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71 Years of Independence

Gilgit BaltistanA Tale of 71 years of Independence & state’s inadvertance

Ever since mid of 19th century, Gilgit Baltistan came under invasions by troops poured into  the territory sent by Raja Gulab Singh of Jammu who was interested in controlling the trade routes to China and Central Asia. Setting their footprints on this region, that included Baltistan and Ladakh also, witnessed many ups and downs in the coming years.Gilgit region along with Baltistan and Ladakh first came under Gulab Singh control in 1842, that fell to British after a few years and then through treaty of Amritsar in 1848, he bought enire Jammu and Kashmir including Gilgit, Baltistan and Ladakh for 7.5 million rupees and thus became the first Maharaja of Jammu and Kasmir.Raja Gohar Aman in 1846 defeated Maharaja forces and occupied Gilgit region, while Baltistan region didn’t came up with any resistance .Till 1860 that scuffle continued and after death of Rajah Gohar Aman, Maharaja was able to re-establish control over Gilgit region  also .Mean while, as British felt Russia trying to expand its influence in the region through porous valleys of Himalayas and Hindukush, a joint mechanism of governance was agreed upon by British and Maharaja.

Then there was Anglo Brusho was in 1891, that resulted in the fall of States of Hunza and Nagar to British-Maharaja rule, though local rulers Mirs were allowed to continue their authority but right under British –Maharaja umbrella. British government took sole control of the area in  1935,  from the state government, through a lease agreement meant for 60 year. In August 1, 1947, the areas were returned to the state government , because of  the creation of  Pakistan and india by partitioning of subcontinent. By that time, Brig Ghansara singh , who was a close relative of Maharaja, was deputed as Governor of Gilgit Baltistan till 1st Nov, 1947.

Being influenced and encouraged by  the emergence of Pakistan, local people with the help of Gilgit Scouts started  a revolt against Ghansara singh rule and managed to free this area from Dogra rule on November 1, 1947 .Soon after this liberation, an interim government was formed under Raja Shah Rais Khan of Gilgit.Having been an independent state on global maps for about 2 weeks, elders of this newly formed government of Gilgit state sent an accession request to Mr Mohammed Ali Jinnah to take control of these areas.

On this accession request from Gilgit state, Mohammed Ali Jinnah asked Governor of Frontier Province to respond with an understanding that Gilgit agency might be part of the then Frontier province. As a result of this consultation, Sardar Muhammad AlamKhan who served as a mid graded tehsildar in the Frontier province, was nominated as the first Political Agent for GB. He was designated as the final authority of this state of Gilgit Baltistan on 16th November.

Surprisingly In April 1949 an agreement was signed between the government of Pakistan and government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ & K)  about the fate of people of Gilgit agency without taking into confidence any insider from Gilgit and setting a worst example of denial of basic rights of the local people of Gilgit agency .That state of denial towards the basic rights of this area is maintained,rather the situation has worsended in terms of provision of rights, allocation of resources, acceptance of political standing in national institutions and Federal allocations

As a result of Notorious Karachi Agreemen, affairs of Gilgit and Baltistan were brought under the control of Political Agent appointed by the government of Pakistan.Since that particular time when Mr Alam Khan landed as a political agent , an endless series of miss governing and abuse of rights started, that continues till now.The then innocence of elders from newly freed Gilgit, their unconditional gift of 28 thousand sq miles of the entire region  was taken as granted and the same mindset goes on. That historical mistake of accession wihtout any agreement or conditions backfired in  form of denial of basic rights ,usurption of basic rights of self governance and self rule, promulgation of notorious black laws of FCR, Shedule 4 and imprisonment of rights activists and harrasment of proactive political workers, students and youth.

Whatsoever has been done till now, the core issue prevails as the people of this area are not considerred as citizens of Pakistan in terms of constitutional status while on the other hand, they have Pakistani Passport and IDs in parallel. Due to absense of local representtives in REAL Power corridors of Islamabad,there is no room for any voice from GB  and thus no remedy of GB issues , no understanding of any resentment or prblems being faced by  the people of this area.

