Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Hunza was formerly a princely state bordering China to the North-East and Pamir to its North-West, which continued to survive until 1974, when it was finally dissolved by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. The state bordered the Gilgit Agency to the south, the former princely state of Nagar to the east. The state capital was the town of Baltit (also known as Karimabad) and its old settlement is Ganish Village.
Hunza was an independent principality for more than 900 years. The British gained control of Hunza and the neighbouring valley of Nagar between 1889 and 1892 followed by a military engagement of severe intensity. The then Thom (Prince) Mir Safdar Ali Khan of Hunza fled to Kashghar in China and sought what can be called political asylum.
Hunza river The most authentic and dependable notables and the best of oral tradition narrator of Hunza, through generations, have narrated the tale of Alexander the Great. When he conquered all the cities and countries and brought them under his sway, he finally consolidated and established his court of justice. The hordes of the armies of the king were returning through this place (Hunza Valley) from the direction of China, While this army was passing through this valley, four persons of this force Shaano, Safar, Mamoo and Fulolo fell ill. On this the commander of this Army appointed and detailed the fifth person Mughal Titam as the caretaker of this small ill group. He was tasked to look after the remaining four persons until they all had recuperated from their diseases. He was ordered that once, by the grace of God, when they all were healthy and normal they were to make efforts to reclaim and settle this valley and make it irrigable and inhabitable.
After that every horseman and the foot soldier of the rest of the passing army was ordered to contribute a fistful of barley and flour as a contribution from each man respectively, as the rations for the sustenance of these five men, It is said that the amount of barley and flour collected in this manner had lasted for next three years as rations for this group of five men. After this stop over the rest of the army left this place and marched towards Gilgit. Once this army arrived at Gilgit a commander. named as Shah Raees, was detailed and appointed to reclaim and inhabit Gilgit valley. He managed to reclaim Gilgit valley and commenced to rule this valley, It is since this period /era that the family /clan of rulers of Gilgit have been named With the title of “Raeesay”.
However the second version of this tale has been narrated thus; that when Sultan Sikander (King Alexander the great) conquered most of the countries of this side of the world and brought them under his reign, he turned towards his mother land with great pomp and show During this Journey back home when he reached the city of Babal (Babylone) he fell fatally sick. However,. before his death and while on his death bed. he equally allotted (apportioned and granted) his conquered lands among four of his trusted commanders of his army. Among them there was a commander by the name of Bakhtaria and he was the ruler of Tartaristan. After passage of a number of years this very military commander passed through this valley at the head of his army while returning from his campaign. The five above mentioned persons left behind at this place were from this army who had fallen sick and had reclaimed and inhabited this valley after they had fully recovered from their illness.
Yet another version of the "first settlers" of Hunza Valley is narrated by the ancient era oral tradition as follows: That a great revolution (of unspecified nature) occurred in the country of "Tartar" having its capital in a city called Takla Makan. This country was also known/called as "Bakhtaria" by some, and it was Inhabited by various clans and tribes; like Mughuls and Hunns. Because of the above mentioned great revaluation the people of this country were compelled and forced to flee in great numbers. it was during this large scale exodus and forced migration by the people of the Tartaristan/ Bakhtaria (Bactria) that a large group of these fleeing refugees comprising men, women and children along With their entire belongings and domestic animals passed through the present day valley to Hunza, which was during that era called and known as "Hari Yol" or "Ha Ha Yol, meaning the valley of happiness, and merry making. It was from amongst this passing group of fleeing refugees that one Mr. Mughal Titam of Mughal tribe was injured and temporarily disabled to walk as a result of his horse's kicking blows to his leg/thighs. He was therefore unable to proceed further and to undertake a long journey. Hence the leader/commander of the entire group of refugees detailed the four men, namely Messrs Safar, Shaano, Mamoo and Fulolo as the servants and caretakers of Mr. Mughal Titam and left them behind Rest of the migrating refugees group continued its march towards Gilgit Valley and on arrival reclaimed and inhabited this valley. Many of the refugees then dispersed into many other directions and Surrounding valleys.
