Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Karakoram

“Doctor Sahib! Towers in the village of New York in your country were attacked. Uzum mofsar (I am sorry)” said Faisal Baig

Two weeks before the attack on the Twin Towers in September 2001, Greg Mortenson was in north Pakistan,  building one more of the many primary schools for girls under the supervision of his Central Asia Institute, a foundation that Jean Hoerni financed and appointed Greg as director..

Greg started his mission in 1994 and was getting very familiar with the Karakoram and Hindu Kush regions, after his failed assault on K2 in 1993.

Greg, Apo and Hussein (the driver) were driving in the Shigar Valley near the town of Gulapor. This district was predominantly of Balti ethnics and of the Chiaa sect. And yet, they were observing a brand new huge and long edifice (200 meter-long and enclosed within a 6-meter wall).

Apo said: “This is a madrassa” (one of the hundreds of religious schools that the wahhabi Saudi Arabia absolute monarchy was investing billion to build in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt… Anywhere the Moslem Sunni sect was predominant, and also erecting mosques and hiring Wahhabi religious clerics to preach and run the mosques and religious schools…

Mortenson said: “Are you sure Apo that it is not a military base? You would expect these kind of schools to be mushrooming in the Waziristan region” (Where the Afghan Taliban had their bases and headquarters in western Pakistan)

Apo tried to explain that these religious schools are so large because thousands of poor male kids attend religious indoctrination: They are crowded as bees…

The most promising students are dispatched to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait for further “education and formation” during 10 years and then sent back to teach, marry 4 wives, procreate and increase the number of wahhabis…

Mind you that after the Soviet troops withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, the USA totally forgot Afghanistan: The US administrations were busy handling the situation after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the disintegration of the Soviet Union States, particularly in eastern Europe, and the mass genocides that ensued in Yugoslavia…

For over a decade, the extremist and obscurantist Taliban (financed and supported by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan secret services) occupied Afghanistan, except the north-eastern province of the Panjshir and the Wakhan Corridor, under the Tajik warlord Massoud.

The El Qaeda of Ussama bin Laden was firmly entrenched in Afghanistan and in the western provinces of Pakistan, and enjoying the full support of Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, a graduate from a “madrassa” in Pakistan.

In early September 2001, a new wahhabi mosque was finished in the center of the city of Skardu, the capital of the Balistan province in north-east Pakistan.

On Sept. 9, Mortenson was heading toward the town of Zuudkhan in north-west Pakistan in order to inaugurate 3 projects: A water purification, a small hydroelectric generator, and a dispensary.  The team spent the night at the village of Sost and he received the news that the Afghan Tajik warlord Ahmad Shah Massoud was assassinated by al Qaeda recruits. The executioners were two female Algerian jihadist who claimed to beBegian film makers. The instrument for the killing was a camera loaded with explosives.

Massoud was at the military base of Khvajeh Ba Odin, an hour flight by helicopter to Sost.

Ussama bin Laden figured out that if Massoud is eliminated and the Sept. 11 attack a success, then there will be no serious opponents in Afghanistan to support the US troops…

The people in the region were apprehensive and expected a soon Taliban attack and were looking toward the Afghan borders.

Two days later, 19 kamikazes, of mostly Saudi Arabia, launched their commercial line attacks on 4 targets on US soil.

This time around, the US remembered the plight of the Afghan people by launching 150 cruise missiles. Each cruise missile cost $900,000, enough to build hundred schools in Afghanistan and pay for the teachers for an entire year.

Mind you that a teacher cost $20 per month in Afghanistan at that time!

Note 1: In December 2000, the daily Ain al Yaqeen (Eye of Certainty) had disclosed that the foundation Al-Haramain, one of 4 such organizations for proselytizing the wahhabi sect, had constructed 1,100 mosques, madrassa, and Islamic centers, just in Pakistan and was paying the salary  of 3,000 instructors and employees.

In the same decade, the most active of these  4 organizations, The international Islamic Rescue Organization (IIRO) had built 1,800 mosques, and budgeted $45 million for the teaching of Islam, and hired 6,000 “educators”, and these money were mostly invested in Pakistan… The IIRO was directly funding and supporting Taliban and Al Qaeda

Note 2: The Pakistani journalist Ahmed Rashid of Lahore, and the most eminent specialist in extremist Moslem movements, estimated in “The Shadow of the Talibans” that about 80,000 students from various madrassas have joined Taliban, and that 20% of the students undergo military training for the Jihad purpose against the “infidels”

Note 3: The World Bank study in 2001 revealed that 20,000 madrassas were dispensing a fundamentalist Islamic program to 2 million Pakistani Students

Karakoram and Hindu Kush (north Pakistan): World concentrated glaciers and tallest Peaks

Bordering China, Kashmir, Afghanistan and the central Asian countries are the regions of the most concentrated highest peaks and glaciers and the sources of the Braldu, Shyok, and Indus River (forking westward toward Pakistan and eastward toward India).