Time has changed now, having the previlige of being the most literate  area of Pakistan , and a youth with broader intellect level has redrawn the equations now.As a result of this awareness and understanding of issues related to self rule and political rights, there has been emerging more motivation and inclination towards leftist parties with a nationalistic approach.Youth are now being engaged in political activities with an understanding of local scenarios, existance of political issues, constitutional status of their own and messy manouuvers of rulers with confusing atitudes

Extreme confusion is evident when it comes to transfer due political rights,confer on local elected representatives full autonomy and the most important being right of self rule.Trust deficit on part of Federation and Government insititutions on GB people is not a secret. Right in the midst  of 21st century, GB is the unique place on  this universe, where local individuals  are not considered eligible to occupy specific slots in government  hierarchy, rather local populace has several times been ridiculed and humiliated for being dependent on GIAs, Subsidies and Funds.From FO Spokesman to Politicans and Ministers of previous and then government, the always available rheoteric has been the  proclamation of disputed territory while on the other hand Pakistan never stops to claim the strategic geographic potential of this region, heights of K2, Nanga Parbat, Deosai , KKH, Sweet Water reservoirs, sharing borders with PRC, and the latest being the Pak China Economic Corridor rightly considered as the life line for Pakistan.

Its an irony that people of GB have been denied their basic rights of self rule and political freedom in the name of Kashmir issue. While interestingly, J & K held by India  has been given special status in the Indian constitution, given representation in upper and lower houses, and a complete  provincial stauts. While the other party to this dispute  Azad Jammu  & Kashmir, there is no order or ordinancee passed to confer on authority or government structure,rather by virtue of an interim constitution , protected via Art. 256 in Constitution of Pakistan, AJK has been given clear authority unless held a plebiscite under UN, while the least attached and worst affected of this entire episodeis  is Gilgit Baltistan, that is dragged   with a TAG of DISPUTED TERRITORY, setting aside the enormous sacrifices by and then by  the people of GB, ignoring the events of dispelled status of then Dogra-Maharaja Kashmir state, where GB was occupied by Maharaja for  a period of time and neglecting the centuries spread independent  status of Gilgit Baltistan.

Arguments for declaring GB as disputed are in reality pointless. If we accept that principle, Pakistan once remained part of British rule for around 90 years and after a great struggle and rendering unforgettable sacrifices by the muslims of subcontinent,  an independent country emerged as Pakistan. Today if United Kingdom claims that Pakistan and India shuld come under British rule again, as it happened in the history , where would we stand?

Interestingly, neither people of GB nor ever Federation of Pakistan can ever imagine GB going into hands of a  separate Kashmir State  if ever happens a plebisicte  and supposedly majority of J & K votes in favor of either  Pakisan  or India or a free sate. It makes sense if someone counts on that potential votes expected from J & K populace and then AJK and GB.Could somebody gurantee , as if such a plebisicte is arranged by UN, people of J & K would vote in our favor?

We keep on crying  for the large scale demographic changes  carried out by Indian Government  in J & K by facilitating influx of non muslims population into J & K, so relying on that expected event to happen and give reults in our favor,   Is it logical and realistic?  Pretending an unforeseen situation, inhabitants of GB are kept far away from their legitimate rights, rather marginalised in a dictatorial way, by promulgating orders that extravagantly empower individualscoming from Pakistan, either Prime Minister of Pakistan or so on.

As of today, when the GB order 2018 is in place, now the EMPOWERMENT is Prime Minister centric and not elected reprsentatices of GB.Making Prime Minister a Holly  Cow,  whose any action or order is the final verdict in GB , overshadowing  and suppressing all orders and legislations made by members of GB Assembly speaks itself of the autonomy this Order 2018 brings for GB people. Where in this this universe  an individual who is not a dweller of certain region has the ABSOLUTE , unchallengeable and irrevocable authority over that area, even in colonial systems such an exemption and impervious powers are not imaginable.

Really a lot to wonder when we go through the tragic story of GB, the staus quo has been maintained and people are even deprived of those rights and authority, which are excersied and enjoyed by the people of Indian Held Kasmir and AJK in Pakistan .Whenever asked about the constitutional status of the GB from any Govt official, its like always resorting to the EVER famous rheoteric of DISPUTED territory . Its always defined and depicted as an issue still awaiting resolution from UN as per UNCIP conditions. This ever adopted position of state of Pakistan has never been able to explain why people of GB have been denied even those rights, that are being excersiced by IHK and AJK.

