SR Times
By: Shamsuddin Muhammad
The mental stress among the youth in the wake of unemployment because of lack of opportunities, decreasing purchasing power and spoiling of their talent tends to rise in Baltistan region. According to a survey conducted by AlShams, a Bi-Monthly online regional portal, around 55 percent youth, in age bracket of 24-30 were found badly stressed due to laziness, lake of relevant work to their qualifications, skills and expertise. 20 percent in the same age bracket were partially depressed while 10 percent of the same age bracket said they did not ever think over that. Five percent of the youth under the same age category were found stressed because of unequal and non performance based promotions in their respective career.
The menace of unemployment in the region has gradually made many potential youth to embrace the other fields of their interest, living their performances not up to the standards. One of the main causes of unemployment is due to lack of any sustainable industry as a potential employer to share the load with government and private sector in the region. On the other hand, nepotism, corruption in form of acquiring heavy bribes against key job positions in government sector by authorities and lack of accountability and administrative nuances has made it more difficult for a candidate with poor background and influential recommendation. Interestingly, the ensuing struggle by member of legislative assembly for ministership has left little time for them to work on important issues including new development initiaitives to adjust educated and skilled youth and the hope seem dying among them as those who begged votes from them with tall promises have forgotten every thing and running behind their own perks. The case in private sector is bit like the former one as appointments like in Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) also largely being made on favoritism and personal will. As a result, there are very few developmental initiative to enable region to keep the pace with dynamic world. The policy, here in both private and public sector has had instead of strategic approaches relied upon the conventional ones. For Strategic Human Resource Management(SHRM) experts, out put from even some of well known NGOs working in socio-economic empowerment, despite of its high sounding publicity remained comparatively low as were predicted during right and downsizing as in most case, one can hardly observe a right person for a right job.

SRT Monitor
The district president Pakistan Muslim League Qaid-e-Azam (PML-Q), Member Legislative Assembly (MLA) Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Mirza Hussain said job quota should be given to the people of Hunza Nagar and there should not be appointed any people from other districts. Talking to APP here Thursday he said there was no deficiency of talent in the district. The people of Hunza Nagar were very intelligent, able, educated and hard worker and can tackle any type of administrative post.
He said Hunza Nagar was newly made district and the opportunities for different jobs should only be given to people of the district. “The people of Hunza Nagar were already worried due to the Ataabad Lake incident and the government should provide them relief through job opportunities,” he said. Courtesy: APP

