Sunday, 17th December 2017

Centenary Celebration-Suspension Bride-Gilgit River

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  Dr. Abdul Jalil

Built in 1905 during British Raj, spanning 560 feet, Suspension Bridge Gilgit River is always spick and span since its construction. Over seeing a clear azure Gilgit River which divides Gilgit city longitudinally in two equal halves, flows its downhill course from northern most glaciers towards south since time immemorial.

Splashing its splendours flowing gracefully in its onward odyssey it first meets river Hunza about six miles ahead and then travelling a distance of twenty five miles it mergers with river Indus which descends from Baltistan heights. Together they head south towards the plains of Punjab and Sindh as “Abaseen”- meaning father of all rivers.

Gilgit an isolated land locked area in the north of country lying in close proximity to china, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Indian held Kashmir.

This area came under the focus of then superpowers of the world i.e Czarist Russia and great Britain back in the year 1800.

Russian czars in their pursuit to reach hot waters of Indian Ocean, a long cherished desire of czars, started trampling central Asian Muslim states one after the another.

It was comparatively an easier task for the czarist army to transport her canons and other armaments through the flat lands of eastern Turkistan, then held by Russia, to the borders of Gilgit.

Whereas, the terrain on Gilgit side was interspersed with mighty mountains, no road communication existed across the border on Gilgit side save a dilapidated mule track.

Meandering Gilgit and Hunza rivers had cut off the already broken mule track at many points making the track extremely difficult to tread.

This inhospitable deserted terrain always posed a great challenge to the wayfarers many of whom succumbed to their lives in the long hazardous Journey beginning at Kashgar and ending at Gilgit.

Alarm bells rang in British India when czarist army started deploying her troops along Gilgit border subsequent to her conquest of Turkistan.

In the back drop of those awesome circumstances necessity arose to construct a bridge over Gilgit River to transport canons and other military hardware to the northern border for defense of Gilgit by Royal British Indian army.

This suspension bridge connects princely states of Hunza and Nagir bordering Turkistan.

Construction of this suspension bridge back in 1905 is a Saga of braveries, travails, endurance and superb craftsman ship of Kashmiri crafts men and British engineers. One is be-wildred to imagine how large coils of iron ropes, tons in weight, were transported across a distance of 600-700 kilometers on a rough and broken mule track across mountains from Srinagar to Gilgit.

K Biridge

Many theories to unfold the mysterious transport of Iron-cables forwarded by the local wise-men are not convincing.

Kashmiri masons under the guidance of head mason Feroze-Din, who was specially brought from Srinagar to Gilgit have displayed his superb masonry skills in building stone arches and pillars of the bridge which have with stood innumerable shocks of earth quacks that occurred in the by gone century. These pillars and arches still stand strong after lapse of a century.

Iron cables passed over the stone arches bearing the weight of bridge frame work and loaded vehicles passing over it still exhibit an unmatched strength without appearance of a single crack on its walls.  Cement and iron bars to strengthen the pillars have not been used instead a mixture of lime water and sand and some unknown binding material have been used to raise the pillars and arches.

The real strength of the arches lie in skillful fixing of ‘Key-Stones’, a technique mastered by Kashmir masons and unrivalled by their contemporary mason brotherhood.

Visitors to this bridge are often perplexed to note that no repair work of any sort is done on this bridge since its construction which speaks volumes on skills, honesty and dedication of Kashmiri craftsmen and British engineers.

The legacy of this exquisitely built bridge shall probably pass over to next century with its present strength and construct.

Top echelons in public works department Gilgit are reminded to make strenuous efforts to enlist this colonial legacy in to the world heritage sites of UNESCO and take pecuniary steps for its conservation.

The author is former Secretary Health and Population Welfare in Gilgit-Baltistan.

He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Biodiversity Conservation in Gilgit-Baltistan

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By Manzoor Ahmed Qureshi 

Pakistan being signatory to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and many other multilateral agreement and accords has mandate to conserve its biological diversity and increase the forest cover. For this purpose it developed its provincial and national conservation strategies to meet the MGD targets.

Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) the land of sky touching mountains of the world and largest glaciers outside North Pole is not only famous for its lofty mountains and glaciers but also because of its unique biodiversity. Gilgit-Baltistan harbors world most significant biodiversity.  Its lush green pastures, alpine meadows, crystal clear streams, rivers and lakes are niches for critically endangered species of flora and fauna.  The rugged mountains of G-B provide best habitat for world most critically endangered and globally significant species of mammals like Snow leopard , Markhor, Ladakh Urial , Musk Deer, wooly flying squirrel, Tibetan wild Ass, Marco Polo sheep, Blue Sheep and Brown Bear. Likewise it harbors significant species of flora. Deosai the 2nd highest plateau in the world in G-B is of utmost important which has more than 350 species of plants of medicinal and aromatic value. District Astor of Gilgit-Baltistan is said to be the store house of medicinal plants of Pakistan.  Indus the giant river of Pakistan flows from heart of G-B fed by several streams and small rivers as tributaries of Indus.

Northern Areas Strategy for Sustainable Development (NASSD) is the key document of G-B developed by provincial government of Gilgit-Baltistan through technical assistance of IUCN with financial support of NORAD and SDC. Meanwhile IUCN started a huge project of UNDP and GEF funded project with title “Mountain Areas Conservancy Project” (MACP) in representative areas of Karakuram, Hindu Kush and Himalaya, the world great mountain ranges. The aim of the mega project was to conserve the biodiversity of the area through active participation of the local communities for sustainable use of the natural resources. The project worked for 7 years and set the mile stone for sustainable development. Legal Trophy hunting of mountain angulates is one of the best examples of the sustainable use, income generation source, decision making at local level and empowerment of local communities.

Community organizations (VCCs) were formulated with more than 70 percent representation of the local communities and where registered as conservation entities of the local communities of G-B living in different valleys and villages.  There is a notified forum in each district under the chair of deputy commissioner with the name district Conservation committee (DCC) where a representative from each VCC (village/ valley conservation committee) participates as member of the DCC nominated by respective community through resolutions. Aim of the notified forum is to bring all the relevant departmental head of the district on one table to resolve the conservation issues of the district. There are three conservancy management committees with their office bearers are legal entities to  extend technical and financial assistance to VCCs at grass root level that are fundamental units of conservation at village and valley level.

Mountain Areas conservancy fund has been establish at national level for sustainability of  these grass root level to national level entities of conservation.  All the VCCs, CMCs are supposed to be fed by MACF to ensure the continuation of the conservation efforts at grass root level and help them to bring to maturity and self-sustaining level.

It is the collective responsibility of the all the segment of society like community institutions. All government concerned departments (forests parks and wildlife) along with administration (Revenue department) to support the cause of conservation the ultimate goal at national regional and local level for the state.

 

The author is biodiversity specialist/ Regional Manager at G-BRSP


 

 

By Choice Pakistanis

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By Musa Ali Khan

People in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) love Pakistan with national pride. This culture of chauvinism dates back to November 1, 1948 when this region got liberation from the Dogras. This love affair continues despite the absence of constitutional reforms due to myopic leadership at the center.

The question arises, why do we love Pakistan? There might be many reasons and some of them are as under:

The first reason may be the Karakoram Highway (KKH) which connects the most isolated mountainous region to the other parts of the Pakistan and the world. Before KKH, poverty and ignorance were dancing in the landlocked region where a piece of salt was far expensive than gold. In such a pathetic situation, KKH brought positive change in the areas in the form of cheap products.

The second reason might be the end of princely states because the autocratic heredity rulers had levied unbearable taxies against the local population with zero returns. According to Leitner GW (1866), fighting amongst royals for thrones had made the entire mountainous region deserted and crippled with no option to escape. In such a panic situation, brining political and administrative reforms made the people love for Pakistan. Third, getting fuel, wheat, gas and many other products at subsidized cost made the mountainous people love Pakistan. 

Due to above mentioned favorable change in the G-B paved the road of getting education aiming at bringing quality in their living standard. So the government, army and a few renowned NGOs invested in education. As a result a middle class evolved while playing positive roles in the socio-economic and political sphere of the G-B and the country.

With the passage of time, getting mass education becomes trend in the area without vocational schools and professional colleges. In the absence of proper planning, unemployment increased and frustrated youth started questioning the government as it failed to address the basic needs of the citizens.