Even if we honor that unfounded notion,  as declaring GB consitutinal part of Pakistan would adversely effect Kashmir issue  , why is that people of Gilgit Baltistan are being dictated and governed with dictatorial Orders, that are clearly negating the essence of self rule, provincial autonomy  , provision of basic rights and all due political  freedom within the frame work of either constitution of Pakistan or else an offshoot of the same.

The opted policy  for any future plebiscite  mudy be GB friendly  by appeasing people , giving them confidence ,empowering  them with all means  and respecting their basic human rights so that they are readily available and mindfully prepared to proceed to the  conclusion of that incomplete volunteer accession , initiated on 15th Nov 1947  ,and not like pushing them to the walls, grabbing civil liberties ,abusing their basic human rights , making them believe  their own resources a  no go area for them and disengaing them  on ploicy making on even local issues.

Its an undeniable fact that people of Gilgit Baltistan  have unconditional and unshakeable comittment  with Pakistan, as they voluntarily  annexed their land to state of Pakistan without any fear  or greed. This region might be the only region on  this globe with movement for accession  and acceptance of aspirant status as the only demand. That unditional love and commitment is visible on every canvass of national laurels, from Kargal to Swat, Waziristan to Khyber and Dera Bugti to Siachen.Now all those individuals, who are trying to deshape that transparent face of GB and its 2 million dwellers,  are  in reality  serving those enemies who are ever busy in digging out trenches for pro Pakistan elements and spoil minds of youth  to create disorder and resentment  

Written by :

​​Engr. Ashfaq Hussain Khan


​​Cell : +92-333-5176459

An engineer by profession,served abroad for 10 years , schooling from P S & C Jutial, Gilgit , BE from NED Engineering University, MS Project Management from Linkoping Univcersity Sweden, MBA from Preston University .

Negative Emotions Are Key to Well-Being

Feeling sad, mad, critical or otherwise awful? Surprise: negative emotions are essential for mental health

Courtesy: By Tori Rodriguez

“Taking the Bad with the Good” 2013, Published in 2013


A client sits before me, seeking help untangling his relationship problems. As a psychotherapist, I strive to be warm, nonjudgmental and encouraging. I am a bit unsettled, then, when in the midst of describing his painful experiences, he says, “I’m sorry for being so negative.”

A crucial goal of therapy is to learn to acknowledge and express a full range of emotions, and here was a client apologizing for doing just that. In my psychotherapy practice, many of my clients struggle with highly distressing emotions, such as extreme anger, or with suicidal thoughts. In recent years I have noticed an increase in the number of people who also feel guilty or ashamed about what they perceive to be negativity. Such reactions undoubtedly stem from our culture’s overriding bias toward positive thinking. Although positive emotions are worth cultivating, problems arise when people start believing they must be upbeat all the time.

In fact, anger and sadness are an important part of life, and new research shows that experiencing and accepting such emotions are vital to our mental health. Attempting to suppress thoughts can backfire and even diminish our sense of contentment. “Acknowledging the complexity of life may be an especially fruitful path to psychological well-being,” says psychologist Jonathan M. Adler of the Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering.

Meaningful Misery
Positive thoughts and emotions can, of course, benefit mental health. Hedonic theories define well-being as the presence of positive emotion, the relative absence of negative emotion and a sense of life satisfaction. Taken to an extreme, however, that definition is not congruent with the messiness of real life. In addition, people’s outlook can become so rosy that they ignore dangers or become complacent Eudaemonic approaches, on the other hand, emphasize a sense of meaning, personal growth and understanding of the self—goals that require confronting life’s adversities. Unpleasant feelings are just as crucial as the enjoyable ones in helping you make sense of life’s ups and downs. “Remember, one of the primary reasons we have emotions in the first place is to help us evaluate our experiences,” Adler says.

