Gilgit - Baltistan

Something unusual: The SCO Passu Exchange.

Translated by Zulfiqar Ali Khan

On way to Shimshal, we had to change the van. We waited outside the town ,where we saw only a couple of cabins. After some times, Robert, a Briton with whom now I am travelling, discovered something unusual: The SCO Passu Exchange.
A person is sitting in one of these small huts (7×24) connecting telephone links between the towns north of Passu and the rest of the world. 

The equipment was in an antique-style wood panel, probably comes from the pre-war era. Unfortunately, I had no photo but a short description depicting the picture of the technical development in this part of the world.
If a person wants to call, a small lamp glows in the box. The official then takes the handset up to ask where the caller wants to call. The official puts a cable connection in order to connect to the next station. When the call is finished, then glows the second light and the official separates the cable. The maximum capacity of this main exchange point is as much as ten simultaneous connections.

If, as the power failure happens several times a day, then a dozen of car batteries are used to ensure the connection for a while. I myself had experience with telecommunication solutions with IBM in Pakistan and now the problems which we always had, no more surprises me.

(The write up has been posted by a traveller on June 13, in a travel blog in German language. To visit the orignal source click here: Passu Exchange)

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  1. respected sharif’s suggestion and recomandation are very valuable for the modern time, but we are still using these anciant atiques, even this antique is not avail in some villages, and how we will expect internet from the government/SCO, but hope NGOs, like KADO and other concern will consider our request to connect Gojal with the rest of the world.

  2. Thanks for the traveler to highlight the genuine issue of Passu Exchange and thank You Mr. Zulfiqar for your translation and dissemination on PT. Very true and most important issue is raised by a tourist. Our government should take prompt steps to resolve the issues of communications either it is landline phones, mobile phones or the most deserving internet services to make the area more attractive for tourists and the entire masses in the remote region.


    Sharif Khan

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