Venom  and Vengeance in Gilgit and Kohistan

In July 2019, four people of Ghizer district were abducted by a Kohistani tribal leader from a meadow in Hundarap valley in Gilgit-Baltistan. The valley borders with Kohistan district of Khyber Pukhtunkhwa.  Later, a FIR was lodged against the abducted persons in Kohistan. The issue was resolved by intervention of different stakeholders. However, on Feb 22, 2020, the judge of sessions court of Ghakuch cancelled the bail of abductor Malik Afreen, and  handed him over to police for physical remand. This has elicited angry…

The Nation and Marginal Imagination

The Nation and Marginal Imagination  History is the cruelest of all the events in the annals of human civilization because it lives within us despite the fact that it occurred decades, centuries, or even millennia ago. Not only this, it also underpins our notions related to truth, identity, culture, and self. Owing to its permeation in the present, history is considered not only as a study of the past, but also of the present. Seen in this way, humans, unlike animals, appear to be more a product of history than biology for…

Disorderly Order

The name of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan evokes aesthetic feelings about the land with serenity, gushing rivers, flora and fauna, lofty mountains, glaciers and azure lakes perched in the lap of one of the biggest massifs in the world. What is missing in this process of aesthetics is the human element. Psychologically human beings try to evade disquieting feelings by indulging in beauty. However, like the Keatsian ideal it is not necessary for the beauty to be truth. Sometimes the truth of human condition can be ugly.…

Economic Geology of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)

The project of CPEC does not appear in historical vacuum, rather it has emerged from the womb of historical continuum. Building upon the historical connections of China with the Pakistani part of High Asia, China in collaboration with Pakistan built the Karakorum Highway (KKH), which in its turn paved the way for CPEC. Despite historical continuity, CPEC is different in terms of magnitude, coverage and purpose. KKH was primarily driven by geo-strategic and political agenda, whereas CPEC project is a manifestation of shift in…

The Sectarian Specter in Gilgit-Baltistan

The issue of sectarian violence in Gilgit–Baltistan cannot be analysed through idealized view which tends to paint the region as idyllic paradise where no violence occurred in history before the advent of modernity. On the contrary, the reality is that sectarian violence has remained a part and parcel of the history of Gilgit-Baltistan. Throughout history, Gilgit had been depopulated devastated various times because of intermittent wars between regional polities and different religions. Previously, this region was home to…