Gilgit - Baltistan

Legendary social, educational and cultural leader, Rai Ghulam ud Din passed away

PT Report

Karachi, November 3: The legendary social, educational and cultural leader of Gojal Valley, Rai Ghulam ud Din breathed his last today at the Intensive Care Unit of Aga Khan University Hospital, Karachi.

His body will be flown to Islamabad tomorrow morning at around 7 O’clock, from where it will be taken to Gulmit, his native village, in upper Hunza (Gojal).

The list of services of Rai Ghulam ud Din is very impressive.

He was the first Chairman of Aga Khan Education Service (North), then known as Directorate of DJ Schools.

He was one of the founding leaders of Hunza Educational Resource Project (HERP) in the 90s.

He also founded the Al-Amyn Model School, Gulmit, arguably one of the best schools in Gilgit – Baltistan. He also founded the Gulmit

Rai Ghulam ud Din was a visionary leader who transformed the society through his educational, cultural and social services

Educational and Social Welfare Society and served as its first President.

Rai Ghulam ud Din was the key person behind the Wakhi Tajik Cultural Association (WTCA), the organization credited for initiating the revival of Wakhi culture in Gilgit – Baltistan.

He was also a member of the Ismaili Council for Hunza and Ismaili Conciliation and Arbitration Committee at different times.

Recognizing the services of Mr. Ghulm ud Din, he had been bestowed with the honorary title of “Rai”, by His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims.

Born in Passu Village in the year 1944, Rai Ghulam ud Din breathed his last today at the age of 67 in Karachi, at around 10:30 AM. He will be laid to rest in his native village Gulmit in presence of family members and admirers.

Left mourning the death of the legendary leader are his wife, his daughter – Zohra, and his family members along with thousands of admirers across the world.

His death leaves a leadership gap that may never be filled. His vision, wisdom and leadership will be missed.

“I am the luckiest and richest person in the world”, late Rai Ghulam ud Din once told this scribe, in the month of August, while recovering from a surgery in Karachi. “The love, respect and care of thousands of people is a great asset that I have built over the period of my life”, he had said.

It is pertinent to note that people in several villages of Gojal Valley held collective prayers for recovery of Mr. Ghulam ud Din during his life time while he suffered from ailment, as a token of their love and appreciation for his services.

While faced with many challenges during his life, Rai Ghulam ud Din always showed exceptional resilience and energy, fighting social ills as well as his own physical ailment.  He was suffering from kidney failure and was routinely going through the process of dialysis for many years.

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  1. It is a very big loss indeed, his role for Gojal in general and for Gulmit in particular has been really vital, his services have been a big source of change in the society and i don’t think there is some one who can exactly take his place and play the role he had played!!
    I pray may Moula place his soul among the greatest souls. May Moula rest his soul in eternal peace.
    Thousands of Condolences to his family and all the people who loved him..

  2. We were extremely grieved to learn about the sad of Uncle Ghulam-u-ddin.
    Ina lillahi wa ina ilahi rajioon
    On behalf of me and my family, we would like to convey our heartfelt grief and condolence to Appa, Sister Zohra and all entire family members and sympathy and share in your grief and sorrow.

    We pray to Almighty Allah to bestow eternal peace on the departed soul and give courage to bear this irreparable loss with patience and fortitude. Ameen.

  3. This is the end of an era and very sad indeed. He was an icon of development, inspirational and visionary leader with full of commitments . His efforts for the development -especially in the field of education in particular and social and cultural in general will never be forgotten .Rai. Ghulamuddin left many of us literally orphaned. May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace and give the family courage to bear this irreparable loss. Ameen

    Sajjad and Samina
    Riyadh. KSA

  4. It is a great loss and shocking news for whole Hunza valley. Late Ghulamud-din has devoted his whole life for the welfare of area and specially in education and culture he has brought revoulationary changes. His good deeds would be recalled in the history of hunza. hHe is equally partner of late Ustad Sultan ali to sensitize and motivate communities towards female education. He used to go to door to door to convince the parents for sending their daughters to schools. Such types of few heroes and torchbearers who shifted the paradighm of female education. That is why today the female literacy rate in Hunza is above 80%.

    On behalf of me and my family we would like to convey our heartfelt grief and condolence zahra sister and Apa and his bereaved family and thousand his well wishers. May allah rest his soul in peace. Ameen

    Ali Mehr & Family
    Danyore gilgit

  5. Innalilahi wa inna illahi rajioon, May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace and give strength to his wife ,daughter and collaterals and the people of gojal in particular and Hunza in genral who will be equally remembered for his devoted services.The Pamir time has rightly given coverage all about him.I pay my tribute tohis honorary sevices he renderdto the jamat and provided leadership in a very challanging period.

  6. We have lost a good leader he was an enthusiastic and committed member of the Society
    especially his service for education will naver forgate in Hunza & Gojal valley
    On behalf of me and my family we would like to convey our heartfelt grief and condolence to zahra ,and the sisters&daughter of late Ghulam u din and the other family members and entire relatives around the world
    Hikayat shah

  7. Indeed really very sad news, end of a golden era of selfless service
    May his soul rest in eternal peace. Ameen!!

  8. May Almighty Allah rest his soul in the eternal peace and may give strength his family bear this great loss ( Ameen) I had brief but wonderful memories with this legend on few educational programmes. We will ever remember his contribution to the people of the area.

  9. Inna Allaha wa inna elaihi rajioon

    May Mawla bless the Ruhani’s soul in eternal peace and give courage to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss. Ameen.

  10. Ina Lilahi waina ilihi rajeeon. indeed very sad news! may Mawla rest his soul in eternal peace.Ameen!.

    He was the first person from Hunza to visit Tajikistan in 90s after the Soviet union collapse. the purpose of his visit was to link the two communities (Wakhis of Pak and TJK ) because they were not in any sort of contact for more then 100 Years. Still most of the Scholars and elders from Khorog and Ishkashim remembers him and talking about his personal contribution for these two communities. This will be a shocking news for them as they were expecting him to visit TJK again.

    Javed Ali


  11. Innalillahi wa inna illeihi rejion. I offer my heartiest condolence to the bereaved family including uncle Rehmat ullah Baig, uncle Amin Baig, uncle Fazal Amin Baig, uncle Atta ullah Baig.

    A big big loss to Hunza. May Moula rest his soul in eternal peace and give strength to his family and friends to bear this irreparable loss. No body can count his services to Gojal, but one thing I mention here that he was the person behind giving the first ever school project to the remote Chipursun Valley. On behalf of the people of Chipursun, we thank you Sir and pray that may your soul live in eternal peace.

    Ali Member & Family

  12. dear all gojal people we loss a great leader of gojal and May Almighty Allah rest his soul in the eternal peace a(ameen) on behalf of Misgar Social welfare(MSO) we would like to convey our heartfelt grief and condolence of Rai Ghulam ud Din family

  13. This sad news really shocked me this morning as i opened the site of Pamir times, that uncle Ghulam din passed away , May Mowla rest the desparted soul in eternal peace and give courage to the family to bear this irreparable loss. we really salute his legendary leader ship , his love for his people and dedicated impressive social work for the people of the community and Gojal specially.

    I had a very good time with uncle Ghulam din as we were living in neighbourhood in karachi , His strong belief and strong will has ever impressed me. He was in pain but his ever smile never showed that he was in trouble.

    My heartfelt condolence to sister Zohara , and all immediate family.

    Engr Hussain and Dr. shahida Chicago USA

  14. Hazaron saal nargis apni benoori pe roti hai

    Badi mushkil se hota hai chaman mein didavar paeda

    May God rest his Soul in eternal peace~**~AMEEN

  15. May your soul rest in eternal Peace (Amen). Condolence to all his family and relatives.

    Aaliya Khan
    Florida, USA

  16. Saddened and shocked by this news. Our heartfelt condolences are with each and every member of the bereaved family. We pray may his soul be rested in eternal peace and the bereaved family be granted utmost strength to bear this lose.