The situation further aggravated when positions and authority bestowed on religious, caste, and political affiliation rather than merit basis consequently, people without proper capacity in the helm of affairs could not address the basic concerns and aspirations of the people. This is because Gilgit city remained a battle field between sects for many years taking away the lives of innocent people and spreading unrest in the area.

Villages were invaded, infant to old aged assassinated and passengers were brutally killed taking them off from the buses. Moreover, when peaceful community in Hunza demanded for the settlement of Attabad Lake displaced people, police opened fire on peaceful protesters and killed a father and son on the spot. Their festering wounds are still waiting for fair trial and justice.

Moreover, most of government projects which were meant to develop infrastructure have been sick for the last many year due to greedy bureaucrats, contractors, and political elders. Likewise, shoddy development work and unchecked corruption in every walk of life dented the trust of common people in the business of government affairs. Thus, the gulf between the people and the government service providing agencies is getting widened day by day.

No rational person can ever think to harm Pakistan and its institutions. Currently, the police chief of G-B seems to be very hard on some youth as he accused them of getting money from enemies to sabotage CPEC.

It is the duty of the security agencies to be hard on wrong doers but at the same time there should be mechanism to address the unemployment, frustration, corruption and merit violations.

If KKH has brought such prosperity to land locked region then imagine what would be the fruits of CPEC.  However, demanding fair distribution of its benefits amongst different parts of the country is a sane voice.

It is not too late to address the genuine concerns of educated youth in order to rejuvenate their aspiration through social justice and democracy and providing jobs on merit basis. Thus, using power to curb frustration is a wrong approach and listening and addressing the genuine concerns of people through justice is a right one as we are by choice Pakistani not by chance.

 


The writer is head of a private school in G-B and works on a mission for education and social justice

Economic dimensions of CPEC

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Dr Abdul Jalil

 

It is widely believed or made to believe that CPEC will be a harbinger of prosperity, a game changer that will dynamise the nation when accomplished.

Print and electronic media are trumpeting aggressively, flashing glimpses of images laden with riches linked with CPEC. It is said that day is not far off when good fortune will knock at every door. Poverty will be a thing of past and every Pakistani will enjoy a much cherished luxuriant life, an unrealistic hope that may or may not be achieved.

 Chinese being a shrewd nation, born traders, calculate their moves with great precision and accuracy. Great Chinese leader Mao-Se-Tung during his cultural revolution in china eliminated lazy and sleepy opium eating lot from the Chinese society and turned them into a robust and vibrant nation. His vision to penetrate world markets through trade has almost materialized. During the last ten years quality of Chinese manufactured goods have increased tremendously and there is a glut of high and low quality Chinese consumer items in the world markets.

The waned influence of west in trade on account of low demand of their industrial and consumer items around the globe have inflicted a heavy blow on their ever thriving economies. Chinese consumer goods quality certified by international standard organization (ISO) have made inroads into the markets of Asia, Africa and America attracting buyers on account of their good quality and low price.

West is afraid of losing her hold on market economy both at home and in the world, they are brooding to avert onslaught of Chinese finished goods in their home markets. Un like USA, china slowly but steadily crept into world business centre’s replacing demand for western goods and gaining its foot hold firmly in the world economy, the same could not be achieve by USA as it had to fight un savoury wars around the globe bringing huge losses to the state exchequer.

Weakened and unable to combat Chinese economic onslaught USA is probably contemplating a naval blockade of 1.9 trillion Chinese sea-borne trade passing through South China Sea. By preempting American designs china has established a strong naval base on islands in South China Sea overseeing movements of naval ships belonging to America and her allies spread from Philippines, Australia, and Indonesia to Japan.

In the rapidly changing geopolitical world scenario, china is probably shifting her emphasis on trade through land routes, unimpeded by inimical forces, passing through friendly countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan accessing markets in Middle East, Africa and Europe.

CPEC is being constructed in the back drop of booming industrial growth in china and to provide an out let for the huge industrial produce through a land route. Approximately 20-30 percent of total Chinese exports are expected to pass through CPEC when completed in 2030.

In a recently held conference on CPEC at ‘Serena Hotel’ Gilgit sponsored by GB government under her aegis, top government functionaries like Minister for planning and development Mr. Ihsan Iqbal, Senators Mushahid Hussain syed and Abdul Ghafoor Hydri, MNAs Mr. Assad Umar and Omar Ayub Khan, Mr. Saqib shirani, a planning and development expert, VC Karakorum University and a sizable number of elites and intellectuals representing all walks of life from GB attended this state sponsored conference.

