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Showing posts with label Chitral. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chitral. Show all posts

Friday, July 19, 2019

Pakistan’s #Kalash minority group faces influx of rowdy tourists

Pakistan’s #Kalash minority group faces influx of rowdy tourists

Pakistan’s #Kalash minority group faces influx of rowdy tourists


In a remote valley in Pakistan, dozens of Kalash minority women dance to celebrate spring’s arrival. But, as a gaggle of men scramble to catch them on camera, the community warns an influx of domestic tourists is threatening their unique traditions.

Every year the Kalash – a group of not more than 4,000 people confined to a handful of villages in the north – greet the new season with animal sacrifices, baptisms, and weddings at a festival known as Joshi.

As celebrations kick off, tourists with cameras and phones jostle to get close to Kalash women, whose vibrant clothing and headdresses contrast starkly with the more modest attire worn by many in the conservative Islamic republic.

“Some people were using their cameras as if they were in a zoo,” said local tourist guide Iqbal Shah.


Known for their pale skin and light-coloured eyes, the Kalash have long claimed ancestral links to Alexander the Great’s army – who conquered the region in the fourth century BC.

They worship many gods, while drinking alcohol is a tradition and marriages of choice are the norm – unlike in the rest of Pakistan where unions are often arranged.

However, the community is far from a liberal beacon. Members of the community often wed in their teens, with women poorly educated and expected to perform traditional roles in the home.

Stories about the Kalash are nonetheless frequently fabricated, and this has been amplified in recent years by the proliferation of smartphones and social media.

Defaming the community

One video viewed 1.3 million times on YouTube, proclaims the Kalash “openly have sex” with partners of their choosing “in the presence of their husbands”.

Another calls them “beautiful infidels”, saying “anyone can go and marry any girl there”.

“How could that be true?” asks Luke Rehmat, a Kalash journalist.

“People are systematically trying to defame the community. They are fabricating stories … when a tourist comes with such a mindset, he will try to experience (it).”

In the main Kalash village of Bumburate a hotel manager estimates that about 70% of Pakistani tourists visiting his establishment are young men, who often inquire about where to “find girls”.

According to the tourists who spoke to AFP – most of whom were men travelling in groups – their primary interest in exploring the Kalash Valley was to learn about a new culture.

“We want to be part of this festival but it doesn’t mean that we want to mix up with girls,” says tourist Sikander Nawaz Khan Niazi from Lahore.

But friction has been increasing in recent years. In Bumburate, posters now call on visitors to seek permission from villagers before photographing and signs warn tourists not to harass women.

“If they don’t respect us, we don’t need tourists,” says Yasir Kalash, the vice president of the local hotel association.

“If they respect … our culture and traditions, we must welcome (them).”

Regulating tourism is a cumbersome but vital task for the Kalash, with money from the industry increasingly providing an important source of revenue for the community.

The Kalash – who once inhabited a vast territory stretching from the Himalayas in Kashmir to northern Afghanistan – are now one of the smallest religious minorities in Pakistan, according to Akram Hussain, the director of a local museum.

A recent survey puts their number at just 3,872, living in three remote valleys.

“We are going to die if we are not supported,” says Hussain.

The Kalash, who once inhabited a vast territory stretching from the Himalayas in Kashmir to northern Afghanistan, are now one of the minorities in Pakistan.

Kalash traditions, Hussain argues, can be expensive. Weddings and funerals require families to kill dozens of animals for the festivities, driving them into debt, forcing them to sell off land and leave their ancestral homes.

Cases of conversions to Islam of Kalash women have also been reported, while the increase in tourism has pushed some in the community to shun traditions like Joshi, according to several residents.

Others have begun wearing veils to hide their faces from the prying eyes of outsiders.

“We don’t wear veils as it is not our custom, but some wear them because people take pictures of them from all sides and it makes them feel ashamed,” says Musarrat Ali, a high school student.

The ongoing erosion of the culture at the hands of outside forces is tragic, says Sayed Gul, an archaeologist from Bumburate.

“They don’t want to participate just because of these cameras and this insensitivity,” says Gul.

“If these things are continuously happening … maybe in a few years, there are only tourists, there are no more Kalashis to participate and dance in the festivals.” – AFP 



Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Increasing suicide incidents among girls in #Chitral - 3 girls commit suicide in Chitral this week

Increasing suicide incidents among girls in #Chitral - 3 girls commit suicide in Chitral this week

Increasing suicide incidents among girls in #Chitral - 3 girls commit suicide in Chitral this week



CHITRAL (MVT 16 July 2019 by Gul Hammad Farooqi) : In an alarming development, three more girls have committed suicide in Chitral.