    Shazia & Aejaz

  17. A very shocking news. He did face the hard realities/ challenges- had a very hard nerves but that is how life is! PT has truly reflected his decades of achievements for community development up in the mountains during difficult times.

    His time, knowledge and material contribution for the community would always be remembered and appreciated.

    Late Ustad Sultan Ali and Ghulam ud Din were exceptional individuals who rendered exceptional services for improving well being of the mountain community with specific focus on education.

    We offer our condolences to Zhora, sister Nakab Sultana, Karim and all family members and friends and pray for the soul to rest in eternal peace(Ameen).

    Darjat and family members

  18. I am extremely shocked and sad to hear this shocking news. Indeed the services of late Rai Ghulam ud Din to the people of gojal specially in the field of education are countless. May Allah Almighty rest his soul in eternal peace and give strength and courage to the bereaved family to bear this irreparable loss. Ameen.

  19. May Mula rest his soul in eternal peace …

    I salute Mr. Ghulam Uddin for his services and offer heartfelt condolence to all his family members..

    Nadim Aman

  20. Rai Ghualm Uddin was a visionary leader of Hunza-Gojal whose matchless services for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan will be remembered for long. He was a philanthropist, social worker, volunteer and above all a nice human being. May Mowla bless the departed soul with eternal peace. Aameen.

    تب خاک کے پردے سے انسان نکلتے ہے
    مت سہل ہمیں جانو پھرتا ہیں فلک برسوں

  21. Our deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of late Ghulam ud din. He was an innovator and a leader, always so kind in lending his precious time to help and advise. His many friends around the world will miss him greatly. His contributions to our knoweldge and appreciation of the Wakhi community are a lasting tribute to his greatness. We offer our prayer for his soul. In sympathy, Dr. John Mock and Kimberley O’Neil, California, USA.






  23. R.I.P Shakar Nanna, He was the pioneer in the development of Hunza valley and his legacy will be remembered and acknowledged for years. He was vital to our society, and we lost a person who will be long remembered. My prayers to his family and i pray that his soul be rest in the eternal peace.. Ameen

    Salman Abbas
    Wisconsin, USA

  24. To all the family members
    Please accept my heartfelt Condolence on the sad demise of Uncle Rai Ghulam Uddin
    We lost a great visionary leader, we will always remember his devoted services and guidance to the people of hunza, May Allah give strength to his wife, daughter, sisters and all family
    May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace, Asal Mey Waseel karey ( Ameen)

    Saleemuddin Shah
    Saudi Arab

  25. Inna Lillahi Wa Inna Elaihi Rajioon.May Mowla bless his departed soul rest in peace(Aameen).
    The Diadem of education,Rai Ghulam-ud-Din will be missed by his phenomenal innovations,services for education,cultural and social development for the valley of Hunza and Gojal.
    Although Pamir Times has reflected on his decades’ phenomenal sevices and achievements for our valley very well but I would like to mention here that he was the exceptional leader who encouraged girls of Gojal for seeking education.He is the one who started Diamond Jubilees schools for girls.
    I would also like to mention his great contributions to my family(Ali Dad family)in particular,.He will always be remembered in prayers of his great and visionary leadership for my family.

    My heartfelt condolence to Nakab aunty,Zohra,Karim bhai,all his sisters,Shamshad,Amin bhai,Fazal Amin bhai,Islamuddin,Zareen,Tajida,Yasmeen,and all his family members.May Mowla give you the strength to bear this great loss.

  26. The Legendary Man has reshaped the lives of thousands who ware stranded in difficulties.
    The society will always remember his services he rendered and will be remembered forever.
    We pray may his soul be rested in eternal peace (Ameen)

  27. It was very sad day for all the people from Gojal and Hunza region because we lost a great leader today.

    For me, it was a day to drop tears, sigh, recap the memory and remember uncle’s words, his great smile and his jokes. His wonderful personality, his excellent interpersonal skill, his friendly attitude, and his loving and respectful behavior always made him unique among the people.

