Posted on 03 September 2012.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan on Sunday urged the Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to take suo moto notice of Shia killings in Balochistan and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Speaking at a press conference with a prominent Shia leader of the region Sheikh Jaffery and noted Sunni leader Maulana Khalil during a visit to Skardu, Imran emphasised that the government had completely failed to maintain law and order, says a statement issued by PTI Central Information Secretary Shafqat Mehmood.
The killing of 21 Shia passengers in a bus at Babusar Pass was horrific tragedy, he said, and also a manifestation of complete failure of the incumbent government. Imran said that the chief justice of Pakistan was taking suo moto of matters that were relatively trivial but not doing the same for sectarian killings. He said it was good that the Supreme Court was taking notice of the government failures in other spheres but the matter of Shia killings required its special consideration.
Imran made a special effort to promote sectarian harmony by contacting leaders of all sects and visiting them. He promised that the PTI would continue raising its voice against terrorist organisations that were deliberately trying to create conflict in the country through sectarian murders.
Posted in Baltistan Skardu, Ghanche Khaplu, Gilgit Baltistan
Posted on 14 August 2012.
Skardu Police has arrested Ghulam Shehzad Agha, the secretary General Gilgit Baltistan United Moment. Ghulam Shezhad Agha is a nationalist leader of GB.
Chairman of the Gilgit Baltistan United Movement Manzoor Hussain Parwana has confirmed Aga’s arrest. Mnazoor Parwana said Agha has been arrested on false charges.
Posted in Baltistan Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan
Posted on 23 October 2011.
Source (AP) Pakistan forced an Indian military helicopter to land Sunday for violating its airspace near the disputed border with Kashmir and briefly took its four-member crew into custody, Pakistani military officials said. India said the helicopter veered off course because of bad weather, and Pakistan allowed the aircraft to return soon after the incident. Pakistan and India are rival nuclear powers who have fought three wars since gaining independence from Britain in 1947. The relationship has improved somewhat in recent months, especially regarding trade, but there is still significant distrust on both sides. The helicopter was intercepted about 12 miles (20 kilometers) inside Pakistani territory, said a Pakistani military official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. It was forced to land near Skardu, a town in Gilgit-Baltistan that is close to K2, the second highest mountain in the world, said Pakistan army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas. Skardu is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) north of U.N.-drawn Line of Control separating Kashmir into areas controlled by Pakistan and India. India said the helicopter strayed across the Line of Control because of bad weather and landed in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, according to a statement on the Ministry of External Affairs website. The three pilots and their crew chief were taken into custody but were later allowed to return home with their helicopter, said Abbas. Two of the three wars between Pakistan and India have been fought over Kashmir, a disputed Himalayan territory. Both countries claim all of Kashmir.
Posted in Baltistan Skardu
Posted on 27 September 2011.
Until the beginning of the 8th century CE, Baltistan was a country inhabited by the Indo-European Shin tribe. This was a time when the superpowers of the region were China and Tibet, both vying for supremacy in High Asia. Only shortly before, the Chinese had ousted the Tibetans from what is now the Chinese province of Xinjiang. But then the T’ang Dynasty was briefly interrupted by the New Zhou Dynasty (690-705) and Chinese imperial aspirations were laid low for the time being. Emboldened by the situation, the Tibetans began to expand westward. They annexed Ladakh and following the Sindhu River reached Baltistan. For the next five decades this country remained under their firm control. Intermarriages between the new comers and the original tribes were common to such an extent in the next fifty years that there arose a race of a fine mix of Aryan and Tibetan blood — the current people of Baltistan. It was for this reason that an anthropologist of the mid-twentieth century called Baltistan ‘a living anthropological museum’. The original Shina, the language of the Shins that sounds so very like Kashmiri and Punjabi, was almost completely swamped out of existence by Tibetan. Modern Balti, spoken over most of Baltistan, is therefore an archaic form of Tibetan. Shina continues to hold out in pockets across the country, however. Aside: until some years ago Balti was under threat. Then one proud Balti — and he has my deepest gratitude — Hussain Singghe, worked very hard to revive the old Tibetan script. It is now coming back into vogue and signs in the streets of Skardu and Khaplu are frequently written in the old script. Not content with holding Baltistan alone, the Tibetans expanded westward. They took Gilgit and advancing along the Ghizer River, went up the Yasin valley. The head of this valley, north of the little village of Darkot, is blocked by a huge mass of snowy mountains. In their midst there hangs a glacier among several others which can be traversed due north to reach what we now know as Upper Chitral. The icy grip of the Darkot Glacier gives way in the north to an area that suddenly reminds one of the title Bam-e-Dunya — Roof of the World — that the high Pamirs are known by. Here on the fringe of the Pamirs, the landscape consists of rolling downs, lakes and peaks which, after the jagged towering crags of the Yasin valley, seem deceptively low giving one the impression of being on the roof. The rock wall to the north is cleaved by a saddle that has for a very long time been known as the Broghal Pass. It was to this country that the Tibetans came by way of Yasin and Darkot. Then across the 3,800-metres-high saddle of Broghal, they reached Wakhan, the home of Tajik and Kirghiz herdsmen. Here in the bleak and wind-scoured landscape where the Oxus River is but a piddling stream, the Tibetans established a large garrison to stake out their claim to the land. Time went by and far away in the east, China was once again peaceful under the brilliant new T’ang king Xuanzong. Turkestan was in control and the Chinese knew that their adversaries, the Tibetans, had annexed Baltistan and maintained a garrison in the high Pamirs. If they were permitted to remain in this region, the hardy warriors of the Tibetan highlands were very likely to attempt to sneak into Turkestan by, in a manner of speaking, the back door. That was not acceptable. And so in the winter of 746-747 the capital of Chang’an (Xian on modern maps) saw a flurry of meetings between the emperor and one of his most able generals, Kao Hsin-Chih. Interestingly, the general was not Chinese but Korean. If the western border was to be secured, the Tibetans, it was resolved, needed to be routed from their Wakhan strongholds. General Kao, so the emperor ordained, was to lead a cavalry division, ten thousand strong, mounted to the man, into the vast tundra of the Pamirs to overthrow the Tibetans. And as the snows of winter gave way to the verdure of spring in the year 747, the emperor’s army gathered under the watchful eye of General Kao Hsin-Chih in the fortress of Chang’an.
Posted in Baltistan Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan
Posted on 25 August 2011.
Source (Pamir Times) Office of a newspaper, “Daily K2″, has been attacked by a gang of around 15 people in Skardu, the headquarter of Baltistan division. The attackers broke into the office and tied the security guard to chair, before smashing the furniture and fixtures.
Daily k2 website http://www.dailyk2.com
A source at Karakuram Publishing Network (KPN) told that the police did not show up despite of being in vicinity of the office. He blamed Chief Minister Mehdi Shah for the attack, saying the attackers were his men. It is pertinent to note that earlier an employee of of K2 had been detained by the police. The police had also raided office of KPN and taken several files and records with them. The tussle has started after Daily K2 reported an incident of gang rape in Rondu, which the alleged ‘victim’ later denied at the Supreme Appellate Court. Police sources have said that the raid was conducted according to court orders. The latest attack on Daily K2 has shocked the journalist fraternity across Gilgit – Baltistan and Pakistan, who have condemned the action and termed it to be equal to suppressing the right of free speech. Journalists in Gilgit have, reportedly, announced to stage a protest demonstration in front of the Chief Minister House, located next to the Gilgit – Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA).
Posted in Baltistan Skardu, Gilgit Baltistan