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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.

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Campaigning in schools for better hygiene on Global Handwashing Day

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Kids perform at Global Handwashing Day 2019 in Gilgit

The Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), in collaboration with other agencies of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), government agencies and voluntary bodies, facilitated events in schools across Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan to celebrate Global Handwashing Day. These activities aimed at raising awareness about healthy and hygienic practices including the importance of handwashing with soap as an easy, effective and affordable way to prevent diseases and save lives. 

The theme for Global Handwashing Day 2019 is “Clean Hands for All,” reminding us that the simple message of proper handwashing for better health has yet to be spread to all. In local schools and communities awareness-raising sessions, handwashing demonstrations and school plays have reached around 5,000 students, parents, and school faculty.

Children and schools play a key role in spreading greater awareness about health and hygiene. In over 600 communities in Pakistan, AKAH has implemented health and hygiene education through its School Health Improvement Programme, benefitting over half a million people.

Nawab Ali Khan, AKAH CEO stated:

“AKAH has reached over half a million people through its health and hygiene education programme focusing on personal, domestic and environmental hygiene and the numbers increase every year. Handwashing is a key component of our health and hygiene programme and this year we are celebrating it as a complement to the prime minister’s vision of clean and green Pakistan.”

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Chitral

Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Chitral as part of their Royal Tour in Pakistan

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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Chitral, Pakistan
PHOTO CREDITS: WIREIMAGE

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge flew from Islamabad to Chitral on their third day of Royal tour in Pakistan. This is the first royal tour of Prince William and his wife Kate Middleton to Pakistan.

The two were welcomed with traditional Chitrali Pakol, a traditional Chitrali cap, and Chitrali Chogha, a traditional long coat in often presented to dignitaries, at the Chitral Airport.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Chitral Airport
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrive at Chitral Airport where they were presented with traditional Chitrali cap and Chitrali Chogha. Photo: WireImage

The royal couple had landed in Islamabad on Monday evening as part of a 5-day long royal tour in Pakistan. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had a busy first day in the capital where they had a meeting with Prime  Minister Imran Khan. Earlier, the royal couple visited Islamabad Model College for Girls, a government-run school in the capital city.

Later, the British High Commissioner for Pakistan Thomas Drew hosted a reception for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Pakistan Monument in Islamabad. The royal couple arrived at Pakistan Monument in an auto-rickshaw.

Duchess of Cambridge in Chitrali Cap
The Duchess of Cambridge at Chitral Airport wearing a traditional Chitrali cap and Chitrali Chogha.

The Duke had spoken of the challenges Pakistan faces from climate change at a reception at Pakistan Monument in Islamabad.

“Tomorrow we will be seeing some of these impacts first hand and meeting some of the communities adjusting to the new realities and new challenges that climate change has brought to their towns and villages,” he said.

He further added:

“I hope to learn what more we all can do to help prevent and mitigate this impending global catastrophe.”

William and Kate are also expected to visit Gilgit-Baltistan and the historic city of Lahore as part of their royal tour.

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