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Showing posts from September, 1997

Concrete social changes will benefit Gilgit-Baltistan II

The Muslim dated September 22, 1997 Author: Syed Shams ud Din
In short, the people of these areas were, in one way or the other, undergoing enormous stress and strains resulting from the incessant taxation vis-à-vis the economic doldrums they were always in. In the rest of the agency, no development whatsoever, was ever underway except a water channel the construction of which would at the most, be undertaken with hundred per cent participation of the public or construction of a track in the same manner.
The arrival of a government official to a village those days would be heralded with the beating of the drums signifying a ‘specific emergency’. It is noteworthy that the musicians here are apt in these specific tunes from times immemorial. These are halved into those of war and peace, etc. This practice seems to be rife here from olden times, where beating of the drum by the village musicians on a specific tune would abruptly call the village folk to gather at once signifying prompt unit…

Concrete social change will benefit Gilgit-Baltistan-I

The Muslim dated September 20, 1997 Author: Syed Shams ud Din
Viewed in retrospect, the Northern Areas seem to have, all along, lagged behind other parts of the country insofar as over all development and human-resource building is concerned. The situation naturally persisted until the construction of the Karakoram Highway (KKH) was completed about two decades ago.
The economically infernal state resulted directly from the ominous geographical setting that always impeded overall progress in the complete absence of perennial outlet for an access to the outside world except the ‘legendary Silk Route’ of the ancient times  -  a journey along which was extremely difficult due to the vagaries of weather and allied natural catastrophes which obviously precluded ordinary people from a free and unfettered journey.
However, in the aftermath of independence, a jeepable road called the ‘Indus Valley Road’ linking the Northern Areas with the rest of the country via Babusar Pass, was constructed durin…

Gilgit-Baltistan's Geography need be grappled-II

NAs geography need be grappled-II, published in The Muslim dated September 10, 1997 BySyed Shamsuddin
The plantation of acacia (Keekar) tree in the Northern Areas long ago, proved to be a very good experiment in the sense that it acclimatizes the area where rain fall has been quite negligible. This plant requires care and watering at the preliminary stage whereafter it can withstand the rigours of the weather – both summer and winter.
The first experiment of the kind seems to have been undertaken long ago along the area available between Sakwar and Jutial in the outskirts of Gilgit town but this exercise, though fruitful, was halted insofar as afforestation on governmental level on a large scale is concerned. For instance, the vast arid land along the flood prone mountains, say of Gilgit. Danyore, Sakwar etc could have easily been turned into such afforested area that could have averted the danger of intermittent flood that has long been endangering the population along the belt.
It is…

Gilgit-Baltistan's Geography need be grappled-I

NAs geography need be grappled-I, published in The Muslim dated September 9, 1997
BySyed Shamsuddin

The unpredictable climatic conditions obtaining in the Northern Areas during the current year have abruptly caused unimaginable devastative effect on the otherwise scant agricultural economy of the region. The preceding unparalleled hot-spell, also shown on the television after ‘Khabarnama’ each passing day, topping that of the rest of the country with all horrific effects, perhaps caused tremendous alarm amongst the enthusiasts world over keen to visit the Northern Areas during summer. The traditional influx of foreign tourists except those who want to scale the gigantic peaks, trickled down this time.
Nowhere in the past history from times immemorial, was such a terrible hot spell ever witnessed setting the whole ablaze as as being recalled by the elders here. Besides causing a dent to the standing crop that withered under its abnormal impact, the climatic conditions this time have res…