By Barkat Ali Shah
The People of Gilgit Baltistan are well known for their dedication, spirited interactions and honesty in professional, academic and social engagements. A very good example was set recently by students of Gilgit-Baltistan studying in top tier universities of Karachi by participating in a mega event organized by HANDS organization. It was a great occasion because more than 5000 people witnessed the demands presented by these students which is being aired through electronic media on different channels. These students set a unique example for rest of the world to keep balance between the academic and professional life while staying connected to their culture to keep it alive thousands miles away from their regions.
Culture is the characteristics and knowledge of a particular group of people, defined by everything from language, religion, cuisine, social habits, music, art, get up & a mixture of many other elements. And when there is a blend of multi cultures on one platform, it is well termed as cultural diversity.
It was a great honor to be a part of such an event here in Karachi organized by HANDS Organization under the title of National Community Convention. This Mega event was organized with intention to bring all cultures of Pakistan under one umbrella & show the beauty of each culture through art, music, dress, language & social habits.
People from all Provinces presented their cultures along with GB. Gilgit-Baltistan also has a very unique culture which has been aired on variety of TV channels portraying the messages of harmony, love, peace, justice and gender equality in the past, while giving the same perception a delegation of Hunza Gilgit Ismaili Students Federation HGISF under the leadership of M.Madad Qizil and Barkat Ali Shah with 60 other people and official media Partners of HGISF Mr.Rizwan Karim & Noman Karim, Co-Founder & Director of Productions Hi-rays Productions participated in the event and presented culture of Gilgit Baltistan.
This event was chaired by Senators, Members National Assembly & Members Provincial Assembly. The beautiful culture of GB was started with a sword dance performance on a fascinating Hareep played by Trio Band which remained a reason to grab the attention of all the audience & unbelievable appreciations from special guests.
Later, the other participating members including majority female members came on the stage and showed placard inscribed with special needs and demands of GBians. The main notable demands were constructions of Medical & Engineering Colleges in GB, increase of quota seats in govt colleges and universities, increase in reserved seats for GB in Federal Service Public Commission. The demands for constitutional rights, including the right to representation in the national parliament was also made in an effective manner. The students demanded that Gilgit-Baltistan be integrated as a constitutional province in the country. Elimination of the energy shortage and promotoin of tourism and trade were other important demands made by the youth. Other demands included establishment of a sports academy, mobile hospitals, technical educational institutions, better utilization of natural resources, eradication of unemployment, and creation of special economic zones in the area.
At the end Moula Madad Qzil delivered a precise speech about why people of GB feel a sense of deprivation. He also highlighted the former and current government’s attitude towards the region, calling it a reason for dissent. He also highlighted the sacrifices made by the people of Gilgit-Baltsitan and their role in the development of Pakistan. He ended up his speech with thanking note to host organization to provide such a platform to present our demands & ensured the long run partnership to promote cultural diversity through exchange & understanding of cultures.