    Ali Mehr Sahib has rightly mentioned his devotion and commitment to education in going door to door to persuade parents and in-laws. I remember, he coming to our house to motivate my in-laws to allow me to go to school. He persuaded my husband to support me for education. I also remember, when we four girls (Almas, Lal Sultana, janan and me) were taking examination in central Hunza in 1981, he came to see how we have been doing. He met us and encouraged us to do well in examination. When he left, we were talking to each other saying, “He is so great that he has traveled for us from Gulmit to Baltit Karimabad to meet us”

    He was a visionary leader. He always devoted himself for community development and providing educational opportunities for girls but gradually, he noticed boys cannot be ignored so he opened Al-Amyn School in collaboration with his other visionary friends and young leaders of the community. He also encouraged the donor agencies to support other community based schools and led the HERP organization with his colleagues.

    I feel lucky that I always got his attention, and advice. I also loved him like my own father. I am sad in the same way, when I was sad after my father’s death. I don’t have words to express the feelings. Sweet Zohra, Aunty, all his sisters, Karim Bhai and all the beloved ones, I have been thinking of you a lot. If I were there, I would have joined you to cry but at the same time, I would have encouraged you to be strong in these difficult days. However, I am still part of you cos I am crying and praying for you all and his soul too. Love you and miss you a lot. May God give you all patience and peace to my great uncle’s soul (Ameen).


    Safida Begum


  28. Innalilahi wa inna illahi rajioon.

    We convay Our condolenses to
    all the family members of late uncle gulam uddin,

    No Words to Express.Its sad news , our heartfelt prayers for the departed soul.May Allah give courage to late uncle’s wife & his doughter Zohra. and immediate family members.

    He was a very important personality of our wakhi society. We salute his volunteerly services he provided to all our Ismaili brothers and sisters.He was a legend and a visionary.

    May his soul rest in ” Peace” Ameen!

    Sultan dad & Family members – Atlanta -Georgia- USA

  29. Inalilahha wa in elaihi rajeeoon

    we lost a great leader and legend , we always remember your services for the community.
    we convey our condolences to all the family members of late Rai Ghulam u Din ,
    May Allah rest his soul in eternal peace.Ameen.

    Meherban Karim Abdul and Family


    Late Ghulamuddin was rather will remain always as a ROLE MODEL for community and social service and will be remembered. I met him first time in 1976 in Gulmit, when i was a college student and had walked all the way to Gulmit alongwith 3 other students from Khoshi (my native village) to request him for approving a primary school in our village. The memories of my first meeting with him, his pleasant personality, inspiring leadership qualities, the way he welcomed us at his home and the hospitality he offered are still very fresh in my mind and since then I respected him as a “Natural and Born-leader”.

    Indeed it is a sad news and I offer my heartiest condolence to the bereaved family members and pray that may Allah keep his soul in eternal peace and give strength and courage to the family members to bear the loss – Ameen.

    Muhammad Gul
    Kabul, Afghanistan

  31. Its a great loss for all the Northeren Areas people
    he was the leader of every one , the old ones and the youg ones
    but he left his vission behind for his youth and his life is a benchmark for all of us
    May Allah Bless his soul in peace AAmin!!!

  32. We have lost a great visionary leader with devoted services and outstanding achievements at his credit especially in education and community development.Following the paths of our great Ustad Sultan Ali, late Rai Ghulamuddin consistently struggled to provide quality educational facilities even in the remotest villages like Zoodkhoon and Shimshal in Hunza valley.The magnificent school buildings constructed through community support and under the Self-help school construction programme which would continue to educate the generations to come would be long remembered as brain-child of our great friend late Ghulamuddin and Dr. Ward Heneveld.
    At the back of his successes was his examplary will power and consistent efforts and inspiration which made it possible to create awareness and mobilize the local community for a brighter future.I think the best way to pay homage would be to continue and renew our support in improving the quality of services of the institutions that our Ustad Sultan Ali and great friend Rai Ghulamuddin have immensely contributed in the making.
    We extend our heartfelt condolences to Bhabi, daughter Zuhra, grand children, Karim, his siters, Ashraf and all his family members. May Mawla rest the departed soul in eternal peace Aameen!
    Dawar Shah & family

  33. Ruhash shaad bashad. Khudawand janat nasibash gardanad

    A huge irreparable loss for the whole community. May his soul rest in peace. He may have left us physically but his contributions and services for the community will always remain with us and will be remembered as a role model for generations to come.