Disgruntled speakers from public audience expressed their apprehensions about lack of measures required to protect Pakistani industry from the menace of Chinese industries. If unguarded, trade through this corridor might render thousands working in Pakistani industry jobless. They emphasized the need for establishing high tech industries in Pakistan to combat menacing advances of foreign industrial concerns. Speakers wondered how Pakistani economy could be strengthened by only collecting toll-tax from the Chinese vehicles passing through CPEC. 

Existing one lane KKH cannot accommodate long Chinese vehicles bringing in merchandise from china. Local passenger and goods carrying vehicle shall find it extremely difficult to overtake long Chinese vehicles causing tremendous increase in travel times, 50-60 hours between Gilgit and Rawalpindi instead of present 18-20 hours.

China Pakistan barter-trade through KKH appears to be a one sided affair with a gloomy outlook for Pakistan. Trade-balance is 100 percent in favour of china.  Items ranging from fresh and dry fruits, garments, carpets textile-fabrics, hosiery, shoes, electrical goods, industrial-spare parts, electricity generators and other innumerable items are imported by greedy traders evading duties on imported goods in complicity with custom officials incurring huge losses in revenue to the state exchequer Chinese border guards are very hard on small traders particularly from GB. No Pakistani finished goods or raw material carried by traders from GB are allowed to enter china by these hard liner Chinese border guards.

 Unaccounted billions of dollars are transferred to china annually by greedy selfish Pakistani traders who return from china with junk goods flooding markets from Gilgit to Karachi. Their ugly and unpatriotic trade maneuvers have led to closure of many small and medium sized industries in Pakistan.

Media hype pertaining to CPEC and its associated wind fall boons are trumpeted day and night. People in Pakistan are justified to ask the government whether CPEC is a Pakistan requirement or an out let through a land corridor for a mammoth Chinese industrial products.

Remittances by expatriate Pakistanees are a free stream of foreign-exchange requiring little efforts to make by policy makers. Trade is altogether a different and difficult game requiring skills, comprehensive knowledge of trends in foreign markets and ability to open windows for exports in traditional and nontraditional markets. Pakistan has always been at loss with her trading partners as imports far exceeded than exports officials in commence ministry need to focus hard for protection of domestic industry and exporting value added items with highest export potential to the countries linked with CPEC directly or indirectly.

CPEC will undoubtedly provide connectivity to sea ports for Pakistani finished goods manufactured in distant north and west of the country provided Pakistani trade interests are protected. Trade through sea to china and countries beyond shall partially or totally be diverted to land route and bulk of Pak-china $ 16.Billion trade could be conducted through CPEC

If a trade agreement between Pakistan, china and central Asian countries is reached then high quality finished goods from Pakistan, which are in great demand in these countries could make inroads in the markets of these countries balancing the trade deficit which is tilted in favour of china.

The author is former Secretary Health & Population Welfare in Gilgit-Baltistan


 

