The biggest problem of Gilgit Baltistan is climate change. In fact, we have a lot of problems and really need attention. And then every point of view speaks to the importance of different kinds of problems.
For example, the biggest problem for the federalists is the low annual budget from Islamabad, while for the nationalists; the biggest issue is the identity crisis, which is born out of the specific political status of the region.
While the elevators of sectarian state institutions are reportedly considered a problem to meet other sects, the educated are suffering from homesickness due to the unavailability of private livelihoods.
Social scientists see the unpredictable behavior of seemingly innocent people in their communities and the ability of their centuries-old mountain genetics to create tension at any time.
Then there is a long list of traditional and non-traditional issues. However, not one of these issues is a threat to our overall survival and the biggest, most dangerous issue is Climate Change.
When you hear about climate change and global warming, you think that just a little bit hotter in the summer, everything else will be normal, so it means that your science teachers were more incompetent than me. Climate change simply means that the weather will reach its peak.
Summer heat and winter cold will increase both intensity and duration. After a decade, these two seasons will consume the short spring and autumn seasons between them. That is, four to six months will be very cold and with the change of weather at the end of April, there will be severe heat by September.
The idea of autumn and spring will disappear. Agriculture is about to end. The question is whether we will survive or not.
Gilgit-Baltistan will not be the first hit of climate change in South Asia, it is happening now. Write down that this year the heat will be higher than last year and the next winter will be even harsher. And it will continue to be so.
Then in a few years, there will be so much snow in the winter that it will continue to lie down and not lose its life. It will melt the snow and create a flood and make it a disaster for our villages.
What is our geography? In the Himalayan and Karakoram valleys, there is a wide and open glacier of ten kilometers above each village and a river in the slope. That is, the means of exchange have been prepared by nature. Climate will make such areas a disaster and uninhabitable.
This is not my opinion. It is an undeniable scientific fact that has begun to appear and manifest itself. And again, this would mean that you have to spend on these processes. Climate change is the fate of the far-flung developed humans that the people of the hilly and arid regions faced in the first phase.
The whole world will have to suffer in the next stages. So it is our responsibility to speak up first.
What is our response? Our poet is busy composing his romantic poetry in harsh weather, the writer is reading Urdu literature, students have settled snooker clubs in big cities, the common man is dancing on ice, metric pass journalist was seen dancing or protesting on a channel in his erroneous Urdu, thinking that he had shot an arrow.
The nationalist falls asleep after hitting a Facebook post against the institutions. How many people are aware of this existential threat? How many conferences were held?.
Which governmental or non-governmental plans were made and implemented? In the last few months, millions of people around the world have protested against this issue, but we have been sleeping.
Only one Anila Bano from all over Gilgit-Baltistan had heard a program on Climate Change: The biggest problem of Gilgit Baltistan on TEDx. The rest of the narrators were sleeping.
Obviously this is a global problem of which we are unfortunately the first victims and can only do half the work alone. But even if we tell the world, even if we internationalize our voice and problem.
A decade or two later, when the effects of climate change on major countries begin to show, the world will be forced to resort to carbon reduction to control the problem.
But God forbid, then the matter would have reached our point of migration. Let the youth lead this movement in the world because if Zakota Jinn had spent his life, he would have paid less attention to this issue by prioritizing personal or national interests over humanity and future generations at the policy level.
But young people are not letting that happen. At the United Nations, Trump and Sweden’s Climate Activist Lady Kgreta expressed their outrage over the issue.
The question is whether we can create a leader who can take our voice, our concerns to the world on this issue. Let it draw the world’s attention to this disaster and play its part in convincing the world of carbon reduction.
Will anyone from Gilgit-Baltistan be able to rise and become a climate activist? My heart says yes, maybe from Hunza. Or someone should tell Anila Bano that Allah will make her speak louder and louder.
By: Ishtiaq Ahmed, Gilgit
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