Brushaski- A strange language

Posted by Shamsuddin Muhammad 0 comments

By: Rauf Parekh
The picturesque valleys of northern Pakistan are the cradles of many strange languages and cultures. The languages spoken here — virtually little explored just like these valleys —include Balti, Shina, Khuwar, Wakhi, Pahari, Burushaski and many others. Burushaski is perhaps the strangest of them all.
In addition to the valleys of Hunza, Nagar and Yasin, Burushaski is also spoken in some parts of Gilgit, with slightly different accents and dialectic features. The interest in this obscure language among Pakistani scholars is recent phenomenon but Burushaski had courted a considerable attention at international level quite long ago. Some European scholars have carried out extensive research on Burushaski.
According to ‘Jareeda’, a research journal published by the University of Karachi’s Bureau of Compilation, Composition & Translation, George Morgenstierne wrote in his ‘Report on a linguistic mission to North West India’ (Oslo, 1932) that a scholar named David L. R. Lorimer had done earliest research on Burushaski and Morgenstierne himself compared Burushaski phonology with its neighbouring languages. But Hermann Berger, a German scholar who carried out a long and profound research on the language in the late 1950s and 1960s, wrote that Burushaski is quite different from the languages spoken in the neighbouring areas and has no resemblance with them, not even with the languages that might be considered akin to it, such as Balti. Caucasian languages are the ones with which Burushaski has any similarity, if at all, wrote Berger.
Based on his own research, Berger published a book on Burushaski grammar in 1974. He did extensive research on the Yasin accent and Gilgit-Hunza accent of the language. There are other scholars who have written much, all in all dozens of books, on Burushaski’s grammar, vocabulary, phonetics and semantics. A list of such works was published in issue 30 of ‘Jareeda’. The journal published some very informative and useful papers on Burushaski in its 21st issue as well. Despite all this research, the nature and origin of Burushaski language remains a mystery as it has defied all classifications and experts still consider it an unclassified language.
The people speaking Burushaski as mother tongue are known as Burusho and live in Karachi too in a large number. Historically speaking, the Burusho people and their language had long been shrouded in the mist of mystery when it comes to their lineage and origin. There have been different theories one of which says that old Burusho were the offspring of three soldiers who had come to the area along with the troops of Alexander the Great. These three soldiers fell ill and stayed on and settled there. Another legend has it that the ancestors of Burushos might have migrated from Iran. Yet another theory suggests that Burusho people are an offshoot of ‘Hoon’ tribe that lived in the northern and western parts of China. Some of them migrated to Hungary and some settled in the Himalayan valleys and parts of Korakoram range.
The similarity between some words and family names in the Hungarian language and Burushaski has been confirmed by some Hungarian scholars which lends credibility to the theory that some of these people migrated to Hungary and rest of them settled in the areas that now make a part of northern Pakistan. Many Burusho scholars believe that the origin of Hunza is in fact ‘Hoon za’ which in turn is a distorted pronunciation of Persian ‘Hoon zad’ or ‘Hoon zada’, which means ‘born of Hoon, the tribe’. Burushaski has some similarity with French language as far as counting and digits are concerned.
Burushaski is a language that feels and records even the slightest differences in the meanings. It has, for example, three different words to say ‘the sound of opening a door’, each one describing the intensity of the process, telling whether it produced a very slight sound, a slight sound or a loud one. Not recording such a sensitive language in the form of a dictionary would have been callous, so Berger compiled Burushaski’s first ever dictionary in collaboration with Naseeruddin Hunzai. Comprising some 50,000 words, it was a Burushaski-German dictionary. Incidentally, all the research material on Burushaski language and culture had been published abroad and in Pakistan there was little material available in Urdu on Burushaski aside from volume number 14 of the Punjab University’s encyclopaedia of Urdu literature. It includes just one article on Burushaski and that too elaborated more on the history of the area rather than the language. German and Canadian universities had published extensive research works on the language and Karachi University has now taken the lead in Pakistan by publishing vital information on the language in Urdu. Another feat achieved by Karachi University’s Bureau of Compilation, Composition & Translation is the publication of the first ever Burushaski-Urdu dictionary. Published under the guidance of Naseeruddin Hunzai and compiled by the scholars of Burushaski Research Academy, The ‘Awwaleen Burushaski-Urdu Dictionary’ comprises 60,000 words and spreads over three volumes. The first volume was published a few years ago and now the second volume has appeared.
During the launching ceremony of the second volume held in Karachi recently, the audience were informed by office-bearers of the academy that the third and the last volume was in the pipeline and would soon be published. They also intend to compile a dictionary of Yasin-accent of Burushaski. Bravo!

Courtesy: Dawn

GB govt intends to utilize all resources to promote Babusar festival

Posted by Shamsuddin Muhammad Friday, July 16, 2010 0 comments

Monitoring Report
DIAMER, Jul 14 (APP): To bring Babusar Polo festival at par with Shandur festival, the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) government is planning to utilize all available resources efficiently. The decision came after the GB government decided to pull its team out of the Shandur festival, following a boundary dispute between it and Khyber Pakhtoonkha.
“After boycotting the Shandur festival, it has become the prime responsibility of the government to promote Babusar festival,” said Deputy Commissioner (DC) Subtain Ahmad while chairing a meeting here Wednesday, to overview the arrangements made for the festival.
It is pertinent to mention that Babusar event is fast becoming a permanent fixture in GB sports calendar. The festival has been taking place, in August every year, since 2007. A free-style polo tournament is played at 13,812 feet above sea level at Babusar Pass which attracts a large number of polo lovers along with tourists. The main features of the festival, other than polo, include Align Centertent-pegging, tug of war, photo exhibition, paragliding, gemstone and handicrafts exhibition, trekking, horse riding and camp fires.The DC has directed the district administration to make Babusar accessible for the tourists, as roads are often blocked by heavy snowfall in winter and remain closed till September.He mentioned that the Babusar-Chilas road would be opened for traffic in a day or two-APP, Pamir Times