Adler and Hal E. Hershfield, a professor of marketing at New York University, investigated the link between mixed emotional experience and psychological welfare in a group of people undergoing 12 sessions of psychotherapy. Before each session, participants completed a questionnaire that assessed their psychological well-being. They also wrote narratives describing their life events and their time in therapy, which were coded for emotional content. As Adler and Hershfield reported in 2012, feeling cheerful and dejected at the same time—for example, “I feel sad at times because of everything I’ve been through, but I’m also happy and hopeful because I’m working through my issues”—preceded improvements in well-being over the next week or two for subjects, even if the mixed feelings were unpleasant at the time. “Taking the good and the bad together may detoxify the bad experiences, allowing you to make meaning out of them in a way that supports psychological well-being,” the researchers found.

Negative emotions also most likely aid in our survival. Bad feelings can be vital clues that a health issue, relationship or other important matter needs attention, Adler points out. The survival value of negative thoughts and emotions may help explain why suppressing them is so fruitless. In a 2009 study psychologist David J. Kavanagh of Queensland University of Technology in Australia and his colleagues asked people in treatment for alcohol abuse and addiction to complete a questionnaire that assessed their drinking-related urges and cravings, as well as any attempts to suppress thoughts related to booze over the previous 24 hours. They found that those who often fought against intrusive alcohol-related thoughts actually harbored more of them. Similar findings from a 2010 study suggested that pushing back negative emotions could spawn more emotional overeating than simply recognizing that you were, say, upset, agitated or blue.

Even if you successfully avoid contemplating a topic, your subconscious may still dwell on it. In a 2011 study psychologist Richard A. Bryant and his colleagues at the University of New South Wales in Sydney told some participants, but not others, to suppress an unwanted thought prior to sleep. Those who tried to muffle the thought reported dreaming about it more, a phenomenon called dream rebound.

Suppressing thoughts and feelings can even be harmful. In a 2012 study psychotherapist Eric L. Garland of Florida State University and his associates measured a stress response based on heart rate in 58 adults in treatment for alcohol dependence while exposing them to alcohol-related cues. Subjects also completed a measure of their tendency to suppress thoughts. The researchers found that those who restrained their thinking more often had stronger stress responses to the cues than did those who suppressed their thoughts less frequently.

Accepting the Pain
Instead of backing away from negative emotions, accept them. Acknowledge how you are feeling without rushing to change your emotional state. Many people find it helpful to breathe slowly and deeply while learning to tolerate strong feelings or to imagine the feelings as floating clouds, as a reminder that they will pass. I often tell my clients that a thought is just a thought and a feeling just a feeling, nothing more.

If the emotion is overwhelming, you may want to express how you feel in a journal or to another person. The exercise may shift your perspective and bring a sense of closure. If the discomfort lingers, consider taking action. You may want to tell a friend her comment was hurtful or take steps to leave the job that makes you miserable.

You may also try doing mindfulness exercises to help you become aware of your present experience without passing judgment on it. One way to train yourself to adopt this state is to focus on your breathing while meditating and simply acknowledge any fleeting thoughts or feelings. This practice may make it easier to accept unpleasant Earlier this year Garland and his colleagues found that among 125 individuals with a history of trauma who were also in treatment for substance dependence, those who were naturally more mindful both coped better with their trauma and craved their drug less. Likewise, in a 2012 study psychologist Shannon Sauer-Zavala of Boston University and her co-workers found that a therapy that included mindfulness training helped individuals overcome anxiety disorders. It worked not by minimizing the number of negative feelings but by training patients to accept those feelings.

“It is impossible to avoid negative emotions altogether because to live is to experience setbacks and conflicts,” Sauer-Zavala says. Learning how to cope with those emotions is the key, she adds. Indeed, once my client accepted his thoughts and feelings, shaking off his shame and guilt, he saw his problems with greater clarity and proceeded down the path to recovery.







Reference: This article was originally published with the title “Taking the Bad with the Good” 2013.

TORI RODRIGUEZ is a writer and psychotherapist in private practice in Atlanta.


Sir Shakoor..The real TEACHER

“Born in Nasirabad, a small village in the lower Hunza valley, I remember our lives being dictated not by a calendar or a clock but by the climate and seasons. I remember celebrating wheat harvest for we could regularly eat bread thenceforth. In the spring, I remember eating mulberries and dried apricots for lunch and dinner. I loved collecting mulberries: shaking the branches of a tree, picking up the fruit and gobbling down handfuls without noticing that half of what I ate was sand. Life was simple and serene, but also challenging.