In short; when Mr. Mughal Titam recuperated and recovered from his injury he and his four companions commenced their work to make this barren valley irrigable and inhabitable. Messrs Shaano, Safar and Mamoo remained in the company of Mughal Titam in Baltit and Mr. Fulolo made his abode in Ganish. It is said that Mughal Titam had a son by the name of Mughal Diram. This Mughal Diram had three sons, their names were; the first was Diram Pun, second Diram Budin, and the third was called Diram Muko. Following is the family tree of one of the first settlers of Hunza Valley (who was the leader):-
Mughul Diram - 1,Diram Pun (Poon) 2. Diram Budin 3. Diram Mukko
By the grace of Almighty there reached a stage and era when the children of all these three brothers grew info a large tribe, This tribe became known as "Diram hupkuyantsze" (DIRAM THAP KUYANTS). The tribe was also called as Diram Harai (DIRAM HARA'Y). This tribe ruled the remaining people of Hunza. However they remained under the sUzarainty of heirs of Shah Raees, the ruler of Gilgit.
The other four persons i.e. Shaano, Safar, Mamoo and Fulolo also had many children and offsprings and over a period of time each of them grew Into a separate whole tribe. The generations of children of Mr. Safar are called as Safar Harai (SAFAR HARA'Y) tribe. The offsprings of Mr. Shaano became known as SHAHNO KUTZS (SANO KUTS). In the present era, they are called Barataling (BARATALlNG). Their abode or village is named Shaano Kushal (SANOKUSHAL).
However Mr. Fulolo's generation did not grow into a large tribe as his subsequent generations had less offsprings Hence as of present time this family consists of a few houses settled in village Ganish However as a tradition every event of importance and festival is inaugurated and initiated from the hands of members of this noble clan even till the present day. This clan or family is called "Fulolokutzs" (FULLOLOKUTS).
Although never ruled directly by neighbouring Kashmir, Hunza was a vassal of Kashmir from the time of Maharaja Ranbir Singh of Jammu and Kashmir. The Mirs of Hunza sent an annual tribute to the Kashmir Durbar until 1947, and along with the ruler of Nagar, was considered to be among the most loyal vassals of the Maharaja of Kashmir
FIRST MUSLIM THUM
The ruling family of Hunza is called Ayeshe (heavenly), from the following circumstance. The two states of Hunza and Nager were formerly one, ruled by a branch of the Shahreis, the ruling family of Gilgit, whose seat of government was Nager. Tradition relates that Mayroo Khan, apparently the first Mohommedan Thum of Nager some 200 years after the introduction of the religion of Islam to Gilgit, married a daughter of Trakhan of Gilgit, who bore him twin sons named Moghlot and Girkis. From the former the present ruling family of Nager is descended. The twins are said to have shown hostility to one another from birth. Their father seeing this and unable to settle the question of succession, divided his state between them, giving to Girkis the north, and to Moghlot the south, bank of the river.
The traditional name for the ruler in Hunza was Thum which is also a respectful appellation used by people of both Hunza and Nager who belong to the caste of Boorish. The Shin use the term Yeshkun for the Boorish. Both Thums are still addressed as Soori, as a title of respect. This appears to be the same [in meaning] as Sri, an appellation of Lakshmi, the Hindoo goddess of wealth, commonly prefixed to the names of Hindoo princes in India, to denote their honour and prosperity. The Thum's wives are styled ghenish which is almost identical with the original Sanscrit word for mother, and their sons are called gushpoor.
The Hunza is situated at an elevation of 2,438 metres (7,999 feet). For many centuries, Hunza has provided the quickest access to Swat and Gandhara for a person travelling on foot. The route was impassable to baggage animals; only human porters could get through, and then only with permission from the locals.
Hunza was easily defended as the paths were often less than half a metre (about 18") wide. The high mountain paths often crossed bare cliff faces on logs wedged into cracks in the cliff, with stones balanced on top. They were also constantly exposed to regular damage from weather and falling rocks. These were the much feared "hanging passageways" of the early Chinese histories that terrified all, including several famous Chinese Buddhist monks such as Xuanzang.