Local sources said a girl ended her life by consuming poison in Shaghor area on Tuesday. Police said Shazia Bibi was heartbroken over poor marks in the recent matriculation examination. She consumed poison due to which her condition worsened. She was taken to District Headquarters Hospital, but she could not survive.

The sources said that on Saturday, a girl, Safeera Bibi from Torkhao, Wasich, also committed suicide by jumping into Chitral River. The relatives and rescue personnel continued search for the body, but it could not be recovered till filing of this report. The sources said Safeera was good in her studies and got good marks in the exam. The reason behind the suicide was ascertained. Other sources said the girl apparently had some stress-related issues.


A day earlier, another girl, Razia Bibi, from Pengaigol village of Darosh ended her life by shooting herself down with a pistol. Sources said the girl was suffering from epilepsy and she had also attempted suicide earlier.

Social circles have expressed concern over so many suicide cases in Chitral and the government’s failure to stop this trend. According to various reports, the main reasons behind the suicides during the last couple of years is competition in examinations, poverty, lack of facilities, physical disorders and sometimes forced marriages. Employment opportunities are very limited in Chitral and most of the dwellers are doing private and other odd jobs in downtown districts and other provinces to financially support their families and make a living.

District Police Officer (DPO) Mansoor Aman had opened a women reporting centre at Chitral Police Station so that women could lodge their complaints with women police officers. Female police were dedicated for the purpose to register complaints by women. But that centre could not change the situation.

There are hundreds of vacant posts of doctors, including that of psychiatrists in Chitral. People of the area have demanded the government to fill all that vacancies and appoint psychiatrists on priority basis to provide counselling, physiotherapy and other treatment facilities to patents who are suffering from stress-related illness.



Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Climate change adversely affects fresh water resources - via APP

Climate change adversely affects fresh water resources - via APP

Climate change adversely affects fresh water resources



Dr Saeed Ahmed Ali

LAHORE, Jul 16 (APP):The major sources of Pakistan’s fresh water and power generation, the mighty Indus River and other tributary rivers originated from Himalayas and Karakorum Mountain ranges are being adversely affected by rapid climate changes in the region.

Scientists and experts believe that climate change is taking place due to increasing emission of greenhouse gases, which is also one of the main reasons for global warming. It had also a direct impact on global atmospheric conditions. The changes also affect the physical conditions of heavenly glaciers, which exist on high mountains to formulate proper glacial eco-system. The other major areas which are being affected by climate changes included human health, water related infrastructure and hydropower generation.

Talking to APP, Member Punjab, Indus River System Authority (IRSA), Rao Irshad Khan said that due to increase in global warming, water vapours are generated in abundance which disturb the hydrogen-cycle of water system. The situation ultimately resulted into irregular rain patterns causing extreme weather condition and flooding in the country. He said that due to increase in temperatures, western winds and local monsoon patterns have become harmonically strong which has shifted the patterns of monsoon from Chenab River to some 100 miles away to the Indus basin region.

Rao Irshad said, “Our Northern Areas are home to 5,218 glaciers and 2,420 glacial lakes, out of which, more than 50 glaciers have potentially been categorised as dangerous”. He said that the glaciers are receding at an average 40 to 60 metres per 10 years, which has created complications for the communities residing at the up sea level, who are under the threat of glacial lake outburst floods (GLOFs). Recently, a week ago, the glacier `Azghor’ has outburst in Chitral district’s Golain region, following a huge flood inundated many villages, he added.

 International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Country Manager, Mahmood Akhtar Cheema said that temperatures in most of the mountainous areas surpass 40 degree Celsius in summer season, which is alarming. This phenomena is caused by greenhouse gases, which are multiplying in various parts of the country at a fast pace, he added.

Cheema said that the hydrologic-cycle is being disturbed by the rise in temperatures, which has had a substantial impact on the water resources availability, changes in water quality and change in the precipitation pattern. High temperatures are disturbing the summer-winter precipitation cycle, which has a direct impact on the forest and vegetation cover, which is associated with balancing of the water-cycle, he added.

The IUCN country manager said that according to a research report, an over-whelming majority, around 85 per cent of farmers, was facing fresh water impacts, caused by climatic conditions such as change in rainfall, monsoon onset and temperatures. He said this trend suggests rural areas in Pakistan have been particularly hard hit by the climate change.

