Gilgit - Baltistan

Gilgit bound (by Chris Cork)

Through Kohistan in the thick darkness, shops shuttered as we rolled north; an ever-present precipitous drop to the side, and then the sudden stop after we had crossed the river at Komilla. The clanking of metal soon afterwards signalled ‘puncture’ as the tools were unloaded and it was all pile out, fire-up the mobile-phone torches to give the driver a bit of light and, as the tyre-change neared completion, the Seven-nut Option came into view. The tyre which had gone on to replace that which was punctured was as bald as a baby’s bottom, as were all the others on the vehicle. The vehicle manufacturer had built eight studs into the wheel-hub to hold on the twin rear wheels. But we only had seven. I pointed this out to the driver. He agreed with my count and said that there were six on the other side and seven on one of the front hubs. One of the vehicle’s six wheels had the requisite number of nuts holding them on. Hardly confidence-inspiring. I suggested that this might be a teensy little lapse in the safety department. He politely disagreed, tightened what were left of the wheel nuts and we were on our way. (Travel advisory… Count the wheel-nuts on NATCO buses before departure.) [SOURCE]

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  1. Thanks to Chris for sending the positive signals to the outside world, especially the West from Gilgit – his own home! The messages conveyed through the media will go a long way in projecting the area (Gilgit – Baltistan) as a safer destination.

    Thanks Pamir Times for sharing Chris’ article . Looking forward to read about the new experiences that Chris comes across and the views that he will develop while at home in Gilgit (he calls it so), this time around.

    Hope the PT editors find ways to contact Chris, soliciting his contributions to the Pamir Times for the benefit of its readership, occasionally.

    Mutabiat Shah, Islamabad

  2. I personally thanks chris for sharing his experiance. Once upon a time i got the same experiance and went to the driver to ask that who is responsible for that kind of……… He replied that this is unfortunate, no one is responsible nor can stop that. I got that this is the lack of management. If they keep a check & balance system… The travelars will not get borring or bad experiances.

  3. This story at this time, I percieve it differently.
    Yes, there’re some nuts to be tightened before “we have a major accident on the KKH” and I think what is going on around the KKH is a positive and encourraging move.
    Chris is quite right that there is the “driver” who takes absolute care of the travellers on the KKH……


  4. A good subjective piece. A conductor of NATCO would have written an in depth article if trained in writing.

  5. Beyond any doubts, “Khameto” seems to be a man/ woman of many talents; well –educated, adequately skilled, blessed with a sound thinking mind who can express himself well on any of the topics being discussed. One would therefore tend to agree with him/ her on many of the views and thoughts expressed.

    On the basis of a widely accepted principle of freedom of expression, Khameto (he/ she/ whatever) deserves due respect of the PT readership. But at the same time, one won’t hesitate for a single moment in branding Khameto or anybody else as a coward, inferiority complex -victim, hypocrite for not having enough courage to reveal his/ her true identities or at least name and location, which are the basic elements of being honest to one’s own-self and to the circle he/ she belongs.

    I would therefore encourage and ask ‘’Khameto” to come out of his/ her conceit and deception for the benefit of us all. Diverse opinions expressed in true spirit do bring out truth to the fore – help attaining logical conclusion and developing consensus. One should not be ashamed of his / her ideas, views and thoughts, particularly when one has some degree of confidence in his/ her own credentials.

    Show your true colors – Khameto! Nobody is perfect in this imperfect world; we all have our fair share of weaknesses.

    Mutabiat Shah, Islamabad

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