PT Report ~ Photographs: Mirbaz Mir
Gulmit, October 23: The community in Gulmit, the Tehsil headquarters of Gojal Valley (Upper Hunza), celebrated 23rd of October as a day to remember the first arrival of the Ismaili Muslims’ leader, Shah Karim Al-Hussaini, Aga Khan IV.
Children, youth and the elders turned out in large numbers to celebrate the day. Kids presented skits and tableaus, while elders highlighted aspects of life before 1960.
The speakers said that the current generation cannot fathom the hardships faced by the people in the past. They said that the region’s economic condition was worst and there were no facilities for education, health and other needs of life. The elders urged the youth to reflect on the past and prepare for the future, which is likely to be even more challenging, despite of the presence of opportunities.
The Ismaili community in the Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral region considers the arrival of their present Imam, the Aga Khan IV, in the 1960s, as a landmark event which paved ways for progress and development in the region.
Speakers said that the region which could not find people to read and write letters 50 years back has now been able to obtain almost hundred percent literacy, while the facilities for health and other needs of life have improved significantly.
Those who spoke at the occasion inlcuded Alwaeez Muhammad Aslam, numberdar Shahgul Aziz, Sharif Khan President regional council for Hunza and Muhammad Arif, among others.
Young poets also held a Mushaira on the occasion, using light and serious peotry to raise important social and economic issues of the region. Students from various schools performed a march-past, saluting the national flag and the community’s flag.
Similar colorful and soulful ceremonies are being held across the region in different villages to commemorate the first arrival of His Highness the Aga Khan to the region; which is now clad in beautiful colors of autumn.