Weekly Bang-e-Sahar karachi Saturday, September 13——-September 19, 2008
Ancient town of Astore served as the vital staging town on the only animal transport route between Srinagar and Gilgit before 1947 through Tragbal pass, Gurez Valley , Burzil pass, Bunji and over Indus river. Astore is the nerve centre of link of Gilgit Baltistan with Indian Occupied Kashmir and Pakistan administered Kashmir through Shuntar pass and then along Kishnganga (Neelum) Valley to Muzaffarabad. Two very important activities were undertaken here by Mr. Iqbal Astori, in the month of August. Mr. Mohammad Iqbal happens to be the Chairman of Karakoram National Movement (KNM) and now since 31 August 2008, the new chairman of APNA, Bolor Jammu Kashmir.
He along with his companions in the second week of August crossed over Shuntar pass on foot into Pakistani Kashmir, where he was enthusiastically welcomed. It is worth mentioning that last year on 13th August, two Kashmiri youth of National Students Federation (NSF) belonging to POK lost their lives, when they were caught in the high snow clad Shuntar pass in a blizzard. On 28 August 2008, in Astore proper, a huge, unique and grass root level cultural programme was organized by KNM (Karakoram National Movement).
The purpose was to revive ages old culture and customs, in order to revive nationalism and exemplary sectarian harmony among Astoris. The programme started after mid-night and lasted till 4am. Close to ten thousand people including three thousand ladies attended. Two intermission speeches were made by Mr Iqbal and Bashir Ahmed Khan.
Now, APNA has again pondered over its planned but not yet executed programme of bringing together the people of the divided former State at the confluence of the three supposedly interim administrations till the final resolution of the dispute at Gilgit, Srinagar and Muzaffarabad, in the area of ancient Shardha university, close to Taobat area in upper Kishnganga river valley.
We want to weigh response of the people of divided former State through discussion forum, so as to execute the plan in the coming season.