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8 Out of 10 Shortlisted Entries for Wiki Loves Earth are from Gilgit-Baltistan & Chitral (GBC)

Thousands on entries containing landscape photos from across Pakistan were submitted to “Wiki Loves Earth” – the world’s second largest photography competition. Out of the 10 total shortlisted photos from Pakistan, 8 are from Gilgit-Baltistan & Chitral.

Imran Ahmed Hunzai

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hortlisted Entries for Wiki Loves Earth are from Gilgit-Baltistan & Chitral

Nature has blessed Gilgit-Baltistan & Chitral with spectacular picturesque. Despite a little effort from the governments of both regions, tourist inflow has grown tremendously over the past three years. Alongside improving the economic outlook of the region, tourism has also introduced the unseen beauty of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral to international audiences. Many renowned photographers from across the world have captured scenic moments through the lens of their cameras and shown it to the world resulting in attracting even more tourists to the region. Photographers from many countries consider the region as one of “the most photogenic” places on the earth.

Wikimedia, the parent organization behind Wikipedia, organizes an annual photo-contest in the month of May. Thousands on entries containing landscape photos from across Pakistan were submitted to “Wiki Loves Earth” – the world’s second largest photography competition. Out of the 10 total shortlisted photos from Pakistan, 8 are from Gilgit-Baltistan & Chitral. It must be noted that the global winner in last year’s competition was Lower Kachura Lake (also known as Shangrila Lake) in Skardu, Baltistan. The winners of this year’s Wiki Loves Earth competition are still to be announced. Here are the shortlisted photos from Gilgit-Baltistan & Chitral:

1. Golden Peak (Mudassir Ahmed)

Golden Peak (Spantik Peak), seen from Duikar Hunza. — Photo by Mudassir Ahmed

Golden Peak (Spantik Peak), seen from Duikar, Hunza. — Photo by Mudassir Ahmed

2. Nanga Parbat (M. Awais)

Nanga Parbat seen from Fairy Meadows, Diamer. — Photo by M. Awais

Nanga Parbat seen from Fairy Meadows, Diamer. — Photo by M. Awais

3. Phandar Valley (Muzaffar H. Bukhari)

Phandar Valley, Ghizer. — Photo by Muzaffar H. Bukhari

Phandar Valley, Ghizer. — Photo by Muzaffar H. Bukhari

4. Katpana Desert (Rgyal Chan Karim)

Katpana Desert at Skardu. — Photo by Rgyal Chan Karim

Katpana Desert at Skardu. — Photo by Rgyal Chan Karim

5. Chitral National Park. (Tahsin A. Shah)

Chitral National Park. — Photo by Tahsin A Shah

Chitral National Park. — Photo by Tahsin A Shah

6. Rama Valley (Faiza Lalwani)

Rama valley, Astore. — Photo by Faiza Lalwani

Rama valley, Astore. — Photo by Faiza Lalwani

7. Karakoram Highway – KKH (Najeeb Mahmud)

Karakoram Highway (KKH) at near Khunjerab Pass — Photo by Najeeb Mahmud

Karakoram Highway (KKH) at near Khunjerab Pass — Photo by Najeeb Mahmud

8. Passu Cathedral (Irfan Tahir)

Passu Cathedral, Hunza Valley. — Photo by Irfan Tahir

Passu Cathedral / Passu Cones, Gojal Hunza. — Photo by Irfan Tahir

Altogether 8,040 photos were submitted from Pakistan out of which the jury selected top 10. Here are the two other photos that have been shortlisted from Pakistan.

9. Naran Valley (Talha Hanif)

Naran, Kaghan Valley. — Photo by Talha Hanif

Naran, Kaghan Valley. — Photo by Talha Hanif

10. Siri Paye, Shogran (Adeel ur Rehman Mughal)

Siri Paye, Shogran, Kaghan Valley. — Photo by Adeel ur Rehman Mughal

Siri Paye, Shogran, Kaghan Valley. — Photo by Adeel ur Rehman Mughal

The winners of the contest will be announced in two weeks time. Winners will also be given prizes.

