By Dur Wali Khan
Barset, Tero, Golaghtori, Golaghmuli and Handarap are main villages of a very beautiful and picturesque valley of upper Ghizer with its mesmerizing landscape and lofty mountains. Its entrancing scenic spell and panoramic view holds the tourists/visitors spellbound during summers. It is situated in the east of Chitral and north of Swat. Here, one can find oneself very close to the nature and can enjoy the pristine purity of existence.
I visited Golaghmuli, Handarap and surrounding villages for three days in the second week of July 2019 to have an interaction with Kakakhel families, the descendants of Hazrat Sheikh Shah Wali Baba. Hazrat Sheikh Shah Wali Baba is the grandson of Hazrat Sheikh Muhammad Gul Baba bin Hazrat Kaka Sahib (Syed Kasteer Gul) of Ziarat Nowshera, a well-known Sufi saint and Islamic scholar of his time.
According to Shajar-e-Nasab written by Haziyar Shah Charvelu Golaghamuli in eighteenth century, Hazrat Sheikh Shah Wali Baba is the direct descendant of Hazrat Kaka Sahib, of Ziarat, Nowshera who migrated from Ziarat Nowshera during the seventeenth century to Ghizer and settled at Goghmuli permanently.
During my short visit to Upper Ghizer Valley, I had an opportunity to interact with sub-tribes of Kakakhel tribe consisting of about 200 families, who are settled in Golaghmuli, Handarap and surrounding villages permanently.
There are ten sub-tribes of descendants of Hazrat Sheikh Shah Wali Baba, such as Charvelley/Haziyarey, Rokhmey, Zikoney, Khoney, Shakarey, Baloshey, Doulatshovey, Khalifey, Petaqey,Shokhurmoney and yaghey, who are basically known as WaliyeKakakhel.
Luckily, I also belong to WaliyeKakakhel family of laspur, Chitral. As my forefather HazratKausar Ali Baba-I migrated from Golaghmuli Ghizer sometimes in the middle of eighteenth century to Chitral and settled at BalimLaspur permanently. Later on, a few more families also migrated from Golaghmuli to Chitral and settled at GashtLaspur permanently.
Similarly, a few families migrated from Handarap Ghizer sometime in eighteenth century to Swat and settled at Matiltan and surrounding villages permanently.
The population of Upper Ghizer valley, according to census is around 12000.
Generally, educational facilities in Golaghmuli, Handarap and surrounding villages are encouraging. The credit for the enhanced literacy rate in the beautiful valley goes both to the government and private education sectors. There are 03 government primary schools, three middle and three high schools, one community based high school and two private colleges providing education to children in the valley.
Non-availability of quality educational institutions in the valley demands an immediate attention of Gilgit-Baltistan government to look into the matter for establishing quality educational institution in the valley to ensure the provision of quality of education for talented youths in the near future.
There are one government hospital, one Aga Khan Medical Centre and two government dispensers providing health facilities to the people in the valley.
The valley is connected not only with rest of the country, but also with the entire globe. PTCL and S.com are operating in the entire valley successfully.
Hydroelectric power station
To meet the energy requirement of the valley, government has established 02 Megawatt hydroelectric power station in the valley.
Majority of people are engaged in farming. However, a considerable number of people are serving in government and private sectors to support their families financially. Presently, there are sizeable number of Engineers, doctors, Army Officer, senior Educationists and advocates and a great number of talented youths among Waliye Kakakhels (descendants of Hazrat Sheikh Shah Wali Baba) in Upper Ghizer valley.
Ghizer river originating from Khukhush Gol duly fed by small tributaries/streams on its way and flows down and joins Gilgit river.
There are two important passes in Upper Ghizer valley, which are helpful for the tourists to shorten their journey. One is Dadaili pass in Hanadarap Nallah, which leads to Swat district. Another is Khukush Langar pass, which also leads to Swat.
There are about 05 lakes in Upper Ghizer, which are enough to attract tourists to enjoy the natural beauty of the valley.