[News letter] Misgar valley wildlife
MISGAR valley is situated in the extreme north of Pakistan. It is the last village of the Hunza Nagar district in Gilgit-Baltistan at the international border where four nations — Pakistan, China, Tajikistan and Afghanistan — meet.
Owing to this strategic background, this valley has a unique history since its inhabitation in 1844 when 21 individuals from the four tribes — Diramiting, Brong, Khurukutz and Barataling — came from Hunza and it is thought that the habitants of Misgar are the offspring of those tribes.
The village remained a part of the British Raj as a military observatory point since British invasion in Hunza in 1892 till the independence of Pakistan in 1947.
The British took keen interest in the valley militarily and deployed military contingents. They built various facilities like telephone exchange, post office, weather forecast centre and the famous K-D Fort at the junction of Kilik, Mintaka and Dilsung valleys.
This beautiful village has a very wide range of pastures where there is wildlife in huge numbers. These wild animals travel between Pakistan, Tajikistan, China and Afghanistan. This is a range having Marco Polo sheep and snow leopard. If these are protected, Pakistan would attract wildlife lovers from all over the world.
It is unfortunate that there is no concern from government authorities about protecting these species, which are becoming vulnerable as local hunters kill them brutally. There are some selected hunters and the village people know them. Most of them even buy meat from these hunters, and would prefer not to inform the government.
On the other hand, despite many requests from some social activists and a local organisation, WCSDM, the situation was brought to the notice of the wildlife department and the police. But all efforts went in vain.
The government and the local administration must act against hunters who are destroying the wildlife.
Mir Aman Hunzai
Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2015