the globe for its work in providing quality healthcare, education, revitalisation of cultural heritage, safeguarding the environment, and uplifting of marginalised peoples through community and economic development. As part of the buildup to his Diamond Jubilee, the Aga Khan gave an exclusive interview to a select group of journalists from different countries, including Dawn. In his introductory comments, the Aga Khan laid out what he calls “the parameters within which religious institutions in the Muslim world can work,” namely that of trying to “improve the quality of life of the people of the community and those amongst them where the community lives, eliminating unfairness, fraud, and giving families the opportunity to think that their future generations can live in an improved society.” He outlined the need to “use material resources for these purposes which are required by the Muslim faith” and said that, for the Jubilee year, he hopes to lead his community to “identify various resources in the civil society in the countries in which are engaged and support them in their mandate.” AKDN spends US$ 925 million annually on non-profit social and cultural development activities. It operates more than 200 health care institutions, 2 universities spanning 6 countries, and 200 schools and school improvement programmes in some of the most remote and poorest parts of the developing world. The Aga Khan went on to say that “we need to accept today that any institution, any country, which has a pocket of weakness, is an institution or a country at risk” and that “we need to concentrate on eliminating the risk and the damage they have done to these countries.” The leader of the Shia Ismaili community stressed that the basis we should be using to evaluate development initiatives is “public good,” for as long as we do that “we should be on the right side of logic.” In this regard, the Aga Khan was critical of the whole banking system that is “directed toward the notion of profit rather than the notion of social support.” I asked him to address South Asia in particular, to which he replied that the “financial institutions ought to be a great deal more open to social support needs.” For example, “is microcredit doing the job that people hoped it would be doing?” he asked. “My view is no, it’s not because microcredit helps certain demographics but it doesn’t affect the whole of the economy of a given country. There are many financial needs which are not addressed by financial institutions today, and I’m talking particularly about the medium-sized enterprises that are definitely, in my view, underfunded.” Above all, however, the “major threat” facing South Asia and much of the developing world is climate change, which needs to be “looked at with great care to address the particular causes of the situation.” Tackling climate change is the “first issue” the Aga Khan said he would look at especially since he says he’s not “convinced that is happening at the present time.” His Highness the Aga Khan meets with students at the Aga Khan III school (Sultan Mohammed Shah Foundation School) at Karimabad, Pakistan in 1970. - Photo credit: AKDN / Cumber Studios Addressing climate change and providing access to economic resources have to be part of the plan to alleviate poverty, which has to be the “first priority for South Asia.” Climate change is directly linked to the “quality of life,” especially “in the developing world” where there are a “number of situations where there’s not sufficient sustenance for ensuring an acceptable quality of life.” The Aga Khan said that his “sense is that there has been very little global thinking about how we deal with issues of pollution, water availability, issues of unstable earth – all issues that are, in a sense, predictable.” He said that he has “been more than worried about situations where everybody knew and have known for decades that they were living in high risk and nothing was done about it.” His Highness the Aga Khan addresses the audience during the Aga Khan University (AKU) Charter acceptance ceremony in Karachi, 1983, one of the Silver Jubilee initiatives. - Photo credit: AKDN / Christopher Little An equally integral component of the Aga Khan’s mandate is pluralism. He emphasised the fact that the societies where his institutions work are “pluralistic and they have been pluralistic for many, many centuries.” He deplored the various “forces at play which have tended to separate these societies in separate ethnic and religious groups.” When I inquired as to what role can Islam play in promoting social peace, especially in a region like South Asia, the Aga Khan was unequivocal: “Social ethic is a strong principle in Islam and I think that Muslims would be well advised to respect that as a fundamental ethic of our faith and to live by that, which means that we have to be what I would call an empathetic society, a welcoming society, peaceful society, a generous society.” His Highness the Aga Khan meets with the inhabitants of northern areas of Pakistan to discuss the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Jaglot, near Gilgit, a new experimental rural development institution sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation, May 1983. - Photo credit : AKDN / Christopher Little Commenting on the situation of Muslims in the West, the Aga Khan insisted that it’s “absolutely incorrect to try to move Islam out of the context of global monotheism,” since “Islam is an Abrahamic faith, it’s a monotheistic faith and most of the principles of Islam equate with the principle of other major global monotheistic faiths.” “The world we seek is not a world where difference is erased but where difference can be a powerful force for good, helping us to fashion a new sense of cooperation and coherence in our world and to build together a better life for all.” He also pointed out that a “large percentage of the immigrants who enter the Western world come from the Muslim world. It’s an issue that needs to be dealt with empathy and care, and where it has been dealt with empathy and care – and I would give Canada as an example – you can see that the results have been welcomed.” In his final remarks, the 80-year-old avowed that his institutions and partners would keep working to find "solid solutions" to the problems he highlighted. The Diamond Jubilee, he said, is a "remarkable opportunity to come together" to achieve these goals. SOURCE: DAWN]]> 7864Prince Shah Karim Al Hussaini, the 49th Imam of the Shia Ismailis, celebrates 60 years today since he inherited the leadership of his community from his grandfather and became the Aga Khan. Prince Karim is best known for a life dedicated to social services for some of the most underprivileged communities in Asia and Africa. He is the founder and chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), renowned around the globe for its work in providing quality healthcare, education, revitalisation of cultural heritage, safeguarding the environment, and uplifting of marginalised peoples through community and economic development. As part of the buildup to his Diamond Jubilee, the Aga Khan gave an exclusive interview to a select group of journalists from different countries, including Dawn. In his introductory comments, the Aga Khan laid out what he calls “the parameters within which religious institutions in the Muslim world can work,” namely that of trying to “improve the quality of life of the people of the community and those amongst them where the community lives, eliminating unfairness, fraud, and giving families the opportunity to think that their future generations can live in an improved society.” He outlined the need to “use material resources for these purposes which are required by the Muslim faith” and said that, for the Jubilee year, he hopes to lead his community to “identify various resources in the civil society in the countries in which are engaged and support them in their mandate.” AKDN spends US$ 925 million annually on non-profit social and cultural development activities. It operates more than 200 health care institutions, 2 universities spanning 6 countries, and 200 schools and school improvement programmes in some of the most remote and poorest parts of the developing world. The Aga Khan went on to say that “we need to accept today that any institution, any country, which has a pocket of weakness, is an institution or a country at risk” and that “we need to concentrate on eliminating the risk and the damage they have done to these countries.” The leader of the Shia Ismaili community stressed that the basis we should be using to evaluate development initiatives is “public good,” for as long as we do that “we should be on the right side of logic.” In this regard, the Aga Khan was critical of the whole banking system that is “directed toward the notion of profit rather than the notion of social support.” I asked him to address South Asia in particular, to which he replied that the “financial institutions ought to be a great deal more open to social support needs.” For example, “is microcredit doing the job that people hoped it would be doing?” he asked. “My view is no, it’s not because microcredit helps certain demographics but it doesn’t affect the whole of the economy of a given country. There are many financial needs which are not addressed by financial institutions today, and I’m talking particularly about the medium-sized enterprises that are definitely, in my view, underfunded.” Above all, however, the “major threat” facing South Asia and much of the developing world is climate change, which needs to be “looked at with great care to address the particular causes of the situation.” Tackling climate change is the “first issue” the Aga Khan said he would look at especially since he says he’s not “convinced that is happening at the present time.” His Highness the Aga Khan meets with students at the Aga Khan III school (Sultan Mohammed Shah Foundation School) at Karimabad, Pakistan in 1970. - Photo credit: AKDN / Cumber Studios Addressing climate change and providing access to economic resources have to be part of the plan to alleviate poverty, which has to be the “first priority for South Asia.” Climate change is directly linked to the “quality of life,” especially “in the developing world” where there are a “number of situations where there’s not sufficient sustenance for ensuring an acceptable quality of life.” The Aga Khan said that his “sense is that there has been very little global thinking