بات نکلی ہے کرپشن کی

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تحریر : شبیر میر

 
بات نکلی ہے کرپشن کی ۔ ایک زمانے میں کہا جاتا تھا کہ اگر اپ ایک پرسکون زندگی گزارنا چاہتے ہیں تو کرپشن سے دور رہیں۔ سزا، معاشرے میں بدنامی وغیرہ وغیرہ آپ کی نسلوں تک کو دیمک کی طرح چاٹ کر کھو کھلا کر دیگی ۔ لیکن زمانہ بدل گیا ۔ اب کہا جاتا ہے کہ اگر آپ تیسری دنیا کے کسی پاکستان جیسے ملک میں رہ رہے ہوں اور واقعی دولت مند بننا چاہتے ہوں تو کرپشن کریں۔ اور اگر سزا سے بھی بچنا چاہتے ہوں تو کوئی چھوٹی موٹی خرد برد نہیں بلکہ کوئی بہت پڑا ہاتھ ماریں۔ اتنا بڑا ہاتھ کہ آپ کی مٹھی بھر جائے ۔ اگر آپ ایسا کچھ کرنے میں کامیاب رہے تو آپ کو عزت سے کسی پلی بارگین (Plea Bargain) کا حصہ بنایا جائے گا ۔ یوں اپ کی بقیہ زندگی آرام سے گزار سکے گی۔ لیکن اگر اپ نے کوئی چھوٹی موٹی کرپشن کی تو سمجھ لیں انجام بھیا نک ہو گا۔ بہت ساری مثالیں ہمارے سامنے ہیں۔ 
بلوچستان کے ایک سرکاری افیسر مشتاق احمد رئیسانی چالیس ارب روپے کی کرپشن میں دھر لئے گئے ۔ کئچھ ماہ بعد نیب نے خود ہی پلی بارگین منظور کرتے ہوئے ان سے دو ارب روپے کی و صولی کے بعد کیس کو برق رفتاری سے کنار ے لگا د یا۔ رئیسانی کی گرفتاری اور ان سے بر ا مد ما ل واقعی چونکا دینے والی خبر تھی لیکن اس سے بڑی چونکا دینے والی خبر دو ارب روپے میں معاملہ سلجھنے کی تھی ۔ اس بات کو میڈیا اور سوشل میڈیا میں شدت سے موضوع بحث بنا یا گیا کیونکہ یہ ملکی سظح پر پلی بارگین کا سب سے بڑا کیس تھا ۔ ظاہر ہے کہ چالیس ارب کی خرد برد کی اطلاع بھی خود نیب نے ہی دی تھی ۔ اور بھر معاملہ دو ارب میں نمٹنا نے میں بھی نیب کا ہی کردا ر تھا ایسے میں سوالات کا اٹھنا تعجب کی بات نہیں۔ لیکن اگر تعجب کی بات ہے تو وہ جوابات کا ملنا ۔ سودا تو خیر مہنگا نہیں تھا اور خاص طور پر مذکورہ افیسر کے لئے ۔ چند دن کی رسمی کارروائی ، سوال و جو ا ب اور پھر معا ملا ت بحا ل۔ اور نیب کے لئے بھی کم و بیش ایسا ہی کہا جاسکتا ہے ۔ بھاگتے چور کی لیگوٹی ہی سہی کے مصداق کچھ نہ کچھ تو ہاتھ لگا جس سے کسی کا تو بھلا ہوگا۔ 
سودا تو نوجوان کرکٹر محمد عامر اور ساتھیوں نے بھی برا نہیں کیا تھا ۔ سپارٹ فکسنگ میں پکڑے گئے تو کیا ہوا ! چند سالوں کا ارام (جو کہ پابندی کی صورت میں تھا ) اور پھر سب پہلے جیسا ۔ ظاہر ہے ہمارے قومی ہیر و ز کو سز ا بعد اقرار جرم کے ہی ہوئی تھی لیکن خلاصہ یہ ہے کہ یہ مرحلہ بھی خوش اسلوبی سے طے پا یا آخر کار سزا بھی تو ایسی سزا کہ سزا کو سزا کہنا بھی گویا خود ایک سزا۔ کہ بس آپ کھیل نہیں سکتے باقی جو آپ کی مرضی کر لو ۔ ہمارے ہاں جیلوں میں تو پتہ نہیں کتنے لوگ عدالتوں سے فیصلے آنے کے انتظار میں سالو ں سے بے یارو مددگار پڑے ہوئے ہیں ۔ نہ جانے کتنے گزر گئے ہوں اسی آس میں اور نہ جانے کتنے گزرنے والے ہوں ۔ 
پورے ملک کی طرح گلگت بلتستان میں نیب ایکٹیو ہو چکا ہے اس کا اندازہ ان پیغامات سے لگایا جا سکتا ہے جو عوام الناس کو موبائل فون پر وصول ہو تے ہیں۔ ( Say no to corruption) یہ وہ میسج ہے جو اب ایک گنوار اور ان پڑھ شخص بھی اپنے موبائل میں دیکھ کر کم از کم سمجھ ضرور سکتا ہے ۔ نیب کا یہ موبائل پیغام ایک پر اسرار دھمکی سے تعبیر کیا جانے لگا تھا کہ شکر ہے یہ سلسلہ بند ہو گیا ۔ لگ یوں رہا تھا کہ اس سے وہ لوگ زیادہ خوف زدہ تھے جو زندگی کے کسی نہ کسی موڑ پہ چھوٹی موٹی کرپشن کے مرتکب ہو چکے تھے کیونکہ نیب کا ان پر ہا تھ ڈالنے کا مطلب گویا ان کے لئے لینے کے دینے کے مترادف ہوجا تا ۔
بہر حال ہاتھ تو ڈالا جا چکا ہے اور گرفتاریاں بھی عمل میں لائی گئیں ہیں ۔ گلگت بلتستان میں بھی مہدی شاہ سرکار میں کرپشن کے حوالے سے بہت کچھ سننے کو ملا لیکن سوائے چند ایک بدقسمت سرکاری افیسران کے باقی سب اچھا ہی رہا ۔ بدقسمت اس لئے کہ وہ دھر لئے گئے ورنہ پردے کے پیچھے کسے خبر کیا نہیں ہوتا رہا ہوگا ۔ انصاف ضرور ہونا چاہئے اور انصاف فوری ہونا چاہئے جیسے رئیسانی کے کیس میں ہوا ۔ لیکن آخر رئیسانی فارمولہ اس خطے میں لاگو کیوں نہیں ہوسکتا ۔ کہیں اس لئے تو نہیں کہ یہاں مبینہ خرد برد کی رقم اتنی نہیں ؟ یا اس لئے کہ یہاں دو تین کی قربانی سے ہی تمام کا کفارہ ادا ہو؟ 

