Deosai, a lost wilderness

Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, May 17—-23, 2008
By Ibne Quli
Once upon a time there was a famous natural Adventours, amazing and difficult in the Northern Pakistan. This plateau, one of the wonders of the north, had a diversity of flora, harbouring famous brown bears, roaming and crying marmots, twittering Siberian and local birds and scarcely seen hoping adventurers over ponies or foot.
Although Deosai was a dreamland but there was a hesitation, fear, thrill and adventure on traversing it. The local people from both sides were traveling on their ponies, along with grazing cattle, famous yaks in groups camping at the fixed places and watching all the night for wondering beasts.
The rights were either under the trillions of twinkling stars on the open sky or getting room into the shepherd huts in heavy rains or snowfall. It was common happening to come across the Bears while on way to Skardu or Astore and in that case the unexplained familiarity and silent neighbourhood usually saved both from any misadventure. Caravans from Astore shegoshigar and skardu crossing each other exchanging bread and tea burning dwarf bushes, walking peacefully in their traditional putto Qameez and trousers, heavy turbans or rolled caps singing folk songs or narrating famous Kaiser fiction on chilling cold nights.
Still it was very attractive mysterious majestic and thrilling trek to Deosai collecting bunches of flowers chewing citrus rhubarb stems and cooking the Himalayan trout over the burning Brich shouts and twigs.It was the dream of every youngster locally, nationally and even the international Adventurers who used to save money for years just to be in Deosai.
Scene changed when the clever and business minded travelers started intervention in to the nature. They planned and claimed to save the brown bears and wilderness of Deosai for their bread and butter. These so-called nature lovers coked projects and plants sitting in the capital to sale the nature’s beauty for the foreign donations.
This was the first traumatizing breach of virginity of Deosai in the name of its protection and care. There charismatic personalities not only sold their beautiful dreams to the Northern Administration but also convinced the international donors resultantly establishing a lot of camps, roaming guaros, roaring vehicles and even chasing the bears with Halicopters.
They claimed to groups protecting and masking each other. They kept their monopoly by an agreement with Northern Areas Administration assuring the protection of wilderness in Deosai but rather converting it into public park.
The worst assault on Deosai was done when the new wide truck road was constructed from Skardu to Astore via Deosai making it easily approachable to even motorcars and motorbikes. As a result now this natures paradise has been converted into a picnic spot, a public park and a pleasure station, twenties of the heavy land rovers jeeps, trolleys, motorbikes breaching its wilderness while the banks of all rivers and nullas rooming the cooking and playing families.
The so called wildlife guards not only creating noise pollution on their bikes but also badly damaging flora/fauna, disturbing the visitors by purposeless inquiries, pressurizing the people by their uniforms and using Deosai as their farmhouse. Now not only the bears are not seen on the valleys and hillocks but also the famouse Marmosts have gained asylum into their dens protecting themselves from this heavy influx of civilization, tourism and NGOs.
The glorious flowers, herbs, sherbs and medicinal plants are surfaced by picnicking families and the rest of the river banks by the igloos, tents and tent hotels further polluting the Deosai. The Deosai has lost almost all of its wilderness, natural beauty, adventure thrill and its historical secrets. More over the construction works, various centres, bridges and wondering of a lot of unnecessary officials, agencies and gourds has converted this wonderland into a busy public place.
Deosai with all its Mysterious stories and wilderness has been lost some where in the race of civilization, developments and business. The wildlife of Deosai seeks amnesty from human beings who have even disturbed their only home in the north.


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