The temperature in May is maximum 27 °C (81 °F) and minimum 14 °C (57 °F) and October maximum is 10 °C (50 °F) and 0 °C (32 °F). Hunza's tourist season is from May to October, because in winter the Karakoram Highway is often blocked by the snow.
Today, the famous Karakoram Highway crosses Hunza, connecting Pakistan to China via the Khunjerab Pass. Travelling up the valley from the south, Hunza is the land to the left, and the former state of Nagar to the right of the Hunza River. Regular bus and van services operate between Gilgit and Central Hunza (Ganish Village, Aliabad and Karimabad) and also between Gilgit and Sost Gojal. PTDC Office at Gilgit, Sost and Islamabad arranges tours and transport for visitors.
PEOPLE OF HUNZA
As much as the valley is famous for its beauty, the people of Hunza are noted for their friendliness and hospitality. The local languages spoken are Burushaski, Wakhi and Shina, many people understand Urdu. The literacy rate of the Hunza valley is believed to be more than 90%. Virtually every child of the new generation studies up to at least high school level. Many pursue higher studies from prestigious colleges and Universities of Pakistan and abroad.
Most of the people of Hunza are Ismaili Shia Muslims, followers of His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, while in Ganish Village more than 90% are Shia Muslims. The Hunza region is home to people of three ethnicities:
* The Lower Hunza area - (from khizerabad to Nasirabad is mainly inhabited by the Shinaki people who are Shina speakers;
* The Central Hunza area - (from Murtazaabad to Ahmed Abad) is mainly inhabited by Burushaski speakers.
* The Upper Hunza area, known as Gojal - (from Shiskat to Khunjerab is mainly populated by Wakhi speakers;
The majority of the people are Ismaili Shia Muslims who are followers of the Aga Khan. The present Aga Khan IV has provided a lot of funding for the area to help with agriculture and the local economy through the Aga Khan Development Network.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Some of the past and present projects and major achievements are as follow.
1. Karakoram Handicrafts Development Programme (KHDP)
The project was started in 1996 with the financial support of Swiss Agency for International Cooperation and Development (SDC) and the technical support of Aga Khan Cultural Services, Pakistan (AKCS-P). When the project was started, there were three local handicraft products and total sale of these crafts in the Karimabad Tourist market was Rs. 25,000. The project started with five products and worked with 6 women at Secondary Production Unit (SPU) level and 200 women at the Primary Production Unit (PPU) level. The project evolved a model of community-based handicraft productions. At 55 PPUs women produced embroidery pieces and at 4 SPUs embroidery pieces were assembled into finished products. The project has created income-earning opportunities for over 3,000 home based women artisans. A production and marketing support systems (Thread Net Hunza) has been developed providing fair trade through 62 private retailers. The project trained 45 women as supervisors, book keepers, quality controllers, marketing and design specialists
After completion of the funding period from SDC a women entrepreneurial groups was formed to run the business independently. SDC will fund the group for another 3 years. The project was running a carpet center in Gulmit and a fabric center in Ganish. Both are now successfully working as independent women entrepreneurs. Different handicraft products are available at different outlets and you can order online
2. Hunza Arts and Cultural Forum (HACF)
Traditional music, arts and festivals were on the decline due to lack of patronage and insensitiveness towards cultural heritage. In order to transform dying traditions into economic opportunities HACF was established to revive traditional music, musical instruments, folk dance and festivals. The project was initially supported by the Aga Khan Cultural Services, Pakistan and later it received funding from the German Embassy in Pakistan for 6 months. The project established a workshop to manufacture musical instruments and training instrumentalists. The project was started in Mominabad, a village of musicians who are economically and socially deprived community in Hunza and remained in the lowest class during Hunza state time. The music was their hereditary profession.
The project professionalized the music and trained people outside the musicians’ family. As a result of the efforts of the project there is a renewed and increasing interest in learning of traditional music. The project has trained 68 local people in traditional music by engaging local master musicians of the community, 11 people in sword dance and 8 people have been trained in musical instruments making skill. UNESCO had funded training of 27 people in traditional music and 11 people in sword dance.