Opinions

11/12/2017, 14:03 OUTPOST
centenary-celebration-suspension-bride-gilgit-river   Dr. Abdul Jalil Built in 1905 during British Raj, spanning 560 feet, Suspension Bridge Gilgit River is always spick and span since its...
19/11/2017, 01:28 OUTPOST
biodiversity-conservation-in-gilgit-baltistan-2 By Manzoor Ahmed Qureshi  Pakistan being signatory to Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and many other multilateral agreement and accords...
31/10/2017, 12:27 OUTPOST
economic-dimensions-of-cpec-2 Dr Abdul Jalil   It is widely believed or made to believe that CPEC will be a harbinger of prosperity, a game changer that will dynamise the...
27/03/2017, 18:36 OUTPOST
by-choice-pakistanis By Musa Ali Khan People in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) love Pakistan with national pride. This culture of chauvinism dates back to November 1, 1948 when...
25/12/2016, 22:57 OUTPOST
2016-12-25-17-57-02 تحریر : شبیر میر  بات نکلی ہے کرپشن کی ۔ ایک زمانے میں کہا جاتا تھا کہ اگر اپ ایک پرسکون زندگی گزارنا چاہتے ہیں تو کرپشن سے دور رہیں۔ سزا، معاشرے...
24/12/2016, 13:07 OUTPOST
poverty-frustration-and-youthBy Musa Ali Khan The government of Gilgit-Baltistan allocates PKR 70 million for every member of G-B Legislative Assembly for rural development such as...
11/12/2016, 20:41 OUTPOST
pakistan-us-china-and-cpec    By Fahad Rasheed Throughout the history, Pakistan has managed to cultivate good relations with United States and China, thanks mainly to...
27/11/2016, 22:06 OUTPOST
what-i-learned-about-joint-family-system-in-us By Raja Mushtaq Ahmad  As I talked about my stay in Oregon previously in these pages, there exist some basic differences between Gilgit-Baltistan...
19/11/2016, 10:36 OUTPOST
from-eugene-to-gilgit-baltistan    BY RAJA MUSHTAQ AHMAD  I work as a faculty member at Karakoram International University (KIU). Currently, for one semester I am in...
29/09/2016, 12:34 OUTPOST
indian-interest-in-gilgit    BY SHABBIR MIR As the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) progresses, India has placed more focus on Gilgit-Baltistan in an attempt...
25/09/2016, 12:20 OUTPOST
beautification-of-rawalpindi-city-through-heritage-development Buildings, like people, have stories to tell about their community and the nation’s past. Embedded in historic structures and landscapes are traces of...
09/08/2016, 00:54 OUTPOST
upcoming-reforms-in-education BY KULSOOM ZAHRA “Education is a movement from darkness to light” (Allan Bloom) I find an abundance of truth in this statement, because it is...
13/06/2016, 13:33 OUTPOST
call-for-educational-emergency-in-diamer BY FIDA KARIM Lately Alif Ailaan and ASER Pakistan have released their reports on Pakistan District Education Rankings 2016  and Annual Status of...
04/05/2016, 00:09 OUTPOST
exchange-program-a-tool-for-development BY SHIGRI JUNIOR SKARDU: I feel that youth exchange program such as those organized by the National Youth Assembly (NYA) for its members are...
10/03/2016, 20:28 OUTPOST
gilgit-baltistan-unique-history-complicated-present  BY EJAZ KARIM Gilgit-Baltistan has a unique history, a complicated present and an ambiguous future. It has been known by several names due to its...
15/01/2016, 12:02 OUTPOST
g-b-and-onstitutional-dilemma DR WAJAHAT A DAR It was on the headlines a few weeks back that federal government is mulling options to merge Gilgit-Baltistan constitutionally as...
12/01/2016, 17:28 OUTPOST