    My condolence to the entire family.

    Khudwand bara e shuma sabr e jamil ata farmayad

    Nauroze Shah
    Kabul, Afghanistan

  34. He was a true hero and the whole community of Hunza-Gojal will remember him as their leader forever. We miss you uncle dearly.
    May his soul rest in eternal peace. Ameen Ya rabilalameen.

    Dr. Aman and Family

    The shocking news of the tragic death of Rai Ghulamuddin has stunned all of us. He used to be well-liked, admired and respected by many of his colleagues, friends and the community in Hunza and beyond. His role as a visionary, committed, dedicated, hard working and selfless leader for the holistic development of the community and society has rightly proved him to be a LEGAND. Nations and communities are not assembled and developed over night. It takes decades and centuries to bring a nation or a community into the lime light and in this long and thorny expedition generations go past. Nevertheless, Rai Ghulamuddin trod this challenging path with vision and zeal and steered the community and society to their goal and destination in a very short span of time.
    Rai Sahib was a staunch believer in faith as well as in the capacity of the community and he gave self-confidence and vision to the people of Hunza, mainly Gojal and motivated them to do marvels. Though his main focus remained on education and culture, where his main goal was ensuring quality, his services for religion and faith were equally important. The best tribute to late Rai Ghulamuddin is to value and cherish his legacy and build upon it. Let us pray to khudawand that his soul may rest in internal peace. I offer my heartfelt condolence to his bereaved family, his sisters, nephews, nieces and friends. Finally my tribute to Rai Sahib is in Allamah Iqbal’s words:
    Suroodi rafta baz aayed ki nayed,
    Naseemi az Hijaz aayed ki nayed,
    Sar aamad roozgari ien faqeera,
    Digar danayi raz aayed ki nayed?

  36. Rai sahib was a great personality. He had rendered great services for the community. His demise is a loss for Hunza. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

  37. Khuda wand Taallah Rai Sahib Ko Apnay Jawri Rahmat May Jaga Day,,(aameen)

    Serena Islamabad

  38. The great loss is that a Social Activist, Educator, Social Worker, uncle Rai Ghulamuddin is no more with us. May God Bless his soul in eternal peace and give the bereaved family the courage to bear this irreversible loss.
    A lot is covered about his charismatic personality his behavior with all segment of society, I will just say how courageously he fought the disease and spent his life as a normal human being with grace and dignity. We should follow his footsteps in social mobilization and cultural harmony in Gilgit Baltistan.
    He was a heroic figure in Gojal Hunza without any dispute. His services include honorary services in changing the mind set of Hunza in educating people especially for female education.

    Few of his millstones in Social Development without any Financial Gain

    Efforts in Establishment of D.J Schools in Hunza specially Aga Khan Academy Hunza
    Founder of WAKHI Tajik Cultural Association WATCA
    Establishment of Hunza Educational Resource Programme HERP for English Medium Schools
    Donor and Founder – Al Amin Model School Gulmit Gojal
    Ambassador of wakhi Language travelled in PRC &Tajikistan
    Host of great Intellectuals around the Globe and portraying the positive Image of Hunza and GB
    It is really impossible to fill the vacuum left by the Great Hero of his time, we salute him for his tremendous contribution and guidance for changing the neglected part of Pakistan. I will request the public Representatives Specially Governor GB and GBLA to honour his services and may request President of Pakistan to confer him with National Award.

