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Gilgit-Baltistan Celebrates 69th Independence Day

Gilgit-Baltistan celebrated its 69th independence day on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. The celebrations included various government and private organizations across Gilgit-Baltistan holding events to remember the sacrifices made by Gilgit Scouts to liberate the region from Dogra Raj.

Imran Ahmed Hunzai

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Gilgit-Baltistan Independence Day

Gilgit-Baltistan celebrated its 69th independence day on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. The celebrations included various government and private organizations across Gilgit-Baltistan holding events to remember the sacrifices made by Gilgit Scouts to liberate the region from Dogra Raj.

On first November 1947, Governor Ghansara Singh of was overthrown by Major William Brown. Major Brown had been serving as a commander for Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir. After successfully overthrowing the Hindu Dogra rule, Raja Shah Rais Khan was appointed the first president of Gilgit-Baltistan while Mirza Hassan Khan was given responsibilities of the commander-in-chief.

 

The interim government lasted for only a forth-night before Pakistan sent its first political agent Khan Mohammad Alam Khan, who was a Tehsildar from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (then N.W.F.P.). He took over the administration of Gilgit upon his arrival. Eventually, other princely states dissolved and became part of Gilgit agency, Hunza being the last one to mark its accession with Pakistan in 1974. Even though Pakistan took control of Gilgit-Baltistan (then Northern Areas) soon after its own independence, the region is still seeking constitutional rights.

Shah Rais Khan(Left), Mirza Hassan (middle) and Babar Khan (Right)

The independence day of Gilgit-Baltistan is celebrated every year on 1st November. People of Gilgit-Baltistan pay tribute to the heroes of freedom in their speeches and on social media. However, there has always been only a little coverage by Pakistan’s mainstream print and electronic media.

Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman attended the independence day celebrations at Chinaar Baagh in Gilgit where march past and flag hoisting was ceremonies were held.

Read this article in Urdu

Imran Hunzai is a Digital Media Consultant and activist based in Islamabad, Pakistan. When free, he likes to travel, do photography and play Rabab. He also runs a HONY inspired blog called Humans of Hunza. Follow him of Twitter @ihunzai.

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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Astore

Aga Khan Agency for Habitat Raises Awareness on National School Safety Day in Pakistan

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Photo: AKAH

To protect school children from natural disasters and other insecurities, the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH) convened government education departments, academia, district disaster management authorities and the media in Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Punjab.

Mr. Hafiz Noorullah, Education Development Officer, Chitral, said on a radio talk show:

“A lack of awareness and knowledge makes the disaster happen. So there is a need to have more and more information sharing through different media platforms and involvement of young people in interactive discussions to sensitize them on the topics of safety and security.”

Mr. Nawab Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer, AKAH Pakistan said:

“In the 2005 earthquake, Pakistan lost around 20,000 children due to vulnerable structures and lack of awareness and preparedness, which cannot be repeated. We need our schools to be resilient and better prepared
for similar situations. We are thankful to our public and private-sector partners for joining hands with us to achieve this objective.”

For the last 20 years, AKAH has been designing and implementing programmes on Disaster Risk Reduction and Mitigation in some of Pakistan’s most vulnerable areas. More than 1,000 schools in disaster-prone areas have benefitted from the development of hazard and risk maps, school safety plans, provision of school safety kits, and awareness raising and capacity building of individuals.

School-level awareness raising sessions have been part of the work of the Aga Khan Agency since the Islamabad Conference on School Safety held in 2008. AKAH’s School Safety Programme will contribute towards the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction’s one million safe schools and hospitals global campaign, and contribute towards the achievement of Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs) and the practical implementation of the Pakistan School Safety Framework.

For further information, please contact:
[email protected]

NOTES:
The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), which merges the capabilities of Focus Humanitarian Assistance, the Aga Khan Planning and Building Services, and the Aga Khan Development Network’s Disaster Risk Management Initiative focuses on preparing for both sudden and slow-onset disasters. AKAH works to ensure that people live in physical settings that are as safe as possible from the effects of natural disasters; that residents who do live in high- risk areas are able to cope with disasters in terms of preparedness and response; and that these settings provide access to social and financial services that lead to greater opportunity and a
better quality of life. Initially, priority areas of AKAH will include Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and India.

Read more about the agency at: http://www.akdn.org/our-agencies/aga-khan-agency-habitat

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