3. Human and Institutional Development (HID)
The project was funded by SDC. KADO acted as a resource base for local development organizations in Hunza. It has fostered a network of 22 grassroots groups in Hunza working in various fields (social development, economic development, environment and culture) covering all three regions of Hunza. The project built the capacity of these CBOs/LDOs’ in different field including governance, management and accounting and established an LDO Resource Centre.
4. Rain and Snow Disaster Relief Project
The unexpected rainfall/snowfall during the month of January/February and April 2005 caused great damages in most part of the country and the Northern Areas were affected the most. SDC funded a disaster relief project to mitigate the sufferings of the affected people. KADO carried out the implementation of the project in Hunza. Through this programme 28 projects including construction of 11 houses/rooms, repairing of 9 houses/rooms, repairing and reconstruction of 3 cattle sheds, 3 community water channels, one micro-hydel and one school project were successfully completed. The local community, volunteers, scouts and local leaders provided their full co-operation in successful completion of these projects.
1. Hunza Environmental Committee (HEC)
Over the last decade Hunza valley has seen rapid commercialization and increase in tourist inflow. As a result, there has been increased garbage production and environmental pollution. Due to lack of any governmental body to address this deteriorating situation KADO established the first community-based solid waste management system Hunza Environmental committee (HEC). Aga Khan Cultural Services, pakistan (AKCS-P) linked the organization with European Union and NORAD to provide small grants. The project is being managed by a small project staff and a civic group. HEC is attempting to sustain itself by charging service fee from the user groups. Presently, the project provides service to households, hospitals, hotels, shops and other commercial groups from Murtazabad to Altit. Annual awareness campaigns are held on world environment day-5th June, in which all community-based English Medium Schools, AKES Schools, Government Schools and notable citizens participate.
KADO is now working with Northern Areas Administration to declare central Hunza as municipality in order to address the growing needs of the town areas.
2. Rehabilitation Centers
There was no any organization at the community and government level to work for the socio-economic development of the People with Disabilities; the highly disadvantaged group of the society.
a. Sharma Rehabilitation Center
KADO established its first rehabilitation centre for the disabled men in 1996, with funding support from SDC, to provide health and hygiene education, vocational skills and income earning opportunities. Initially the project started providing rehabilitation services to 30 disabled people and later 62 disabled persons benefited from this facility. They have been trained in goat hair rug (a traditional local handicraft) making and rug is being marketed locally as well as to tourist market. Since the productivity of the disabled people is very low and cost of production of the rug is very high and therefore the project cannot be run profitably. At the rehabilitation centre KADO offers productive work, as a means of therapy and developing their self-esteem, to the disabled members of the community. The centre is being run in a rented building. The project has also attempted to diversify the skills of the special people by providing them training in traditional music and forming their music band. Now the band is able to earn additional income by providing its services in various cultural shows.
b. Women Rehabilitation Center (WRC)
KADO has established another rehabilitation centre for disabled women in a rented building in December 2001, with one time grant/support for six months, from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Islamabad. Later the Embassy of Finland provided financial support to the centre for six months and again extended its financial support for another one year (from July 2004 to June 2005) The centre provides health and hygiene education, basic health care and training in vocational and income generating skills such as embroidery, woolen thread making, carpet weaving. Currently the centre provides rehabilitation services to 25 women.
The Ministry of Women’s Development, Social Welfare and Special Education has funded the construction of a Rehabilitation Centre for people with special needs and for it equipment worth Rs. 28 million. The community of Hyderabad Hunza has donated 5 kanals of land (worth 3 million) to KADO for construction of the building and the construction is under progress and it will be completed by the end of the year 2006.
3. Information and Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D)
The purpose of this project is to experiment and demonstrate the use of ICT in promotion of sustainable livelihoods in the remote areas through action research. The project was started in 2001 with the financial support of International Development Research Center (IDRC). The project established ISP (www.kado.net.pk) in Hunza and thus linked Hunza and Nagar valley with Global village. Presently, the project has provided internet connections to about 150 individuals, organizations and other businesses. In order to test the potential of ICT in promoting quality of education in remote villages the project established two E-schools in two different schools in Hunza valley. Two E-Village Resource Center was established in two different villages to test the potential use of ICT in village planning and development. The business incubation component incubated local businesses in order to use ICT for promoting local businesses. The Mountain Institute for Computer Sciences which was established before this project was later merged with ICT project. The institute is providing computer trainings to educated youth.
