Gojal area of the Karakorum mountains


introducing the area

 the themes
 the partners
 sample quotes

The transcripts of testimonies from Pakistan are not yet available on this website. The testimonies are being gathered in Shimshal in the Karakorum mountains, following a workshop in June 2000. We are currently working on this collection and it will be available on the site later this year.

You can currently look at testimonies from the following countries: China, Kenya, Poland, Ethiopia, Mexico, Nepal, Peru, India and Lesotho.

the themes

These testimonies were gathered from a farming and herding community currently two days walk from the nearest road - the Karakorum Highway. A road to the village is under construction, and expected to be completed in the next few years. The community has exclusive control of vast areas of high altitude pasture and earns much of its income from the sale of dairy produce and yaks. Despite its location, the community of Shimshal interacts extensively with the outside world. Many households have members working and/or studying in lowland Pakistan. Themes in this collection are likely to include migration, pasture management, tourism and portering, and hopes and fears associated with the road.

the partners

Our partner is the community-based Shimshal Nature Trust (SNT). For more information about SNT please consult their 15-Year Vision Management Plan.

sample quotes

"...When this Khunjerab National Park was established it created much worry in the village, because they were trying to deprive us of our grazing and cultivating lands in the pasture which we are using since hundreds of years....So the community was opposing the Khunjerab National Park (KNP)....And there were several ideas to keep away the KNP. One was to oppose the authorities; the other was to make some agreement with KNP. The third idea which we developed was that we should make such an organisation and we should prove that we are the best managers of this land, so we promoted Shimshal Nature Trust and we wrote the management plan. We presented the management plan to government officials and they also agreed about this point - that this is a good approach, they appreciated it."
Khalik, male, 35 years, headteacher

"Yes I have been to Karachi. Karachi is a big city, the biggest city of Pakistan but it is not suitable for the people like us. It is good for those who intend to acquire education; not for those who sit idle and waste their time. I was taken round the famous places of Karachi but it neither inspired me nor provided me with mental peace and satisfaction. I would always think about my home (Shimshal) and the pending works that I had to do at the village. Despite living a comfortable life in Karachi, I never obtained peace of mind."
Qandoon, female, 57 years, housewife/farmer

"...the young used to gather together with the elders, and there is a system that, when after a certain age, like the 60s, the elders will come to the land whilst ploughing but they will not work. They will just sit beside the field and they will gossip, they will talk, they will talk about the history and everything. We feel that group of people to be very good, and the owners of the field who have got many old people sitting there, they feel really rich or very good, it looks very lively."
Inayat, male, 27 years, community activist