g-b-isn-t-your-issue   BY M.A MIR The people of Gilgit-Baltistan [G-B] want to join federation of Pakistan. I am wondering why the people back in Muzaffarabad,...
09/01/2016, 23:20 OUTPOST
snow-in-skardu-and-flights  BY SHABBIR MIR A large portion of the valley in Gilgit-Baltistan has received considerable snowfall of late. Apart from the mountains, the snow...
09/01/2016, 01:50 OUTPOST
gilgit-baltistan-part-of-pakistan-by-choiceBY YAQOOB KHAN BANGASH Over the last couple of days, news has surfaced that the government might be mulling a change in the constitutional status of...
20/12/2015, 10:31 OUTPOST
pakistan-s-evolving-foreign-policy-on-terrorism   BY WAJAHAT A. DAR Foreign office first termed it as a "shocking surprise". Then the very next day, somewhere in the heavens, the foreign office...
16/12/2015, 17:13 OUTPOST
lament-the-terrorist-not-muslims   BY KULSOOM ZAHRA Whenever there is an act of jarring on civilians in the post 9/11 west, demagogues vehemently blame it on Muslims. In the wake...
11/12/2015, 19:33 OUTPOST
high-value-mountain-products-and-sustainable-livelihood Dr Surendra Raj Joshi The bountiful mountain areas of the Hindu Kush Himalayan (HKH) are a cornucopia of diverse, high-value products. With an...
06/12/2015, 11:09 OUTPOST
insulating-diamer-from-trouble  BY SHABBIR MIR For quite some time now, Gilgit-Baltistan’s scenic Diamer Valley has been in the spotlight, but for all the wrong reasons. It all...
10/11/2015, 17:34 OUTPOST
proposal-for-constitutional-status BY SHEHBAZ KHAN ADVOCATE(Vice Chairman Gilgit-Baltistan Bar Council) Two million people of Gilgit-Baltistan could not understand the mystery behind...
24/10/2015, 11:05 OUTPOST
mr-ghani-beware-of-the-spoilers-within BY NAVEED HUSSAIN Former Afghan president Hamid Karzai has scuttled his successor’s efforts to reconfigure his country’s troubled relationship with...
24/10/2015, 10:52 OUTPOST
hunza-s-solid-waste-management-issues-and-kado BY GOMAL AMIN KARABECK Solid waste management is a big concern for the developing countries; this is due to the lack of awareness and absence of...
09/08/2015, 23:00 OUTPOST
almost-pakistan-g-b-in-a-constitutional-limbo For the people of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), there are two independence days every year: August 14, with the rest of Pakistan; and November 1, when they...
24/07/2015, 23:46 OUTPOST
5-islamic-philosophers-every-muslim-must-read  BY MUQTEDAR KHAN  Islamic intellectual culture suffers from a philosophy deficit. While there are a few philosophical thinkers in the...
03/07/2015, 14:37 OUTPOST
china-s-new-silk-road-what-s-in-it-for-gilgit-baltistan BY FIDA KARIM In the history of Gilgit-Baltistan, there have been some historical events and transformational incidents that have had far-reaching...
01/07/2015, 00:13 OUTPOST
challenges-for-the-new-chief-minister BY AMJAD ABBAJ SAAKA Under Gilgit-Baltistan Self Governance Order 2009, Gilgit-Baltistan [G-B] election commission conducted second general elections...
20/06/2015, 08:50 OUTPOST
challenges-for-g-b-government BY AFZAL SHIGRI  GILGIT-Baltistan (G-B) is that forgotten corner of Pakistan which only catches the media’s attention when there is a natural...
31/05/2015, 09:38 OUTPOST
g-b-elections ASIF SAKHI GILGIT: Another election is approaching fast in Gilgit-Baltistan. Various leaders have already rolled their sleeves up while their...
24/05/2015, 10:28 OUTPOST
dilemma-of-choosing-right-man-for-right-job-at-right-time ASIF SAKHI PASSU GOJAL: Another election is approaching fast in Gilgit – Baltistan [G-B]. The leaders of various kinds and forms have already rolled...