about how we deal with issues of pollution, water availability, issues of unstable earth – all issues that are, in a sense, predictable.” He said that he has “been more than worried about situations where everybody knew and have known for decades that they were living in high risk and nothing was done about it.” His Highness the Aga Khan addresses the audience during the Aga Khan University (AKU) Charter acceptance ceremony in Karachi, 1983, one of the Silver Jubilee initiatives. - Photo credit: AKDN / Christopher Little An equally integral component of the Aga Khan’s mandate is pluralism. He emphasised the fact that the societies where his institutions work are “pluralistic and they have been pluralistic for many, many centuries.” He deplored the various “forces at play which have tended to separate these societies in separate ethnic and religious groups.” When I inquired as to what role can Islam play in promoting social peace, especially in a region like South Asia, the Aga Khan was unequivocal: “Social ethic is a strong principle in Islam and I think that Muslims would be well advised to respect that as a fundamental ethic of our faith and to live by that, which means that we have to be what I would call an empathetic society, a welcoming society, peaceful society, a generous society.” His Highness the Aga Khan meets with the inhabitants of northern areas of Pakistan to discuss the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme in Jaglot, near Gilgit, a new experimental rural development institution sponsored by the Aga Khan Foundation, May 1983. - Photo credit : AKDN / Christopher Little Commenting on the situation of Muslims in the West, the Aga Khan insisted that it’s “absolutely incorrect to try to move Islam out of the context of global monotheism,” since “Islam is an Abrahamic faith, it’s a monotheistic faith and most of the principles of Islam equate with the principle of other major global monotheistic faiths.” “The world we seek is not a world where difference is erased but where difference can be a powerful force for good, helping us to fashion a new sense of cooperation and coherence in our world and to build together a better life for all.” He also pointed out that a “large percentage of the immigrants who enter the Western world come from the Muslim world. It’s an issue that needs to be dealt with empathy and care, and where it has been dealt with empathy and care – and I would give Canada as an example – you can see that the results have been welcomed.” In his final remarks, the 80-year-old avowed that his institutions and partners would keep working to find "solid solutions" to the problems he highlighted. The Diamond Jubilee, he said, is a "remarkable opportunity to come together" to achieve these goals. SOURCE: DAWN]]> http://mountaintv.net/we-have-to-be-a-generous-society-says-the-aga-khan-on-his-diamond-jubilee/feed/ 0 GBLA 4 Nagar by-election: Javed Hussain of PPP claims victory http://mountaintv.net/gbla-4-nagar-by-election-javed-hussain-of-ppp-claims-victory/ http://mountaintv.net/gbla-4-nagar-by-election-javed-hussain-of-ppp-claims-victory/#respond Sun, 09 Jul 2017 17:11:21 +0000 http://mountaintv.net/?p=7861 7861NAGAR: Javed Hussian of the Pakistan Peoples Party has claimed victory by bagging 6,439 votes in the GBLA-4 Nagar bi-election, unofficial results indicate. Mr. Baqir, representing the Islami Tehreek, has reportedly secured the second position in the by-election by obtaining 5,519 votes. The seat in the G-B Legislative Assembly GBLA-4 had fallen vacant after its incumbent, senior ITP leader Muhammad Ali Sheikh died of a cardiac arrest on February 26. Nine candidates were in the run for the seat. The polling continued till 4.00 pm without any break. Meanwhile, supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party are celebrating the apparent win in different parts of the district. It is pertinent to mention here that the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) refrained from fielding their candidate for the GBLA-4 by-election. Their support was skewed towards the Islami Tehreek candidate instead. The official results of the by-election are yet to be announced.]]> 7861NAGAR: Javed Hussian of the Pakistan Peoples Party has claimed victory by bagging 6,439 votes in the GBLA-4 Nagar bi-election, unofficial results indicate. Mr. Baqir, representing the Islami Tehreek, has reportedly secured the second position in the by-election by obtaining 5,519 votes. The seat in the G-B Legislative Assembly GBLA-4 had fallen vacant after its incumbent, senior ITP leader Muhammad Ali Sheikh died of a cardiac arrest on February 26. Nine candidates were in the run for the seat. The polling continued till 4.00 pm without any break. Meanwhile, supporters of the Pakistan Peoples Party are celebrating the apparent win in different parts of the district. It is pertinent to mention here that the ruling party Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) refrained from fielding their candidate for the GBLA-4 by-election. Their support was skewed towards the Islami Tehreek candidate instead. The official results of the by-election are yet to be announced.]]> http://mountaintv.net/gbla-4-nagar-by-election-javed-hussain-of-ppp-claims-victory/feed/ 0