I was lucky to have access to the local Aga Khan Diamond Jubilee School, essentially a make-shift school with only one instructor who taught multiple classes, six days a week, from early mornings till late afternoons. Like many school-going children, I fancied skipping classes but only to be caught red-handed by my cousin and brought back to the school. I was, nevertheless, the class-monitor and would often lead lessons in the absence of the teacher. Perhaps, that was an early sign of my interest in teaching as a profession.

In early sixties, I moved to Karachi where my elder brother lived. With his support, I completed secondary and higher secondary schools with good grades. I did my BA from Saint Patrick’s College, Karachi while also working part-time at a factory and leading a worker’s union. I also managed to complete professional teaching courses and a diploma in English language during those years. Regarding my life outside of work and studies, I enjoyed spending time with friends and doing social work. Karachi was a vibrant city back then. It was clean, safe and economical.
Following my BA, I dedicated most of my time to teaching. I taught at two schools during the day and ran a private tuition center in the evening. I was primarily an English language teacher but I also taught social studies and history. I was known as a storyteller amongst my students due to my love of folktales. I loved my work. Being in school felt like home to me. I was beginning to realize that teaching was my passion.

In 1980, following my father’s passing, I returned to Hunza. Within a few months I was offered a teaching job at Public Schools and Colleges Jutial, Gilgit, formerly known as Federal Government Public School. At that time I did not know I would end up spending the rest of my professional life working there. Some may call it settling down a bit too early, but to me, the thirty-three years I spent at the school entailed a new experience, a new challenge every day.

In the initial years, being one of the few local teachers at the school, I always felt responsible to adopt a sound and context-specific teaching methodology. I tried to teach in a manner that catered to individual needs of students, and whenever possible, had meetings with parents to discuss students’ progress. On a personal level, I continued my education as a part time student and received a post-graduate degree and a professional teaching certificate from Punjab University. It was a challenging but a rewarding process.

During the many years I spent at the school, I saw it grow from a primary school to an undergraduate college. I also got a first-hand experience of the rich diversity that exists in a region as small as Gilgit-Baltistan. The languages, habits, routines, perceptions, opinions, attitudes, and conscious and unconscious actions of those around me helped me reinvent and rediscover what it meant to be a teacher. One thing that did consistently remain part of my pedagogy was storytelling. Perhaps that is what most of my students remember about my teaching and keep referring back to every time I see them.

The school remained an integral part of my life for thirty-three years. I was deeply attached with my profession, the students, the constructions, even the plants and trees at the school. Towards the end of my tenure, it was remarkable to see the children of my former students becoming my students again and sharing with me childhood accounts of their parents. It made me consistently question, analyze and improve my role as a senior mentor of the institution.

Following my retirement in December 2013, the Science Block of the school was named after me in recognition of my services. It felt great, but what feels greater is to see my students excelling in different fields including engineering, arts and crafts, business, medicine, army, civil bureaucracy, and above all, teaching. I go back to the school sometimes to meet with my colleagues and to observe student activity. I am hopeful that in the coming years the school will continue to grow not just quantitatively but also quality-wise. ”

(Sir Shakoor Khan, Nasirabad, Hunza)

Story narrated by Irfan Shakoor

New Glimpses added

Just added few glimpses from the past.We would like to have old collections from our dear fellows and their contribution in this regard is deemed highly appreciable


Glimpses from the PAST


If you can contribute either in shape of old snaps, any records, or any material /  writing that  could boost our passion and   and let us recall those golden memories from the PAST

email us any material if you have @

Data Collection

We are establishing a data base for our Jutialians.Already have managed to get hold of records up-to 8-10 batches since 1983-84
Any one who could share details in a collective way will be appreciated.Ont he other hand, individual introduction might also be helpful.

We have added what we got or know by our personal contacts.For sure its  like a bubble in the ocean, thus collectively we might  be able to proceed successfully, thus   we need an aggressive response so that energies will be upheld, and efforts will not be diminished