16/04/2015, 08:26 OUTPOST
the-pm-s-gilgit-baltistan-visit TARIQ RAHIM BAIG GULMIT: The recent short visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) has left behind many questions in people’s...
31/03/2015, 13:30 OUTPOST
in-defence-of-trophy-hunting BY UZMA KHAN The human species has been the most detrimental to the world and is also the only species that has the most capacity and potential to help...
21/03/2015, 12:13 OUTPOST
using-public-office-for-personal-gain BY SHABBIR MIR The right to self-rule is what the people of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) have long demanded. Such a mode of governance was introduced in 2009...
09/03/2015, 21:46 OUTPOST
starting-point-for-g-b The young people of Gilgit-Baltistan [G-B] believe the G-B Empowerment and Self-Governance Order of 2009 should be a starting point from which the...
13/02/2015, 19:27 OUTPOST
musharraf-says-he-cultivated-taliban-in-afghanistan-in-2001 Pervez Musharraf, the former Pakistani military ruler accused of sheltering and supporting the Taliban after 2001, has called for an end to the backing...
03/02/2015, 19:11 OUTPOST
plight-of-gem-sector-in-g-b BY JALAL - UD -DIN Gilgit – Baltistan [G-B] is graciously endowed - a part from world’s highest peaks and largest glaciers - with abundance of natural...
17/01/2015, 00:15 OUTPOST
amnesty-int-l-asks-pakistan-to-end-executions-following-peshawar-attack ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s government must immediately put an end to the spate of executions in the country in the wake of the Peshawar school attack, which...
23/12/2014, 11:31 OUTPOST
who-are-we-hanging BY SARAH BELAL We have all been devastated this week by the senseless murder of at least 145 people in a school in Peshawar. We expect our government...
15/12/2014, 18:17 OUTPOST
parentage-crisis-of-my-motherland BY AMJAD HUSSAIN AZAR During the preceding month of November a debate was generated regarding legal constitutional status of Gilgit Baltistan [G-B],...
03/12/2014, 07:54 OUTPOST
g-b-s-legal-status BY NIAT WALI GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B), formerly known as Northern Areas of Pakistan, is a gateway to China from Pakistan and South Asian...
28/11/2014, 20:46 OUTPOST
now-what-mr-khan  BY MEHR TARAR Imran Khan seems to be at a crossroads. To move ahead, turn this way or that, make a u-turn (ah, the turns that are infamous by...
25/11/2014, 11:06 OUTPOST
iran-s-nuclear-talks-and-the-west  BY ARIFA JABEEN With the third round of Iran G6 talks approaching, nothing could really be said about the outcome. While change of regime altered...
22/11/2014, 20:41 OUTPOST
houbara-bustards-an-annual-massacre-of-national-pride BY UZAIR SHAH With the recent news of Pakistan yet again issuing hunting permits for the protected houbara bustard for the winter season, it is clear...
14/11/2014, 21:17 OUTPOST
this-is-not-gilgit-baltistan  BY AHTISHAM MIR As Muslims we all start reading Quran from our childhood, we almost finish reading whole Quran twice or thrice before we are 15...
04/10/2014, 15:46 OUTPOST
economic-management BY SAKIB SHERANI LAST week I was in Muzaffarabad, presenting a medium-term outlook for the economy at the strategic offsite meeting of one of...
30/08/2014, 15:20 OUTPOST
why-the-newspaper-feels-like-an-anachronism BY AAKAR PATEL Readership of regional language newspapers is down sharply. Years ago, the people strutting about were likely to be the Indians. This...