Have heard of Karakoram and Hindu Kush regions in North Pakistan and the Baltistan district (with capital Skardu) near the Kashmir borders?

Have you heard of the K2 Peak, the second highest at 8,611 m?

From left and going clockwise you can see on the map the Tower of Muztagh (7,273 m), Broad Peak (8,047 m), Gasherbrum I (8,068 m), Gasherbrum II (8,035 m), Masherbrum (7,821 m), Nanga Parbat (8, 1236 m), Rakaposhi (7,788 m), Ogre (7,285)….

Have you heard of the glaciers Hispar, Biafo, Baltoro, Concordia, Godwin-Austin, Sachsen (where the Pakistani and Indian armies shell one another for the Kashmir region)…?

You find the vast and highest valleys of Shigar, Hushe, Hunzu, Charpursan

The late photographer Galen Rowell (died in an aviation accident in 2002) spent decades of his life to filming this region evanescent beauty.

The road leading to Balistan follow the gorges of the powerful Indus River: There is no other alternative route that the Indus failed to dig in this mountainous region. Most of the deaths in Pakistan are from road accidents, of treacherous side roads off the main highway to China.

The biologist George Schaller trekked the Karakoram in 1973 studying the whereabouts of the Blue Sheep (bhoral) or ibex and wrote in “Stones of Silence“:

My trekking trips were marked by difficulty and deception. But the mountains are like appetite  They did deeper. My hunger for the Karakoram grew by the days…”

The companion of Schaller, Peter Matthiessen wrote the master piece “The Snow Leopard

This vast region is where the Baltis ethnic people dwell.

According to the book “Three cups of tea“, the Baltis are originally from Tibet. They emigrated 6 century ago and adopted the Chiaa Moslem sect. They are mostly short, robust, and most adapted to high altitudes like the Sherpas of the Himalaya mountain chains (Nepal) and the Indians of the Andes chain in South America.

In 1958, the Italian Fosco Maraini who participated in the Gasherbrum 4 expedition  expanded at length on this ethnic group:

“They constantly plot, complain, and frustrate you to the highest level. They emanate an air of bandits, but they have great qualities: They are honest, cheerful, loyal, and have a great resistance to fatigue. You see skinny people carrying 40 kilos through treacherous paths with the ease of people carrying nothing…”

Note 1: After Sept.11, 2001, Greg Mortenson was back in Pakistan to build one of his 80 primary schools for girls in the Karakoram region. The CIA wanted information on the people of this region and the names and addresses of the people on the payroll in Pakistan of the Central Asia Institutes. Greg refused because he will be a dead man if he did, and his mission will be tainted.

The 4 CIA men in grey 4-pieces suits wanted to know the religious sects of the communities (tribes) in North Pakistan. You have the Khowars, Kohistanis, Shinas, Torwalis, Kalamis… The Kalash is an animist tribe. The CIA felt discouraged: The further they diverted from general categories (Sunni, Chiaa..) the more impossible it became to get a good clean-cut understanding

Note 2. Have you heard of the Wakhan Corridor in Afghanistan?

One day, Greg Mortenson was close to the borders with North Afghanistan in the town of Zuudkan when a group of Kirghiz horsemen crossed the pass of Irshad to meet with him: They got wind of Doctor Greg’s presence who build schools for girls and wanted him to visit the Wakhan Corridor.

The Wakhan Corridor is this long stretch of land, a tongue, sandwiched between Tajikistan, Pakistan, and China, where opium is trafficked and distributed to Russia and China via the passes of Irshad and Khundjerab. This is an extension of the Panjshir Valley region in north-east Afghanistan that the Taliban could not enter. The only access was through the Salang tunnel, which warlord Massoud detonated as the Taliban tried to expand northward.

Note 3: A few words in the Baltis language, an archaic Tibetan version:

Gangs-zhing: glacier

Rdo-rut: avalanche

Brad-lep: Flat rock

Kurba: small round rocks used to cook bread on

Zindabad: wonderful

Mar: rancid butter of yak milk

Gorak: Vulture

Biango: roasted chicken

Lassi: chapati

Urdwa: woolen bonnet ornated with pearls, shells, and ancient money pieces

Zamba: rope bridge in yak hair

Topi: cap in mutton wool

Nurmadhar: village chief

Balti: Central space in a house

Tchizaley? What are you doing here?

Naswar: Green tobacco for chewing

Shalval Kamiz: loose pant and long shirt (Sherwal/Qamis in Arabic)


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

August 2020
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