4. Women IT Centers Project
During 2006 KADO established partnership with Planning and Development Department, Northern Areas to establish 34 Women IT centers through out Northern Areas. In this regard KADO has trained Master Trainers from all over the focus area who will later train women in computer in their respective centers.
5. Gems Cutting and Polishing center
The Northern Areas of Pakistan are rich in different Gems, precious and semi precious stones. So far only raw materials are sold in down markets so the most chunk of profit goes to agents, traders, cutting and finishing people. To bring more revenue to local Hunza economy and also to attract investment in longer run it was mandatory to establish an institute which develops a cadre of technical experts in Gems sector and also paves the way for further product value addition. In this regard KADO set up a Gems Cutting and Polishing Center in Karimabad, Hunza with the financial support of Mr. Nasruddin Ruppani and technical support of Aga Khan Rural Support (AKRSP). Initially, the center is imparting trainings to about 10 females and 3 males and will expand it later based on the outcome.
6. Karakoram Development Resource Center (KDRC)
The SDC funded project aims to develop KADO as a local Business Development Service in Northern Areas. The Center will offer need-based trainings to Government, civil society and private institutions through out Northern Areas. Beside this the project will test the applicability of two innovative projects in Hunza valley. This includes E-Governance and Business incubation.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Born in Yokohama Japan on December 08, 1947 started climbing at the age of 15. He joined Everest Expedition of the Rock-Climbing Club in 1973 and became a professional mountaineering guide. He established U-Tan Club in 1977, became well known for his Solo Winter ascents in the European Alps and the Andes. He climbed the North face of the Metterhorn in 1977, the Eiger in 1978 and the Grandes Jorasses in 1979. He also climbed MT. Aconcagua in 1987, the highest mountain in South America. He was able to establish the Alpine Guide Hasegawa Office in 1983. He married Masami Shinomiya in 1983. Led Expeditions to Daulagiri 1 Nepal in 1983, Nanga Parbat Pakistan in 1984 and Everest from the Tibetan side in 1985, 1987 and 1988 in winter, but could not reach the summit. He is noted for his love of mountains, nature, people and his efforts to teach the art of climbing to children, aged and handicapped. His role was recognised the Alpine Guide Society of Japan. He came to Pakistan and led an Expedition to climb Ulter (7385 m) in Hunza, which nobody had climbed before and made a route upto 7050-m in 1990. While he was on his way to the climax of his adventure an avalanche happened to be the cause of his last breath on October 10, 1991. His grave is in the Basecamp of Ulter, Hunza.
Masami Hasegawa born in Gumma, Pref Japan on September 21, 1953. Graduated from Keio University majored in International Political Sciences. She worked for Sogetsu Publishing Co. until 1991. She started to learn rock-climbing at the Hasegawa Mountaineering School in 1979 and became a member of the MT Aconcagua Expedition led by Hasegawa in 1981. She married Tsuneo Hasegawa in 1983 and remained member of the Everest Expedition in 1985, 1987 and 1988. She was a sub leader of the Ulter Expedition in 1990. She herself took part in the Ulter adventure again and lost her beloved husband Tsuneo Hasegawa on his way to climb the Peak in 1991. She became president of the Alpine Guide Hasegawa Office, published books and made a documentary film highlighting her late spouse’s life history focused on mountaineering. She tried her best to fulfil the dream of her late husband by establishing an institution for quality education. Because of her continuous support to sustain education oriented programmes at HMPS She is considered as the Chief Patroness of HMPS.
