Islamabad - Spreading the colours of art, culture and mystic beauty of northern mountains, people of Giligit-Baltistan (GB) have reached the federal capital to celebrate their 69th Independence Day.

“O my love your beauty is so stunning that it transports me,

It is a beauty which transcends all measures of aesthetics,

I have explored all vicissitudes of life, but have never met a rare spirit like you

Your sight burns my heart as a twig is engulfed by leaping flame.”

Iqbal Hussian Iqbal a young poet and singer from Gilgit was pulling the visitors at Lok Virsa with his melodious voice, while on the beats of local music instruments, his other fellows were presenting traditional dance.

“These musicians have come from different regions of GB to celebrate Independence Day here and to promote their culture,” said Salamat Ali, who is an organizer of music stall.

Talking to The Nation, Salamat said that GB people have gathered from entire Pakistan to share their joy of independence with other Pakistanis who mostly are not aware of GB’s this national celebrations.

Fida Hussain, who plays ‘Dadang’ an instrument kind of drums, sharing his views, said that in other regions of the country dancing and singing is not a common practice while in GB everyone participates in it because it is the part of culture.

“GB music in itself is a meditation and on the occasion of Independence Day, joy of this symphony is doubled,” said Hussain.

GB region in the north of the country is bordered with Azad Kashmir to the south, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to the west, corridor of Wakhan of Afghanistan to the north and China to its east.

Where rest of the country celebrates its day of Independence on August 14, people of GB commemorates their day on November 1st and recalls the sacrifices made by their scouts to liberate the region from Dogra Raj.

According to history, on November 1 1947, Governor Ghansara Singh a representative of Dogra Raj was overthrown by Major William brown, a commander, serving Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir.

And after the successful revolt against Dogra rule, Raja Shah Rais Khan was appointed as the first President of GB while Mirza Hassan Khan was given the charge of commander-in-chief.

Kashif Fareed, official of GB tourism department talking to The Nation said that GB people didn’t forget their heroes who sacrificed their lives for a better cause and every year they celebrate the day.

“The event of GB Independence Day has been included in the annual calendar and the people from the region celebrate the day in entire country,” he said.

The official informed The Nation that the GB tourism department has brought people from different walks of life of the region in federal capital to promote the culture and held two-day celebrations here.

The region blessed with deep waters, high mountains and lush green lands sprinkled its variety of culture through different stalls in the festival.

Around 15 stalls were set by people of GB carrying cultural handicrafts, gems, GB food, dry fruits and traditional attires. And a number of stall-holders were females, selling their stall items and informing the visitors about their Independence Day cultural heritage.

Tahira Beg, a stall-holder displaying traditional attires of women, embroidered long coats for men and caps with feathers has come from the area of Danyre, GB.

Talking to The Nation she said, “I have travelled nearly 18 hours and brought all these items to display them on this special day.”

Beg said, “We feel proud to celebrate this day with people in Islamabad, as number of people can’t visit the northern areas.”

Zewar Bano, from Hunza while talking to The Nation said that the festival is a very encouraging activity as people from GB also met with other people of the country from this platform.

“However, women must be more encouraged from government because GB women are extremely talented and can express their abilities in promoting the culture through their handwork in country,” she said.

Meanwhile, Kashif Fareed said that tourism department gives equal opportunity to men and women in such kind of activities because such events also help in promoting tourism in the country which projects soft image of the country in the world.

Shahid Kaleem has set a gem stone stall, following the festival title ‘GB Jewel of Pakistan’ and has brought the precious stones of ruby, Safire, Quartz, Garment and other traditional artificial jewelry.

“Purpose of coming here is not only to celebrate Independence Day but, people must also know the worth of the north region of Pakistan as it is filled with natural resources,” said Kaleem.   

Mubashir Ayub, a GB official for the development of culture and tourism told The Nation that the department afforded the travelling and daily allowance of the participants who came and set here different stalls.

“Department bears all kind of expenses of the participants here,” he said.

He said the department through a proper procedure calls different organizations to set the stalls which further arranges and selects the people for the events.

“Number of GB people living in far areas from their homes visits such events in large number which gave them home like environment away from home,” he said.

Meanwhile, a visitor Sameen from Peshawar talking to The Nation said that she along with her friends has enjoy the GB festival and specially the GB food.

“But I didn’t find the GB culture much different than KP culture except they have a feather in their cap,” she said.