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'Neelobat - The Historic Blue or Bluish Stone

‘NEELOBAT’ in Shina means blue, bluish or turquoise-colored stone which in the instant case, is attributed to signify an historic stone weighing about two and a half maund. It is related that it lay at the ‘neelo rako’ – blue or bluish palace of the local rulers (Rajas) - showing its locus where the Kote Mohella in Gilgit city stands presently. Very interestingly, ‘taimuri vlog’ dated 17 April 2022, so aptly disseminated a brief talk with Haji Muhammad Shafa of Danyore Shangote - a credible person possessing ample knowledge on history, customs and traditions of the area. Generally speaking, Shafa is social worker of repute who has devoted his prime life to welfare of society. Born in lower Bagrote, he later shifted to and settled permanently at Danyore some six decades back on his retirement from military service. However, he was re-employed in the Education Department as a ‘Physical Instructor’ obviously against the quota reserved for ex-servicemen. After completing his term in th
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Gilgit-Baltistan: The Ponderables vs Imponderables!

By   Syed Shamsuddin Each year, Ist November is celebrated in Gilgit-Baltistan with great fanfare, marking the day on which the regional people rose successfully and so proudly rose en masse in revolt against the Dogra occupiers. A unique revolution indeed, it was so valiantly undertaken without any assistance whatsoever, from outside. The grand celebrations of the day to be followed in their heel by those of 14th August 1948 commemorating the momentous occasion of liberation of Baltistan, glowing tributes are paid to the Ghazis and Shaheeds in a befitting manner. Volumes can be written about them all for their supreme sacrifices but space constraints may dissuade. Given this, a precise writing like this outlining the historic feats of bravery and supreme courage has to be consecrated to them as mere token of eulogy on that score. Let the first thing first taking start with the great revolutionary character - Raja , Ghazi Muhammad Babar Khan, Fakhar-e-Kashmir (Sitara-e-Quaid-e-Azam), s

Strengthening Waste Management System

By   Syed Shamsuddin AT PLACES where urbanization is getting rapidly underway and in the absence or near absence of any urban planning, myriad problems emerge that  cumulatively affect human health together with taking a great toll on the overall environment. These long unattended challenges caused thus are always hard to be tackled at a belated stage with one go id est by ordinary means, in a scientific manner. In such a pathetic landscape, the increasing waste being produced by the rising population comes to the center stage as chief concern viewed in terms of public health. A prudent planning needs to be carried out to come to grips with these challenges effectively and scientifically for a salubrious change to happen. It is to be seen that the pristine glorious state of Gilgit - the provincial metropolis of Gilgit-Baltistan - once a tranquil habitat of simple farming communities until 1960s - was marred by an unplanned handling of the affairs blighting it as it was allowed to s

Urban Planning in G-B : A Mirage Yet

By   Syed Shamsuddin   THERE CAN BE no gainsaying the fact that in the present era, horrific demographic phenomena are being witnessed all across what is called the Developing World. Pakistan being one of them, is experiencing a litany of very complex and exasperating situations as the direct outcome of and stemming from unplanned urbanization which have overtime, kept exacerbating as populations kept surging with ferocity and concentration humans taking place so haphazardly, sans proper and effective urban planning. This eventual hodge-podge urbanism without any careful planning oft-results into dire situations in all localities shorn of adequate open spaces, public parks, direly needed green belts, sidewalks - posing great dangers to health of the respective communities, Gilgit city being a classic example in Gilgit-Baltistan. Admittedly, those living in an environment offering qualitatively better conditions discernibly have a better outlook in juxtaposition to those inhabiting plac

Upgrading Aviation Facilities

By   Syed Shamsuddin   A news remaining in circulation on social media the other day referred to a significant meeting in Islamabad insofar as its getting down to brass tacks concerning upgradation of the existing Skardu and Gilgit aerodrome to that of international standards to pave the way for international air-traffic is concerned. It has to be born in mind that Gilgit-Baltistan has a very precise yet chequered aviation history with its firstly having been started with small Dakota aircraft which was then followed by operation of Fokker until its replacement by the present ATR. This air route gets reckoned with as one of the most arduous one, with all the planes operated invariably bound to skim the Babusar Pass abutting on the formidable Nanga Parbat if at all the weather there be clear and calm and cloud-free across the Pass. Only in conducive climatic conditions, the plane has to slip down into the valley towards Chilas and negotiating turn to the right to get to the Indus Valle

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

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