Rank Company Country
1 American Intl Group United States
2 AXA Group France
3 Allianz Worldwide Germany
4 Manulife Financial Japan
5 Generali Group Italy
6 Prudential Financial United States
7 MetLife United States
8 Aviva United Kingdom
9 Munich Re Group Germany
10 Aegon Netherlands
Friday, July 3, 2009
Nazir Sabir is a Pakistani mountaineer. He was born in Ramanji a small hamlet in Chiporsun, upper Hunza known as Gojal. He is the only Pakistani to have climbed Mount Everest and four of the five 8000m peaks in Pakistan, including the world’s second highest peak K2 in 1981, Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak in 1982, Gahserbrum 1( Hidden Peak 8068m ) in 1992 and he became the first climber from Pakistan to have summitted Everest on May 17, 2000 with Mountain Madness Everest Expedition led by Christine Boskoff of the USA.
Nazir started off his climbing career with a Japanese expedition to the 7284m Passu peak in Hunza in 1974. In 1975 he attempted Nanga Parbat (8125 m) with a German Expedition. On July 17 1976 he made the first ascent of 6660m virgin Paiyu followed by Col. Manzoor Hussain and Major Bashir with the first Alpine Club Expedition.
In 1977 Nazir Sabir joined the largest Japan/Pakistan joint expedition to K2, attempting the traditional South East Abruzzi ridge. It was a huge expedition, using bottled oxygen; this team had an army of 1500 porters and 52 members. However Nazir Sabir’s first assault team including four Japanese had to turn back due to snow storms from 8280m. Another attempt with the same team had to be abandoned again from 8150m when they had to come down searching for two missing colleagues who were found alive below C4. However they put six members of the team on the summit making the second ascent of K2.Till then only two mountaineers of the 1954 successful Italian expedition had stepped on the K2 Summit. Nazir Sabir got the chance to climb K2 in 1981 by accompanying a Japanese Waseda University Expedition to K2 attempting the West and South West ridge rather than the usual Abruzzi ridge. The Duke of Abruzzi had, in 1909, surveyed K2 from all its sides. He felt that K2 could only be assailed from the South West ridge, which was to be named Abruzzi ridge. The route to the West and North West ridges of K2 is via Savoia glacier. This is north of Godwin Austen glacier and the traditional K2 Base Camp. It involves a difficult grade, ice and rock climb at higher elevations with winds at 100+ km/h. In 1978 the famous British climber Chris Bonnington made his first attempt on this route. Nick Estcourt, part of this team, was swept to his death by a slab avalanche above their Camp I.Nazir, followed by Eiho Otani, reached the K2 summit on 7 August 1981. Nazir created history by successfully climbing K2's W/South West Ridge for the first time. He was the second Pakistani to stand on K2 summit and first via this route. A documentary film of the climb, "50 Day Struggle" shown all over Japan, made Nazir Sabir a house hold name in Japan. In due course Nazir had also picked up Japanese language and could speak it fluently.
Nazir Sabir in 1982, along with Sher Khan climbed with the famous Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner and scaled Broad Peak (8047 m) and Gasherbrum II (8035 m) in one attempt. Both Gasherbrum II and Broad Peak were done in Alpine style in a period of just one week the fastest ascent of two 8000m peaks at that time!
Expedition on Mount Nanga Parbat
He made three attempts on Nanga Parbat. His first was in October 1981, two months after his great success on K2 when he joined his friends from the Sangaku Doshkai Club Tokyo lead by M. Omiya. They followed the First serious attempt route (1895) of A F Mummery. Nanga Parbat claimed its first of many victims when Mummery and two Gorkha Sherpas were killed by an avalanche. Nazir and the Japanese abandoned due to the heavy crevasses on lower part of the Diamir Glacier and avalanches after heavy snow fall that autumn.
Then he challenged the SS West side also known as Schell Route of Nanga on the Rupal flank in 1983 with Tohokeiryo Kai Club friends. As he was leading a pitch up a chest deep snow face around 7200m he fell 400 meters on top an avalanche along with seven Japanese colleagues nearly to the bottom of the face but barely survived as he stopped only 20m from the edge. One of the team members Shimura fell some 2000m down the face never to be found again. Nazir ended up with bruises all over the body and a sprained ankle while the team doctor Dr. Arai and Wakutsu had one broken arm each and the expedition leader Osamu Kunii had four ribs broken. Kunii also had a deep cut across his belly by the friction of the rope showing his intestines. The mountain took its toll and the expedition had to be abandoned.
