[Debate] From Tribalism to More Tribalism: A ‘vision’ for Hunza!

Reconstructing the tribal character and spirit and waiting for its miraculous results: Recalling the dormant tribal spirit and revitalizing the aristocratic character of Hunza that is the essence of our moral integrity, social supremacy and economic sovereignty, decentralization of powers and authority to get emancipated from the present ongoing traumatized condition and cowardice. Calling on the old spirits to repair our maimed, shattered morale and blackened character.

A rationale in the historical evidences: It is on the record of the history that as a potent and powerful bond, the traditional Arbitration and Reconciliation system, justice system and the nexus of the tribal management forms and manifestations of Hunza had played a vital role to glue the masses together into an ethnic entity with full honor and dignity for centuries, despite the most unfriendly and harsh socio-economic conditions and hostile natural phenomenon and simultaneously developing a highly integrated crime and stress free ideal society with the ultimate social harmony. It also had contributed to give Hunza a prominent status and unique character among the contemporary cross states of the region but also a Cinderella like mythological fame in the western world. So se have stepped forward to retest an old remedy to cure the wounds of the modern era, by indoctrinating with this traditional rich heritage of ours, with a firm belief that it will help to retrieve our past glory and pave way to renaissance.

Our Imam, also commends our traditional heritage in all its forms and manifestations. And Karim Abad old fort is such a form of our built heritage, that is the living testimony of the applaud of Imam of the Time.

Special Note: One should hear in mind, that this Special Body will not be challenging and repudiating one form any aspect for the existence and authority of the pre-existing Jamati Institutions, but its status will be that of a stake holder, facilitator, collaborator, energizer, booster, promoter and catalyst of programmes of Jamati Institutions.It is the clash of civilizations, in words of President Bush, that is the root cause and fundamental and principle reason, why there is a broadened dichotomy between the people of south and Badakshanies of north?

The above text has been taken from a concept paper written by Zeenat Shah. Read complete document at the original source: Hunza Development Forum.

While the document outlines the opinions and wishes of an individual only, there is no harm in discussing it at a larger forum, with participation from all stakeholders.

The Question:

1. Shall we be moving forward or backward?

Related Articles


  1. As far as the history of Hunza is concerned, it is debatable. To me, it was full of discrimination of the people at all levels in the hands of the ruling elite and its aids (Wazeers, Trangfas, Arbobs, Yarpas, Charboos and even the personal servents of the Mirs) have equally discriminated the poor people. The reason for their non agitation and uprising was mainly due to extreme poverty, ignorance of their rights and duties due to illiteracy, and strict punishments to the culprits and their entire family and inaccessibility to the outside world and media.

    The justice system was highly questionable and not something that we should be proud of. The glorious stories were all written by the westerners who had to enjoy the royal hospitality and their interaction with the general public was almost negligible as the level of education was almost zero.

    Nobody has ever bothered to investigate how the state of Hunza was run what was the level of public welfare and prosperity at that time. I would like to share here this link to find our how was the glory of Hunza been actually.

    I hope we should come out of these exaggerated glories and live in the real world. Our society is in a real bad shape and needs urgent attention of some serious minds.

  2. Agreed with jojon as Mr. Zeenat shah is pushing us backwards to the dark age in the history of hunza where his ancestors were 2nd in command. Tomorrow he will demand to bring another alien like previous Mirs to impose on us.

  3. Mr. Zeenat Shah proposes to take the Hunza people back to the stone age. He actually wants to revive the detested system of cast, clan and monopoly where the powerful was the oppressor and weak was the oppressed for centuries. Such a system cannnot practically exist in modern times as the days of monopoly over knowledge and information are gone.

    The writer must understand that life is not a fairy tale, a bedtime story …. life is a stark reality that has its own dynamics…. and the reality is that we are living in 21 century … and before us are the kind of challenges that we have had never imagined of.

    Revival of the past is a kind of sentiment that gives solace to the timid souls for a while but it doesn’t solve the problems of the future. On greater scale, the idea of revival of Islam has proved to be a complete failure because it turned the Muslims into worst kind of cynics, cowards and worshipers of the past. Instead of getting rid of the shackles of past and face the future boldly, the so called Islamic revival movements gave Muslims excuses to shy away from the present and future.

    The development model proposed by Mr. Zeenat is therefore fatal to the true development of the people of Hunza.

    Over the last few decades, various development agencies including AKDN have given us a time tested development model that has successful led our people into the educated and enlightened world.

    Politically speaking, we still have not got our share of the pie . In a sense, the past glory of Hunza state in the modern times has reduced to nothing more than a decree issued by the tehsil office. To be realistic, the Mir of Hunza and state of Hunza has reduced to the level of a tehsil administered by the Tehsildar. Romance with the past will not make too much a difference to this embarassing situation unless our people reckon with a new vision for their political future.

    Our efforts should rather be focused on greater political and economic share for Hunza in the context of growing importance of Gilgit Baltistan for the countries around the region. This alone gaurantees a better future for our comming generations.

Back to top button