By Karim Khan Saka
Bravery is not new to Shimshalis. Heroism runs in their blood since their first Ancestor Mamu Sing, Founder of Shimshal valley. The past 900 years old history of Shimshal is full of thrill & heroic escapade.
When Sher Ali son of Mamu Sing invaded Shimshal pass and played the historic polo game on yak against the polo players from Shughnani People of China. He was all alone; the gamble was fixed that the winner will be the future master of the Pasture. Sher won the historic polo and the Shughnani people were obliged to vacate the pasture and leave for ever. That is how Shimshal today occupies an area of more than eight Thousand square Kilometers.
That was the starting of a Hero and for generations the Shimshalis have been defending their Pasture which is known as “Shimshal Pamir”. The raiders from Chinese side from time to time used to attack the Shimshali Shepherds to snatch their livestock. Sometimes they were killing people to terrorize them to vacate that pasture but they sacrificed each time and defended their Pasture. Shimshalis used to have the grazing zone beyond Fourzine, the periphery of Aksai and the vast area of Raskam up to Taxgurghan .
The same genre of tension almost ended up in late 70s and early 80s when a proper boarder between Pakistan and China government was declared from Shimshal Pamir area covering the limit of K2, Kofir Siyo Mountain to Gujerab up to Khunjerab Pass. Comparing other international borders of Pakistan, like Balochistan with Iran, KPK with Afghanistan Shimshalis have never violated the border with China so far. That proves their true loyalty to their motherland Pakistan.
If we take stock of the contributions of Shimshalis in the Adventure Sports for Pakistan, it is unique and inestimable. Shimshal village has gained an international reputation for being “The village of Mountaineers”. It has produced legends like Shah Brothers: Rajab Shah(The first Pakistani to hoist the Pakistani Flag on the five peaks above 8000mtrs.) Mehrban Shah, who climbed four highest to have the title of second Pakistani, Amin ullah, Qudrat Ali, Shaheen Baig, Fazal Ali, Aziz baig, Sub. Yousuf, Hav. Muhammad Ullah, Hasil Shah, Qurban Muhammad, Rehmat Ullah Baig, Syed Ahmed, Amruddin Shah, Farzar Khan, Ali Musa, Sajjad karim, Muhammad Bari, Sarwar Ali, Muammad Jalal, Wahab Ali Shah, Mirza Ali and hundreds of young climbers. Above all Shimshal has the pride to
Have female mountaineers like: Samina Baig, the lion hearted daughter of Pakistan, who climbed peaks of all continents including Mount Everest Peak, the highest in the world. Following the footsteps of Samina, there are dozens of female climbers in the adventure quest.
On 21st July 2018, Mr. Fazal Ali set a record of hoisting the Holy Flag of Pakistan on the top of K2 for the third time. He has become the first Pakistani to have this prestigious testimony of bravery.
On the same date Mr. Ali Musa has scored his 2nd 8ooomt. peak. Previously he has conquered the Gasharbrum ii. Both climbers have good stamina and potential for future climbing.
One thing that distinguishes the Shimshali Mountainers over the Sherpas of Nepal, is their strong stamina. Shimshali never use oxygen bottles during the summit. The shimshalis so far have gone to the highest peaks without oxygen. The reason is evident that Shimshalis are born at 3000 meters and much higher they climb the more natural stamina they get.
May peace prevail in our country and May these Heroes continue keeping the Flag of Pakistan higher and higher!
Long Live Shimshal, Long Live Pakistan.
The contributor has Masters degree in Tourism from France; he has also authored books on languages and culture, published from France.