Hunza: (PR) Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP) held a seminar on “Negotiating Change for Sustainability: Horizons of CPEC in Gilgit-Baltistan” in Passu Gojal in Hunza. The design and objectives of conference supports resilience and good development yet fall outside the remit of any single development organization. The presentations are formatted as dialogues between a national scholar/practitioner and a local scholar/practitioner/community member. There will be interactions, participation, commentary, and above all practical demonstrations of the art of dialogue, including, listening, probing, clarifying, enrichment, agreeing, disagreeing and negotiating. These skills are part of the ancient syncretic cultures of the Silk Route spanning centuries of sustainable actions and are essential to negotiating the socio-ecological and economic changes that are once again imminent.
Elucidating the theme of conference Yasmin Karim, Programme Manager Gender and Development, briefed the participants about the objectives and context of CPEC in Pakistan in general, and Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral in particular. Speaking on the occasion she said that after the opening of KKH our region is witnessing a major development in the shape of CPEC, which is called game changer for Pakistan. She emphasized that the socio-economic realities of the region have witnessed sea change in terms of education, quality of life, economy and other spheres of life. It is to deliberate upon these changes and explore the horizons of CPEC in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral we all are gathered here.
Aziz Ali Dad, Specialist Knowledge Management, shared study of AKRSP on CPEC. The theme covered various sectors in economy which can provide immense opportunities for the region of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral.
The Chief Guest of the conference, Zafar Waqar Taj Secretary Works, presented his views about the literature, culture and society of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. He stressed on focusing soft side of development along with infrastructure development that would be brought by initiative undertaken under the aegis of CPEC project.
The speakers of the conference shared their research on tourism, culture, music, CPEC, society, environment, governance, rights of indigenous communities, languages of Northern Pakistan, and other themes that are directly related to CPEC. The panelist elaborated themes in detail in interactive sessions with local community representatives, development practitioners and local researchers. The speakers include, Safi Ullah Baig, Aziz Ali Dad, Mehnaz, Fahim Baig, Ziagham Abbas, Fazal Amin Baig, Muhammed Idrees, Sultan Ahmed, Zubair Torwali, Israr Uddin Israr, Ali Ahmed Jan, Noor Bano, Afiyat Nazar and Dr. Muhammed Sadiq.
The participants unanimously agreed upon expanding the dialogue between academia, researchers, civil society, government, local communities and development practitioners in future. AKRSP reiterated its commitment for participatory and sustainable development in the mountainous region of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral.