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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.
the world Ghizer came form the name "Gherz" which means "refugees" in Khowar. "Gherz" is a village in Golaghmuli Valley, which is now known as Golaghmuli. Whenever the Chitral in the Suzerainty of the British Raj did forced some people 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 system and had given another administrative district comprising the Tehsils (Political districts) the name Ghizer was given and agreed unanimously.
Ghizer District comprises Punial, Yaseen and Ishkoman Valleys. Te major portion of its area was 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 Jan Alam and Raja Muzafer (was living in Golodass also known as Anwerabad as its second name). Currently living Raja families in District have no administrative share but acting as a leading role in the development of society. Their linage goes back to Sha Burush. The Sha Burush Sha Katur and Sha Khushwaqt are three brothers. The Punial is famous of the polo game from the regional history. Historically these Rajas were the best polo players and had a polo team of giants. Historically two main characteristic of the dress of the folks of the Ghizer is Khoi and Shokah. Khoi which is the headgear, consist of homespun woolen cloths and Shokah is homespun woolen cloak reaching to ankle with long sleeves.
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).
The main river in the district is Ghizer River, which is comprises Gupis River and Ishkoman River; both meets at Hatoon valley at Hayim as the point of confluence. The other tributaries include Qurumbar River, Phakora River, Hayal River, Singul River and Yasin River also join the main stream at different points.
- Handarap Lake
- Phander Lake in Tehsil Phander
- Khalti Lake
- Karambar Lake
- Baha Lake (Langar Khukush)
- Shandur Lake
Colleges and Schools
- Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Gahkuch, Ghizer
- Aga Khan Schools
- Aga Khan Higher Secondary School Sherqilla, Ghizer
- Hatun Degree College
- MIED College Phander
- World Roof Public School And College Hundur Yasin
- Inter College Gupis
- Govt Degree College Tause Yasin
- Ghizer Public School Gahkuch
- Diamond Jubilee High School Gupis, Ghizer
- Lalik Jan Shaheed (NH)Army Public School and College Hundur Yasin
- Diamond Jubilee Learning Resource High School Sandi Yasin
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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