Working Together for Humanity
Marafie Foundation Pakistan
Gilgit Baltistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas of Pakistan, is located in Northern Pakistan. Gilgit Baltistan’s borders Afghanistan on the north, China to the North East, Pakistan administered Azad Jammu & Kashmir to the South and the Indian administered state of Jammu and Kashmir to the South East. The territory of Gilgit Baltistan consists of seven districts namely Gilgit, Ghizer, Hunza Nagar, Diamer, Astore, Baltistan and Ghanche.
History of Gilgit BaltistanThe inaccessibility of the Karakoram Mountains ensured that Gilgit and Baltistan, developed and preserved its unique history, cultural values and tradition-based political identity in the relative protection of its geographical isolation. Over the centuries, the region of Gilgit and Baltistan experienced four centuries of Muslim rule under the Mughals (until 1751) and came under the control of the Durrani Empire of Afghanistan, who ruled until 1820. Between 1800 and 1832. The region of Gilgit Baltistan was conquered by the Sikhs and the Dogras who administered the region as part of the Princely State of Kashmir and Jammu with the support of the British Crown. Between 1935 and 1947 the territory of Gilgit and Baltistan was given to the British on lease in order to enable them to keep watch over the developments in Xinjiang and Afghanistan. When the British returned the Gilgit warrant, the territory of Gilgit and Baltistan became the third "Northern Kashmir and Jammu, on 1st November, 1947 the local populace fought the Dogra Raj and joined the newly-established state of Pakistan declaring an independent Republic in Gilgit.
This Gilgit Government, along with similar governments in Muzaffarabad and Srinagar, form the three UN-recognized interim governments in the disputed former state of three provinces. However, following the Indo Pakistan war of 1947, Pakistan occupied the territories to the north and west of the cease-fire line and divided the territory into the Northern Areas (Gilgit and Baltistan) and Asad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in the South. On 29th August 2009, the Gilgit and Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009 was promulgated by the Government of Pakistan. It was a major development for self-rule as a legislative assembly, empowered Chief Minister and independent judicial structure was permitted under this law.
Gilgit BaltistanIn early September 2009, Pakistan signed in agreement with China for a mega energy project in Gilgit Baltistan which includes the construction of a 7000 megawatt dam at Bunji in the Astore district of the Gilgit Baltistan. This also resulted in protest from India; however Indian concerns were immediately rejected by Pakistan, saying the Government of India has no locus stand in the matter. On 29th September, Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani while addressing a huge gathering at Gilgit Baltistan announced a multi-billion rupee development package aimed at the social-economic uplifting people in the area. Development projects will include the areas of education, health, agriculture, tourism and basic needs of life.
The Prime Minister further went on to say "You are getting your identity today. It is right and has been your demand, and today we are fulfilling it."
Travel & Tourism
Gilgit Baltistan have the unique distinction of being located at the convergence point of the three highest mountain ranges in the world, namely the Himalayas, the Karakoram and the Hindukush. These ranges boast of many of the world's highest peaks and the world's largest concentration of glaciers outside the Polar Regions. Nature has endowed Gilgit and Baltistan with breath-taking natural beauty, high peaks, Snow Mountains, fresh water lakes, lush green fairy meadows; at the same time, this area is also blessed with unlimited deposits of precious and semi-precious stones, precious and semi-precious metals, and industrial stones like Ruby, Gold, Copper and Marble.
Marafie Foundation PakistanThe foundation is registered with the government and is managed by a Board of Trustees. The board is comprised of locals from Baltistan who are professionals employed in various organizations and successful businessmen.
As a conscious policy, Marafie Foundation has focused its attention on health and education. It has also invested generously in other community projects and has concentrated on the welfare of children and the empowerment of women. Development in these sectors can help in overall improvement and sustainable progress in the area. In order to ensure that there is no overlapping and duplication of effort, it holds extensive consultations with the government departments and other NGOs. It strives to complement and supplement the efforts of these agencies so that the investments are directed to the common goal of development and reduction of poverty. All policy decisions are taken by the Board of Trustees, which also approves the annual budget. The accounts are maintained according to the standard accounting system and are subject to annual audit by a reputed firm of Chartered Accountants.
The Foundation functions on the principle of delegation of power to the field staff but with a tight check through a system of periodical inspections of the projects by its staff and also by the interaction of the trustees with the local population.
Late Mohammed lshaq
Mohammed lshaq was a Trustee Pakistan from 1986 until his untimely death in 2003. A successful businessman with interests in the construction industry, he provided financial support to many students who came to Karachi from Northern Pakistan. He became involved with the Marafie family in 1986, and gave much of his time and effort to assist in setting up the Marafie Foundation in Pakistan. His tireless support and dedication has been instrumental establishing Marafie Foundation as a major player in education and health services to Baltistan that has now expanded to districts of Astore and Gilgit.
Late Prof. Ghulam Mehdi
Professor Mehdi served as a Life Trustee of the Marafie Foundation Pakistan and has been involved with its works since its inception until his death in November 2013. He was a Professor at Karachi University and overseas the management of the Marafie Student Hostel. He also advises on the educational aspects of the Foundation's programmes. Professor Mehdi was provided constant assistance to Mohammed lshaq during his time as a Trustee, He also played an important role during the formative years of Marafie Foundation and helped in the establishment of an efficient organization despite many impediments due to communications constraints.
Afzal Ali Shigri
Afzal Ali Shigri is the nephew of Mohammed lshaq and became a Trustee of the Marafie Foundation Pakistan in 2003 following the death of his uncle. He had a distinguished career in the police force retiring having reached the rank of Inspector General of Police. After assuring the responsibility of Managing Trustee he has created a corporate and accountable structure of the management of Foundation that will ensure its sustainability and efficient functioning in future.