Friday, 22 May 2015

Geography of the Northern Areas of Pakistan

Geographically, climatically and biologically primarily North Pakistan presents Trans-Himalayan character where cis-himalayan features and monsoons of the plain are almost totally absent. Its major parts lie in the watershed of Himalaya, Hindukush and Karakorom. Only its Southern slopes, nearer Kashmir lie within Himalayan mountain system. The land lies amidst, towering mountain, snow-clad peaks and narrow valleys between 300 feet 28750 feet above the sea level. Within sixty miles radius of Gigit the main of the land, there are dozens of peaks ranging from 18000 to 26000 feet. The climate is extremely cold and temperate in summer. Northern Areas differ from other parts of the Himalayan states in so for it lies within an approach from China, India, central Asia and the countries of the west, thus giving it to great geo-political importance. And yet the land is away from the rest of the world and it itself sub-divided into numerous smaller units, located in different valleys, uplands, plateaus and mountain tops. Technically it is land of isolation without those geographical features that give unity to a region. Although the River Indus should have been the artery for communication and unification, yet the mountain barriers have stood in the way of common dwelling along the Indus. Except for rare places such Skardu and Chilas living along the Indus banks have so for been difficult people have moved to smaller valleys and mountain slopes where glacial water is easy at hand for drinking and irrigation. Habitable and cultivable land being scarce, fruit cultivation, hunting and marauding habits and hence human living here has been a game hazards, in which the survival of the fittest is a normal rule. The people are tough and hilly prone to bearing harsh climate yet harboring a character of independence and developing self sufficient mountain settlements protected by hill forests. The communities are closed and they bear open rivalry, one to another for the sake of survival. And yet close proximity of neighboring states have left deep impressions on the political geography of the land. States formation is normally an affair of community management by common consent. Although this feature survival a long time in western valleys. Yet the surrounding political forces introduced centralized state apparatus to be controlled by introducing ruling dynasties from outside, who competed to established wider authority of their own by mutual wars and by manipulating the power of bigger in the neighboring hood. It is this particular role of Northern Areas of Pakistan that has given a great significance in the international game of Asian politics. Hence its historical geography extends beyond the limits mere Trans-Himalyan.


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