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Jani: A Humorist par excellence

By   Syed Shamsuddin   Dildar Ali Qamar’s FB post on Jani the other day impelled  this scribe to have a precise look at the latter’s life sketch and come up with instant outline. Jani whose  name is Yaqoob, has a well discernible style of his own - 'walk and talk' and what in French is called joie de vivre -  always shunning any nettlesome conversation or gibble-gabble. When cracking a joke which is his wont, he can often be seen doing it rather stammeringly when in full excitement and tempo. He is widely known and has a ubiquitous presence in Gilgit city and the nearby Danyore. An acclaimed humorist and comedian, his sole aim is to diffuse happiness and spread joy among all those who come across him in society regardless of caste, color or religion, sect whatsoever. Admittedly, such sentiments are rarely found with a very few in society endowed with a keen and powerful desire to keep striving so selflessly, for the societal harmony, cultivating happiness and peace. Born at vil
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The Passing Away of A Great Intellectual!

By   Syed Shamsuddin   Saddened indescribably and shocked profoundly to learn about demise of Agha Syed Muhammad Yahya Shah - a great intellectual and sage who dedicated his entire life and yearned for bringing about a grand socio-political transformation in Gilgit-Baltistan. I well reminisce the days when I first saw Agha Sahib in early seventies, in his ebullient youth. It was the time when they had successfully brought about change and the Mirdoms of both Hunza and Nagar were abolished. In Nagar, late Qurban Ali and others accompanied him while there was a parallel movement underway in Hunza which was spearheaded by late Mola Madad, Muhammad Shafi Advocates along with others. This is precisely only one dimension of the sterling characteristics of late Agha Sahib while there are numerous aspects which single him out for his consistent striving in seeking a positive transformation in terms of governance in Gilgit-Baltistan. He equally embarked on an assiduous research work on how to d

History: The Gilgit-Baltistan Conundrum

By  Sajjad Ahmad   Every year on November 1, the region of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) officially celebrates its independence from Kashmir’s Dogra family rule. Gilgit was liberated on November 1, 1947 while Baltistan was freed in 1948 as a result of a bloody freedom war. Despite protestations from India and even some Kashmiris, and despite Gilgit Baltistan existing in Pakistani maps as a part of a territory whose status has yet to be determined, the people of GB have never accepted being part of the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir, over which Pakistan and India have been at loggerheads since Independence in 1947. It is instructive to look back at history to understand why. Before its independence, present-day GB was part of the State of Jammu and Kashmir, one of the largest princely states of India. This state was created in 1846 after the signing of a treaty between the British and Gulab Singh of the Dogra dynasty. During the first Anglo-Sikh war (1845-1846), Gulab Singh, who was servin

The Faultline Between Pakistan & G-B (II)

By   S. M. Abbas Kazmi WENEVER IT CAME to holding a consultative meeting and a table talk with the local leadership for taking them in to confidence, he would always pose dictatorially himself acting like a Military Governor of an occupied territory. He declared himself as the Political Agent appointed by Pakistan Government and imposed Frontier Crime Rules (FCR) in Gilgit. He is referred to as having threatened the local people that if they did not abide his orders, he would go back with Maj Brown, leaving them at the mercy of the Dogra Forces to retake them. (Brown page: 226) During a meeting, Sardar Aalam Khan, the self-made Political Agent, scolded and humiliated Sub.Major Babar Khan the key-person and the leading hero of the successful revolt against Dogra. The humiliation it is said, was resorted to in presence of other princely figures of Gilgit, who were all very closely related to him. Sardar Aalam Khan warned Babar Khan to confine himself only to his duties in military barrac

The Faultline Between Pakistan & Gilgit-Baltistan

By   S. M. Abbas Kazmi Research and commentary The territory currently called “Gilgit-Baltistan” comprising an extensive area of about 72900 sqr km is encircled by four “Nuke Powers” i,e; China, India, Pakistan and Soviet Russia. It is home to about 1.5 million of people with a diverse demographic constitution to be reckoned with as 40 percent (approx) Tibetans, 40 percent Indo Arians and 20 percent consisting other different ethnic groups. The past history of the region is such that it comprised a cluster of more or less 12 independent States or dominions ruled over by a few dynasties. During 18th Century AD, Dogra Forces conquered Gilgit & Baltistan and made it a part of the Jammu & Kashmir (State). In August 1947, a close relative of the Maharaja of Kashmir, Brigadier Ghansara Singh was posted to Gilgit region as the new Governor of Gilgit whilst the British Officer Major William Brown as the Commandant of the Gilgit Scouts - an arrangement that continued untill 31st October

Ali Sadpara : Eulogy from Wali Nagri

By   Syed Shamsuddin Eulogy from veteran journalist and famed poet Wali Nagri:  محمد علی سدپارہ کے نام ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ ۔ بلندیوں سے محبت تھی اسکی چاہت تھی  وہ چوٹیوں کا تھا گرویدہ اور ارادت تھی پہاڑ دیکھ کے دیوانہ وار چڑھتے تھے میں کیا بیان کروں اسکی کیا شجاعت تھی کہا تھا برف میں اپنا گھر بنانا ہے  تو گھر بنا لیا سدپارہ تیری ہمت تھی  تو مسکرا کے چلا اور رلا دیا سب کو تو کھو گیا کہیں کےٹو میں تیری قسمت تھی خدا وہاں بھی بلندی تمھیں نصیب کرے بلندیوں سے محبت تھی تیری چاہت تھی A fitting eulogy so aptly depicting and lovingly delineating Muhammad Ali Sadpara's sterling characteristics has been brought out by the poet. A torchbearer in the arena of the world of mountaineering, Ali, along with his equally courageous and illustrious co-climbers, hugged heroically the awfully majestic K2 to become its integral part to quench his abiding thirst of summiteering.  Indeed, they made a niche in history by accepting the challenge of scaling the most challenging, the loftiest and the most difficult peak (K