Victims threaten to evict monitoring team

Posted by Shamsuddin Muhammad Tuesday, July 13, 2010 0 comments

GILGIT, Hunza July 11: The victims of the Attabad Lake disaster have raised doubts about the work of a monitoring team in Hunza, citing its failure to drain the 23-kilometre long lake over the past six months. “What is the use of these people?” the villagers questioned the presence of the lake monitoring team in Hunza, adding that they deserved to be expelled from the area.

The lake is still there even after six months and we can’t go back to our homes,” they said. A team of experts comprising Frontier Works Organisation (FWO) engineers has been monitoring the landslide-spurred lake since January 4 – the day a massive landslide hit Attabad – to ensure the safety of local people if it bursts its banks.The villagers who earlier staged a sit-in in the spillway for three days against the insufficient compensation package have now threatened to force the experts and the monitoring team out of the disaster-hit areas on grounds that they have not succeeded in draining the lake that has submerged five villages upstream. “The rigid attitude of the government has compelled us to take this extreme step,” a villager in Hunza told the media. “The government is neither accepting our demands for increase in the compensation package, nor is it doing enough to drain the lake which has turned us into IDPs,” said one of the victims of Shishkat village who lost his house and fields to the expanding lake.About 20 people were killed and many more injured in the landslide that swept away hundreds of houses in the Attabad village.
The experts had declared the remaining part of the Attabad village and its adjacent village Sarat as ‘extremely vulnerable’ after the landslide, but the victims say that they have now decided to return to their villages at all cost. More than 25,000 people from villages downstream were shifted to camps after experts warned the government last month that if the lake bursts its banks, a flashflood could sweep away everything that comes in its way. Meanwhile, landslides continued to rock the Attabad Lake on Saturday, creating fears among the residents living in adjacent villages. People said that they saw dust clouds over Attabad that lasted for hours.
Source: The Express Tribune

SRT Report
GOJAL,HUNZA,July 8: With the increase in the inflow of water, the level of the lake was reportedly record an increase of around four point five inches since the day the outflow exceed inflow. According to the media sources, around 19000 cusec water is being entering into the lake against outflow of around 16500 cusec. The back flowing water that took hostage to the dwellers in Upstream once again posed a threat to low lying settlements in the Upstream. Boat service has been reopened by government due to bad weather conditions on one hand and to reduce both commuters' pressure and goods shifting cost on the other.
According to the commuters, private boat operators, who made triple times profits out of their operations with in last three months were not cooperating with the commuters. On the other hand, local population has further warned NDMA, FWO and local administration to push spill way widening work by themselves in case authorities take the case with ease.

SRT Monitoring Report
HuNZA,Aliabad, July 06: Humanitarian work to facilitate and give a relief to those in difficulties and hit by disasters is a valueless work. This was stated by Essa Khan, vice Chairman and superintendant general, Pakistan Mine Discovery International (Pvt) limited and well known social worker of Gojal, Upper Hunza, while talking to VoH (Voice of Hunza) on his return from down cities.

HUNZA, Aliabad: A group photo of SIIBS deputed at helipad playing a vital role as they serve day and night dedicately in reief operations. VoH Photo

He applauded the Shia Imami Ismaili Boy Scouts for their dedicated relief work along other humanitarian assisatnce agencies and organizations like FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance Pakistan, Red-Crecent, Karakorum Area Development Organization (KADO) at helipad round the clock. He awarded with them PkR 1500 in recognition of their services to commutters using airlift due to water blockade at Attaabad from and to Aliabad and to Upstream valleys.
Source: Voice of Hunza

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