Wiki Loves Earth (WLE) is an annual international photographic competition held during the month of May, organised worldwide by the Wikipedia community members with the help of local Wikimedia affiliates across the globe. Participants take pictures of local natural heritage and scenic landscape in their countries, and upload them to Wikimedia Commons. The aim of event is to highlight the conservation areas of the participating countries with the goal to encourage people to capture pictures of these sights, and to put them under a free licence which can then be re-used not only in Wikipedia but everywhere by everyone.

Wiki Loves Earth - shortlisted photos from Pakistan

Wiki Loves Earth – Shortlisted photos from Pakistan

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Education

AKAH partners with KIU for Programs of Scientific and Technical Collaboration

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AKAH partners with KIU for Programs of Scientific and Technical Collaboration

The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat partners with the Karakoram
International University, Gilgit, for programs of scientific and technical collaborations to advance the state of living conditions and reduce the vulnerability of mountain communities.

This partnership will encourage and facilitate young researchers and development practitioners in the field of disaster management and related disciplines such as hazard identification and assessment, mitigation, preparedness socioeconomic vulnerability assessment, climate change
induced disasters, Glacier and Glacier lakes, radiation hazards in the built environment and area focused structural design.

A high-level meeting held between Aga Khan Agency for Habitat and Karakoram International University, at Gilgit on 29 May 2019 to discuss technical aspects of the partnership for information sharing, exchange of resources and provision of opportunities. The meeting followed by the signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to advance the state of living conditions and reduces the vulnerability of mountain communities to natural disasters. The MoU was signed by the Vice Chancellor of KIU and the CEO of AKAH.

In his remarks Engr. Prof. Dr. Attaullah Shah, Vice Chancellor, Karakoram International University shared that “KIU is committed to making social development and evolution of peaceful and pluralistic societies in the mountainous areas of Pakistan. This formal linkage between the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat and KIU will be considered vital to boost research
and technical cooperation by sharing knowledge, expertise, and resources”.

AKAH partners with KIU for Programs of Scientific and Technical Collaboration

“Dealing with the issues of climate change and ensuring a safe and sustainable human habitat in the mountain areas is a key challenge of our times. We believe this challenge can only be addressed through strong cooperation and synergy between public and private sector organizations including academia and the civil society through generation and sharing of

knowledge, experience and technical cooperation” emphasized by Mr. Nawab Ali Khan, CEO of AKAH while speaking to the occasion. He further added that “this partnership will provide KIU researchers the opportunity of a field laboratory in AKDN projects for applied research in areas of disaster management and climate change adaptation and mitigation which will ultimately contribute to improvement in the quality of life of the communities. He appreciated the support that the public sector organizations have extended to AKDN and termed this partnership another key step for the development of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.

In the past AKAH (AKPBS) jointly with KIU has worked on the development of skilled craftsmanship in Gilgit-Baltistan through joint programs.

Hundreds of craftspeople have benefited from the joint program and are benefitting communities with their learned skills.

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Federation of Pakistan has no way but to implement Supreme Court directives

Justice Retired Muzaffar Ali

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Supreme Court's Decision about Gilgit-Baltistan

The constitutional status of Gilgit-Baltistan is as old as the Kashmir issue. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan liberated their motherland from the illegal occupation of Maharaja Regime. People constituted a local government in the region thereafter, newly created Muslim country Pakistan extended its de-facto jurisdiction over the region but again attached Gilgit-Baltistan to the Kashmir issue.

State of Jammu & Kashmir, ruled by Maharaja before the partition of Indo-Pak, divided into three parts main portion was captured by the Indian army which is still called occupied Kashmir. A small portion thereof was liberated by the Kashmiris with the help of tribal men, which is called Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The third is GB region which is also considered disputed under Security Council resolutions.

