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Gilgit-Baltistan’s Northern Light Infantry (NLI) Wins Gold Medal at Exercise Cambrian Patrol 2018

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Gilgit-Baltistan's Northern Light Infantry (NLI) Wins Gold Medal at Exercise Cambrian Patrol 2018

An 11-member team of Gilgit-Baltistan’s Northern Light Infantry (NLI) has won the 2018 edition of Exercise Cambrian Patrol. Exercise Cambrian Patrol is an annual event organized and run by 160th Infantry Brigade at Brecon in Wales, United Kingdom. This year’s exercise was held from October 12 to October 21. The event was attended by 137 patrols from 38 countries.

Exercise CAMBRIAN PATROL is the premier patrolling event of the British Army which is held in Wales and hosted by 160 Infantry Brigade.

Exercise Cambrian Patrol itself began in 1959, when a group of Welsh Territorial Army soldiers designed a weekend training event, featuring long-distance marching over the Cambrian Mountains, culminating in a shooting match on the Sennybridge Training Area.

Pakistan Army’s patrol has won a gold medal for the fourth consecutive time. This year, Pakistan Army’s team was represented by a battalion from Northern Light Infantry (NLI). NLI consists of soldiers from Gilgit-Baltistan.

Major General Asif Ghafoor, the spokesperson Pakistan Armed Forces, made a Tweet shortly after the result came.

A press release on Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) website states “Cambrian Patrol is a mission and task-oriented patrolling exercise of 48 hours during which participants of patrolling team cover 60 kilometers carrying 25 kilograms.”

NLI has been on a forefront of all major wars including the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 and Kargil War of 1999. A toll of NLI soldiers have embraced martyrdom in Operation Zarb-e-Azb and the on-going offenses in Waziristan, Siachen and India-Pakistan borders.

Havaldar Lalak Jan and Captain Sher Khan, both recipients of Nishan-e-Haider for their gallantry in Kargil War, were soldiers of 12th Northern Light infantry Unit.

The Northern Light infantry (NLI) is currently headquartered at Bunji near Gilgit and consists of  16 battalions.

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In Pictures: His Highness Aga Khan’s First Visit to Hunza in 1960

Imran Ahmed Hunzai

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Aga Khan in Hunza 1960
Photos: Abdul M. Ismaily

On this day in 1960, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan made his historic first visits to Hunza and laid down the foundation of what we know as a model valley today. Since then, Hunza has come a long way and developed into a model valley for many. Every year on 23rd October, Ismailis of Hunza Valley celebrate this day as “Salgirah” to commemorate Aga Khan’s visit to Hunza for the first time.

During the first visit of His Highness Aga Khan to Hunza, photographer Abdul M. Ismaily took numerous photos that remained unseen for decades. However, in 2016, Simerg Photos released a number of pictures of this historic visit with the permission of Abdul M. Ismaily’s family.

On this happy occasion for the Ismailis of Hunza, GBee is pleased to share some of the photographs from Aga Khan’s first visit to Hunza in 1960.

Attached by pulley to the third cable was a wooden box, five feet square, with sides rising 18 inches. This was the only way to Hunza. The five journalists which included two Americans were horrified, and despite urging from Pir Ali Allana, the Aga Khan’s advance man, none would get into the box. Far across the river, men pulled on a rope, and, swaying and shaking, the box shot out over the swift-flowing stream of Hunza River. Today, the Nasirabad Bridge stands in this place.
Ismaili Volunteers with community leaders during the preparations to receive H.H. The Aga Khan at Baltit Polo Ground in Karimabad, Hunza.
Col. Ayash Khan, the brother of Mir Jamal Khan, the last royal ruler of Hunza, is seen standing in a uniform with members of the royal family of Hunza outside the royal palace in Hunza where His Highness the Aga Khan resided during his visit in 1960.
Aga Khan first visit to Hunza Valley 1960
Aga Khan in Hunza 1960

H.H. Aga Khan in conversation with Mir of Hunza.
Aga Khan in Hunza 1960
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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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