When the people of Hunza will think about an educated leadership?? (by Zulfiqar Ali Khan)

One of my friends was insisting that the leadership of national political parties are corrupt and we don’t have any hope for our future. When I asked for his opinion about our local level leadership, he was having many justifications to vote for people facing widespread corruption and mismanagement allegations at local level. Before discussing this I want to share some information with you about a seminar held in Hunza.

The Ismaili Council for Hunza in collaboration of AKEPB arranged a seminar on ’50 years of evolution of development in Hunza/Nagar-opportunities and challenges’ on November 7, 2007 in Karimabad. This was aimed to reflect upon the development in the area over a period of 50 years, role of AKDN and to foster harmony among the communities to enhance synergy in the developmental initiatives in the future. This seminar was a corner stone for reflecting on previous developmental experience and sense of future development in the region. Seminar was chaired by Mir Ghazanfer Ali Khan, Chief Executive, Northern Area. More than 300 development activists, social workers, political and religious figures, community elders including representatives from Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) participated in this unique seminar. Speakers and participants from both the regions appreciated the efforts of AKDN, civil society organizations and Government for rigorous contribution in all sectors of rural development in the valleys.

I am sure you are thinking about, why I am writing about this seminar after 2 months. The reason is, now I am feeling a close relationship between the justification of my friend about local level leadership and the speech of Syed Yahya Shah from Nagar in this seminar. While addressing the intelligentsia of Hunza, he saluted the revolutionary development of the people of Hunza valley in all wake of life. However, he posed an open question to the people of Hunza and said “I don’t know when the people of Hunza will think about an educated leadership at political front”.  In respect of this question we should first theoretically analyse what is leadership and who are leaders?.

There’s an old saying that the way to become a leader is to find a parade and run to the front of it. We refer to a person “leading” a parade, but walking at the front isn’t really leadership unless the person in front is actually choosing the direction! If the person isn’t choosing the direction, then being at the front of the line is merely a way to pretend to be a leader.

Leaders set a direction for the rest of people; they help people see what lies ahead; they help people visualize what they might achieve; they encourage people and inspire people. Without leadership a group of human beings quickly degenerates into argument and conflict, because they see things in different ways and lean toward different solutions. Leadership helps to point us in the same direction and harness our efforts jointly.

When we analyse the local educated people according to above definitions, we can point out hundreds of leaders from Hunza working all over the country on leadership positions. However, on political front we are unable to point out a single person in true leadership position. Here I am not going to criticise some specific personalities but am just presenting a holistic sketch about political evolution in Hunza. It is equally important for us to align ourselves with the national level politics but more important is to lead a change in leadership situation at local level. We know leadership of different political parties at national levels are charged with corruptions and mismanagements. But we don’t have any direct influence in selection of these people on leadership positions. On the other hand we can directly influence in selection of people on leadership position at Union council, District Council and Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) Levels.

As an educated person, each of us must recognize the importance of leadership when we vote for our political leaders. We must realize that it matters who is in office, so we participate in a contest, an election, to choose the best candidate at local level. It is need of the time to encourage new and educated leadership without political affiliations, to represent the educated people of Hunza and to lead the people of Northern Areas in true sense.  

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  1. Good thoughts and crucial topic for discussion. Hope it generates constructive debate leading to some critical analysis of the issue at hand, and ways and means to address it.

    My immediate comments are ‘educated’ or not in the formal sense, the questions is do we have the processes and forums in place that produce future leaders in diverse disciplines, including politics? Are we nurturing such processes? who should do it? How?

    Politics is arguably the mother of all social sciences. Like development, political processes take time to root and is dynamic and organic. What is needed in Pakistan and more so in Northern Areas including Hunza-Nagar is to reverse the ‘depolitcisation’ of society and restore the true meaning and form of ‘politics’, which special interest groups, which i agree with others to call the ‘feudal-military-mullah’ nexus, have so damonized in this country and NAs.

    ‘Electoral politics’ is but one form of political participation and platform for leadership development. However the underpinning for creating political leaders; mobilizers, idealogues and activists is development of the broader civil society groups; students unions, farmers associations(VOs/WOs), professional associations like journalists unions, Bar Associations, business associations, arts and cultural groups, sports and youth groups, rights groups, consumer protection associations etc. etc. These diverse civil society groups generate leadership to different disciplines including politics and political parties. They also set the policy agenda and force governments and leaders to implement such policies.

    So, there is a need to strengthen the civil society in Hunza. promote professional groups like PT and create alliances, set the political and development agenda and ensure the process of multistakeholdership,diversity and pluralism continues both in letter and spirit. You will find true leadership sifting through and leading change!

  2. Political awareness and awareness regarding the importance of a good political leader is required. Then I think the people of the area will be in apposition to choose the one with comparatively good qualities and potentials.

  3. ‘When I die who will run affairs of Chilas’ is alocal Shina proverb.Our political personas have drilled the very idea into the people that they are the saviours,able worthy members of society who can run the affairs of the area.
    Mr Baig is right to say that we should make the people sure that they should seek the alternative and better potential.
    We see that the world choices better things to live with for example our people from Hunza and Nagr used to transport their goods to Gilgit by horses and donkeys.
    Today have changed the mode of transportation from donkey and horses to motor cars ,buses and Helicopters and.But the leaders are the same who were runnung the affairs of that donkeys and horses transportation societies of Hunza and Nagar.
    This is era of Information Technology and fast incoming governance modules ands strategic planning to meet the needs of socity within limited resources to give people a better opurtunities .But alas to block the new blood into political stream has bugged our socity and the socity has scrambled to give opportunities to the people.

  4. …..willing minds with new creative approaches….. What makes the West different from us? How did our own great grandfathers achieve things of profound importance? ….THINK BIG, ACT BIG, BE BIG……

  5. Very difficult subject to comments, looking the Country ‘Pakistan”s politics WE, people of Northern Areas have to wait for 150 years.

  6. looking the future hunza to be as an atopian valley.we ve to correct our past mistakes in politics n work honesty 4 dis land.

  7. Hunza has the greatest future in the country with best lot of hghly educated people who can serve thecountryfar better than the other regions in the north and Pakistan.
    Lets lead the nation of beloved country Pakistan,which our forefathers made by shedding their blood in 1947 against the colonials
    Now Pakistan needs us to lead the nation and hold the green flag.
    Hunza needs to come forward to defend Islam and Pakistan.As the people of the region have tremendous record in this context.
    I hope we lead the nation according to the taechings of Islam ,and principles of the Quaide Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.
    Long live Islam
    Long live Hunza

  8. It is for the first time that i am writing for the pamir news,before this i have been a silent reader.
    It is very encouraging that our new generation has an eye and
    a mind on politics before this we all know that the youth have had hands in politics.
    I would not comment more,i would say that lets all make this process run in a smooth and unbiased way.if our new, young and educated leadership will be biased then nothing will change.hope for a good leader ship with a really educated mind

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