Nazir lured his old time friend and one of the most accomplished Himalayan Climbers Doug Scott and his team to go on the same route of Nanga Parbat. Doug Scott , his son Michael, Aliester and Nazir free climbed and dashed to 7150m in a two day push from Base Camp at 3600. Doug got ill at the second bivouac around the same spot where they were swept with an avalanche in 1983 and had to abandon the Killer Mountain yet again.
Death of Nazir Sabir Brother
In 1980, Nazir Sabir lost his elder brother, who was buried under an ice avalanche while attempting Diran peak with an Army expedition along with Shaukat Nazir Hamdani and Rasheed while waiting out a bad weather spell in capm 3 . The Expedition was lead by the famous Brig TM.
Everest Expedition in May 2000
Nazir Sabir’s attempt on the Everest leading the first Pakistan Expedition of ten plus a film team in 1997 resulted in failure due to very strong winds blowing across the summit ridge from 8630m on his first attempt and again from above 8500m on his two other summit bids he had to return with his five colleagues due to strong blizzards.
But on 17 May 2000, climbing in the company of his Nepalese Sherpa team and a Canadian on a full moon night to avoid high winds he reached Everest summit at 0730 hours becoming the first from Pakistan to get to the roof of the world. He first paid tribute to his many dead friends on the higher ground of Everest including Scott Fischer, Rob Hall, Ube Akira, Kobayashi, Yasuo Kato, Futagami and many more who gave their lives in love of these eternal higher heavens.While waiting for Ben Webster of Canada and two other Sherpas he went on enjoying the most splendid moments of his life with his two Sherpa colleagues taking video shots of the magical surroundings against the backdrop of the much blessed early morning sun approaching from behind 8462m Makalu, 5th highest mountain in the world.He spoke to the base camp and sent the message of humbleness and happiness back home and to his closest friends who were watching his progress and counting steps up the last part of the mountain as he climbed through the clear night winds. He received hundreds of messages from across the country and the globe including that of Benazir Bhutto who was second to send in her congratulations from London where she lived at the time.
As a reward for years of services rendered to the people of Hunza, Nazir was elected as their representative to the Northern Area Legislative Council in the October 1994 elections and appointed Advisor on Education and Tourism to the government. Campaigning for the Hunza seat in the 1994 elections for the Northern Area Assembly, for a five year term, he defeated his opponent from the traditional Mir of Hunza family with a wide margin. He was appointed as Advisor on Education and Tourism for the Northern Area. He has remained a member of the Northern Areas Legislative Council and Education Advisor of the administration of the Northern Areas of Pakistan.
Honours and as environmentalist
For his outstanding achievements he earned the prestigious President’s Award for Pride-of-Performance  in 1982 and was honored with The Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Distinction) in 2001 for his outstanding performance in mountaineering sports. His latest honour is the Presidentship of the Alpine Club of Pakistan, to which he was elected unanimously on October 10, 2004 and again for another term in 2007. Presently he heads the Alpine Club of Pakistan, which trains and prepares men and women from all around Pakistan to become climbers. Nazir Sabir is currently working as an environmentalist on the conservation of Juniper forests with the mountaineer, caver and juniper defender Hayatullah Khan Durrani in Ziarat Balochistan the 5000 years old world heritage Juniper forests. He has also been raising his voice on environmental matters.
Apart from the adventure travel business which he is running under the name of "Nazir Sabir Expeditions" this despite his main business being a tour operator, he has been actively involved in promotion of tourism in Pakistan and has traveled extensively around the world lecturing on
the country’s cultural, historical and adventure potential.
On the invitation of UIAA/IUCN (www.uiaa.ch/iucn/) he participated in an Indo-Pak Peace Climb in the Swiss Alps in 2002, organized to focus attention on environmental degradation in the Siachen Glacier area due to the conflict between India and Pakistan.
He also attended the Int’l Congress on “Future of Mountain Sports” (www.mountainfuture.at) at Innsbruck (Austria) in 2002.