Sources in the Ministry of Climate Change said that anthropogenic activity and a climate change pattern has influenced the country`s capacity for energy generation, which has led Pakistan from water-stressed to a water-scarce nation.

Keeping in view the developments in the water sector, around 142 MAF water was available in 2015-16 for agricultural use, which now has been reduced by climate change impacts, he added. He said that in spite of all the strenuous efforts, water availability is either stagnant or dwindling.

According to Global Change Impact Studies Centre (GCISC) research reports, fresh water resources are among the sectors that are most vulnerable and have potential to be strongly impacted by the changing climate issues.

The GCISC sources told APP that the incumbent government is facilitating collaboration of various local and international scientists and experts who are being engaged in research activities of water resources implications.

 Environment Protection Department Director Nasim-ur-Rehman said that the day by day increasing hot climate, changing patterns of snow melt, rise in sea level and precipitation is causing an existing social and economic pressure on natural resources. For example, poor communities residing along the delta and riversides are facing severe conditions to make their livelihoods, he added.

Nasim said that global warming and climate change issues were causing a fast glacial melting in Pakistan which could cause 60 per cent shortage of water — affecting both the energy and agriculture sectors of the country.




Chitral bound flight - 22 passengers get off Chitral-bound PIA flight over 'luggage issues'

Chitral bound flight - 22 passengers get off Chitral-bound PIA flight over 'luggage issues'

Chitral bound flight - 22 passengers get off Chitral-bound PIA flight over 'luggage issues'


RAWALPINDI: Twenty-two passengers aboard a Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight to Chitral refused to travel after they were not allowed to take their luggage along owing to space restraints.

The flight, PK-660, was set to take off from the New Islamabad Airport, however, passengers were informed that their luggage could not be taken along.
The national flag carrier’s staff said that the baggage would be taken to Chitral on a later flight.

Passenger mistakes exit door for toilet on PIA flight

To this, the 22 passengers protested and left the plane with only 17 others having completed the trip.

“You see, we have space constraints on these small planes as the flight operations inform us on how much weight should be taken for take-off depending on the temperature,” PIA spokesperson Mashood Tajwar told The Express Tribune.

the cabin crew had assured the passengers that the remaining luggage would be brought to their destination from another flight, he added.

“We take these steps as our first priority is the safety of our passengers,” Tajwar said.



Monday, July 15, 2019

Female dweller of #Chitral getting embroidery training at a center established by Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF)

Female dweller of #Chitral getting embroidery training at a center established by Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF)

Female dweller of #Chitral getting embroidery training at a center established by Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF)

CHITRAL: June 01, 2019 – A female dweller of Chitral getting embroidery training at a center established by Snow Leopard Foundation (SLF) with the objective of imparting skill development training as an opportunity for livelihood opportunity in remote Chitral valley.( Match the picture with the story released by APP). APP






Saturday, July 13, 2019

Heavy Flood - 158 people rescued in Golon area of Chitral following floods

Heavy Flood - 158 people rescued in Golon area of Chitral following floods

Heavy Flood - 158 people rescued in Golon area of Chitral following floods


Around 158 people have been rescued in Golon area of Chitral who were trapped there due to heavy flood

According to Rescue 1122, a medical camp had also been established in the area to provide free medical treatment to the affected people

The military’s media wing said Pakistan Army is assisting the civil administration of Chitral in carrying out rescue and relief operation in flash floods hit areas of Golon.”Affected population being heli-lifted to safer places. Tentage and rations provided. Medical teams also present,” said Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR).The Jam Ashpar glacier had exploded on July 7, causing the glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF). The flood washed away five bridges and the Azghor Valley road.Many tourists visiting the area got stranded, including Prime Minister Imran Khan’s sister Aleema Khan, who was later rescued and moved to safety.







Thursday, July 11, 2019

Chitral ka safar.....Aam Olas: Ep # (48) : Da Chitral Safar ( Kalash Valley ) | Part 1

Chitral ka safar.....Aam Olas: Ep # (48) : Da Chitral Safar ( Kalash Valley ) | Part 1

Chitral ka safar.....Aam Olas: Ep # (48) : Da Chitral Safar ( Kalash Valley ) | Part 1

Chitral ka safar.....Aam Olas: Ep # (48) : Da Chitral Safar ( Kalash Valley ) | Part 1









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