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map of Ghizer district in Gilgit-Baltistan
Map of Ghizer, showing the five tehsils including Phander. By: Khesrau Hayat boundaries
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Ghizer District is the westernmost part of the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan. Its capital is Gahkuch. Ghizer is crossroads between Gilgit and Chitral and also to China, Tajikistan via Qurumber pass through Ishkomen/Darkut Yasin (which are connected via Shandur Pass). Ghizer is a multi-ethnic district and three major languages are spoken; shina, khowar and Burushaski. There are also Wakhi speakers in Ishkoman and some Tajiks.
Ghizer is a distorted form of the name "Gherz" which means "refugees" in Khowar. "Gherz" is a village in Golaghmuli Valley, which is now known as Golaghmuli. Whenever the Mehtar of Chitral did unjust with their people in Chitral and forced them to migrate towards Gupis. They were settled in the area between Chitral and Gupis and the area called Gherz and the people were called Gherzic. When Zulafiqar Ali Bhutto the President of Pakistan abolished the FCR and Rajgi system and made another administrative district comprising the Tehsils (Political districts) the name Ghizer was agreed and unanimously.
Historically the region has been ruled by indigenous rajas (Katuray, Brushay, Khoshwatay) are all brothers but some Paloyo (Gupis Mehtar) and had also governed for some period in Mehraja's period. The most and long Rulers thoms of Yasin and Punial and later it was divided between the Mehtar of Chitral and the Maharaja of Kashmir. After 1895 all of Ghizer was annexed to Gilgit Agency which was directly ruled by the British Government and not by the Kashmir.
Tehsil Gupis is the central part of Ghizer district. There are so many villages lush green and very pleasant places, like Shandur, Phunder lake, Khalti lake, the most biggest Lake in Khalti is very famous for trout fishes. There are also PTDC Hotel available and also some private hotels in Ghahkuch.
The Rajas of Yasin Suleman Shah and Raja Gohar Aman stretched their rule to Gilgit Bagrot by pushing back Dogras and at some particular juncture of history remained undefeated rulers of the region stretched from Yasin to Gilgit. Latter on after the death of Gohar Aman due to the internal conspiracy the Dogras of Maharaja Kashmir came to Yasin and Mudoori debacle occurred in Yasin The Mudoori were not against the Mehtars but also for Muslims of the region.
District Ghizer is Northmost part of the Northern Areas and hence the extreme north of the country. It joins with Wakhan strip on its north-west, and China on its northern borders. On its west, there is Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and on its east is situated Gilgit. Diamer District is on its south, which is again a part of the Northern areas. Gakuch is the capital of the Ghizer District. Gupis has been serving as a junction between yasin and phander valley. It is the central place from all valleys like phandar, yasin. poniyal etc. The valley is located between the world greatest mountain ranges i.e. hindukush and karakarum.
Some of the passes in the district are:
- Shandur Pass (Punji-Lusht Plain between the boundary of Ghizer and Chitral District).
- Qurumbar Pass, Chillingi Pass.
- Hayal Pass and Naltar Pass (on the boundary of Ghizer and Gilgit Districts).
- Bichhar Pass (on the boundary of Ghizer and Gilgit Districts).
- Thoi Pass (on the boundary of Ghizer and Chitral Yarkhon).
- Darkut Pass (on the boundary of Ghizer and Chitral). and the Punial valley ruled over by Brooshay Raja's such as Raja sha Burush, khan bahadur Issa bahadur AKBER Khan,RAJA Anwar Khan Raja Mirbaz Khan and last broosh families raja RAja Jan Alam(sha burush sha katur and sha khushwaqt are three brothers)
The main river in the district is Ghizer River, which is known as Gupis River in the east of Gupis town. Some of its tributaries include Qurumbar River, Ishkoman River, Phakora River, Hayal River, Singul River and Yasin River.
- Handarap Lake
- Phander Lake in Tehsil Phander
- Khalti Lake
- Karambar Lake
- Baha Lake (Langar Khukush)
- Shandur Lake
According to the Alif Ailaan Pakistan District Education Rankings 2015, Ghizer is ranked 52 out of 148 districts in terms of education. For facilities and infrastructure, the district is ranked 71 out of 148.
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