For over two decades he has been representing Pakistan and delivered lectures on the tourism potential of Pakistan at international forums and Alpine Clubs in USA, Australia, UK, Germany, Austria, Canada, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Japan. He was invited to be a jury member at the Banff International Film Festival Canada in 1996, at Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) in 2002, Bratislava Film Festival in 2002, and as chief guest at the Kathmandu Film Festival in 2006. He also participated in Int’l Film Festivals at Trento (Italy).
As a photojournalist and naturalist Nazir has a collection of over 5000 slides of mountains and the culture surrounding them and he goes around doing promotional slide talks at different platforms around the globe.
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Thursday, July 2, 2009
Previous to 1947, for the preceding 960 years, these people were ruled by one family, their leader was known as the' Mir'. The Mirs protected the valley from their range of impressive wood and stone castles/palaces, This linked to the difficult access to the valley, kept the Hunzakot's isolated and independent from outside influence for generations,
Historically the Hunza valley was considered by the Chinese rulers to be part of their sphere of influence. It was not until the latter part of the 19th century and the coming of British colonial rule, that Hunza opened its borders to the outside world. Following the conquest of Nagar by the British, good diplomacy from Hunza allowed the state to remain an independent kingdom as part of British India until 1947. Where upon independence of the subcontinent it was absorbed into Pakistan. It was not until 1972 however that the Mir's finally relinquished full political control over the area.
Due to the harsh climate, rough terrain and difficult access to the outer world, the Hunza people have become hardy survivors and as such are' hard workers and ingenious farmers. In reality Hunza produces a myriad of fruits, vegetables (especially potatoes) and some wheat crops. Hunza is a marvel of agriculture with its terraced fields, and intricate irrigation system, totally dependent on glacier melt water due to low precipitation.
Despite great advances and developments in agriculture, tourism, education and health, life continues to be hard. During the long cold winter dried apricots, mulberries and vegetables, almonds, walnuts, apricot stones and a kind of whole meal bread are the staple diet helping them to survive the difficult physical conditions of their mountain Kingdom.
It is not just their hardy temperament and skilled farming techniques that make the Hunzakot different to their many neighbors. They differ in appearance especially by the roundness of their faces the color of their skin, the more commonly seen blond or fair hair, often with blue or green eyes and the radiant smiles. Hunza Society is also freer with women seen openly carrying baskets on their backs in the terraced fields wearing the typical high colored Hunza hats.
The mother tongue of the Hunzakot people is Burushaski, and is unique for the Northern Areas being a non Indo-European language, of the Dene Caucasian group of languages. Urdu however, is widely spoken with some Shina or Wakhi. The Burushaski language is also spoken in parts of the Gilgit (Ghizer) Valley in the Punial district with only slight dialect differences. There is also a pocket of Burushaski speaking people in the Yasin valley who have ethnic, religious and linguistics links with the Hunzakot's.
These are included with the Khowar speaking peoples of the upper Gilgit valley in this presentation. Though there may be a, need for a separate outreach program in conjunction with efforts to reach either the Hunzakot's or Khowar peoples in the future.
Recently the English language has grown in importance with the advent of English medium schools, and the excellent Aga Khan sponsored education initiatives. Tourism, trade and development have had a considerable impact on the Hunza valley since the opening of the Karakoram Highway. This has radically affected lifestyles and the local culture, being compounded and encouraged by the humanistic influences of the Aga Khan run Institutions. The Hunzakot's are a rapidly evolving people group open to all changes and happy to embrace all the 'advances' now inflicted on their society.
Diran peak is one of the most charmful peak that offers valour to visitors who venture to face the challenges in thier every next step. It stands at height of 7266 meters adjecent to Rakaposhi, about 7788 m towards West, facing Beautiful Hunza Valley. Many lives have been claimed in various attempts to summit but awaits so far.
It is easily accessable from Karakurum High Way and linked through a narrow stripped from Minapin Village. It takes five days for a thorough trip. People enjoy trip a lot. Next one may be
Rakaposhi is the beauty of Nagar and Hunza valley. It exists in Nagar valley.It is the most charmingl mountain and easily accessable from Karakorum High way.It is ranked 27th highest in the world and 12th highest in Pakistan, but it is more popular for its beauty than its rank.