Since all the above mentioned three parts were claimed by both the countries, Pakistan claimed entire Jammu & Kashmir state to be its part as per partition agenda agreed upon by the parties while India claimed the Kashmir state as per so-called accession deed made between India and Maharaja Kashmir.

Kashmir issue prevented the two neighboring countries from friendly relations rather thrown them into wars against. That is what the situation became hurdled for both the countries to declare, the parts of Kashmir state in their de-facto control, to be their integral parts.

India gave a special status to occupied Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian constitution while Pakistan also awarded special status to AJ&K through an Act of parliament. People of AJ&K have their own Constitution but unfortunately, Gilgit-Baltistan ruled by executive “Orders” imposed from time to time by the Federal Governments in Islamabad, despite a persistent protest against.

The Federal Governments deprived people of Gilgit-Baltistan from their fundamental and constitutional rights, as such there remained nothing but to invoke the jurisdiction of “Supreme Court of Pakistan” hence the issue was taken to Supreme Court and got a verdict from there with the directions to provide fundamental rights safeguarded by an independent Judiciary guaranteed by constitution even if needed to emend the continuation of Pakistan but the verdict given by august “Supreme Court” in well-known case “Al-Jihad Trust” was turned no ears by the Federation for decades.

Thereafter, many petitions under Article 184(3) were submitted before Supreme Court even the federation itself filed a petition before against an order passed by the Supreme Appellate Court GB whereby, “Executive order 2018” was suspended. The Supreme Court heard all the petitions about the constitutional status of Gilgit-Baltistan pending before, after getting legal assistance of learned Attorney General, counsel for petitioners and even getting the assistance of senior jurists as “amicus curiae”.

During pendency, a committee headed by learned Attorney General submitted a new “proposed order 2019” before august Supreme Court. The honorable Court with the assistance of all the jurists appeared in the case and honorable Attorney General once again visited through the proposed “order” modified and sanctioned it by annexing the same with the judgment announced on 17-01-2019 as part of it and directed forthwith promulgation of the same by the President of Pakistan on the advice of the Federal Government and in any case within a fortnight hereof;

The Federal Government, either on one or another pretext did not comply the mandatory directive of august Supreme Court and used delay tactics to abuse the process of law apparently submitting applications to get an extension of time to advice President of Pakistan to promulgate the attached order.

The honorable Supreme Court did not extend any further time on the application submitted before the Court and during the pendency of the application the Federal government again has taken a U-turn by filing another application to amend the “annexed order 2019”.

The situation jolted bar counsel and other bar associations in GB to resist mala fide move of the Federation and their representatives appeared before on the date of hearing.

The plain reading of the judgment, I have come to the conclusion that the federation cannot introduce an amendment to the “GB Order 2019” unless the same is promulgated by the President, thereafter to the Federation can introduce amendments within the ambit of the directive (II) of SC in its judgment. The amendment application submitted without first compliance of the directives issued by the Supreme Court amounts to contempt of court.

The situation, in this case, is parallel with that situation once has arisen in judicial history when PM Yousaf Raza Gillani using executive tricks impliedly refused to comply the directives issued by the august Supreme Court and had to face contempt of court and resultantly lost his premiership.

During proceedings on 22-05-2019 although the honorable judges (as reported in the newspapers) showed their annoyance through their remarks it seems honorable judges acted upon the principle of judicial restraint, otherwise the Federation might be taken for contempt of court.

In further proceedings, if the Federation insists its plea of the amendment and also requests for getting further time to send its advice to the president for the promulgation of the proposed order which is annexed to the judgment that the legal status may turn towards contempt of court.

The federation must understand that the honorable court has provided judicial imprimatur and permanence to the proposed “order” and restrained the executive from their whimsical interferences and awarded unassailable judicial protection to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in the cited judgment.

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