    May God bless his Soul in eternal peace……Ameen

    ”The characteristic of genuine heroism is its persistency. All men have wandering impulses, fits and starts of generosity. But when you have resolved to be great, abide by yourself, and do not weakly try to reconcile yourself with the world. The heroic cannot be the common, nor the common the heroic”

    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer

    Saleem Khan Gilgit

  39. my condolences to his family and entire Hunza community.Rai sahib served our community
    honorably.may allah rest his soul in peace. ameen
    mashghool alam
    orlando florida usa

  40. my deepest condolence to the family of legendary social worker late Roy! Ghulam uddin, His life time unmatched work will be remembered forever in the entire Gilgit-Baltistan and specially Hunza! his matchless service to the community may have no words to express , he was Extra ordinary and Visionary !
    May Allah rest his soul in eternal Peace “Ameen”

  41. May uncle’s soul rest in eternal peace (Amen). A great loss of a legendary social worker, activist, educator in the entire Hunza you will be missed forever. Condolence to all family members and relatives.

    Shahgul Khan & Family
    Florida USA

  42. Innalilahi wa inna illahi rajihoon
    my condolences to sister Zhora, aunti Nakab Sultana, uncle Ghulam Karim ,uncle Ghulam Abbas , uncle Shar Abbas ,Uncle Mohd Ashraf Khan , Uncle Sayab Khan,uncle Sharif Khan, uncle Mohd Adab Khan,uncle Iqbal Hussain,uncle Rehmat ullah Baig, uncle Amin Baig, uncle Fazal Amin Baig, Atta ullah bahi, Nawab Ali khan bahi, Ejaz Ali Khan bahi, and all his family members and relatives which i forgot to write here…may Allah rest uncle soul in eternal peace, (AMEEN)

    Iftikhar Ali

  43. No Words to Express.Its sad news , our heartfelt prayers for the departed soul.May Allah give courage to late uncle’s wife & his doughter Zohra. and immediate family members.

    He was a very important personality of our wakhi society. We salute his volunteerly services.

    Sarfraz khan
    Dushanbe tjk


    May your soul rest in eternal Peace Amen. Condolence to all his family and relatives.

    Najeeb rumi
    East Africa

  45. A contribute to my affectionate uncle and great father in-law, the late Rai Ghulam Uddin. We miss you dearly.

    God saw you getting tired,
    and a cure was not to be.
    So He wrapped his arms around you,
    and whispered, “Come to me.”

    With tearful eyes we watched you
    and saw you pass away
    and although we love you dearly
    we could not make you stay.

    A Golden heart stopped beating
    When He gave you rest.
    God’s garden must be beautiful;
    He only takes the best. (By Anonymous poet)

    Dear All,

    I wish to express my sincere gratitude for the considerate comments that all of you have posted on Pamir Times. Many of you expressed such sentimental remarks about the late Rai Ghulam Uddin. Thank you all for your kind words, and most of all, for your prayers and the sincere blessings for his contributions to our society.

    My gratitude goes out to uncle’s friends and colleagues, as well as the students of Al-Amin and other D.J schools. Thank you all for the respect and sympathy you have bestowed upon us; and I am grateful to those of you in Karachi, Islamabad, Gilgit and central Hunza, as well as the Jama’at of Gulmit and Gojal, who assisted us in returning his body to Gulmit and in conducting a burial with the upmost respect.

    I convey my appreciation to the Pamir Times’ Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Khan (founder and coordinator), Mr. Noor Muhammad (founder & chief editor) and their team for the praise and attention they brought to uncle’s volunteer services and accomplishments. Thank you both for your sympathy and support. It meant a great deal to us.

    Once again it’s during a time like this that we see the best and worst in one another. I, on behalf of my family, announce our appreciation for the sympathy and kindness you, the people of our community have displayed. God bless you all.

    Please pray to the Almighty that his soul may rest in eternal peace, and grant us the strength to continue his mission onward.

    Ghulam Karim Sakhi & Family,
    Edmonton AB, Canada.

    Cell # 001-780-707-0460

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