Tuesday, April 27, 2010


"Of the three sectors—government, private business, and civil society—civil society is the most diverse and the least well understood…. Civil society organisations need to reach for the highest levels of competence to justify their support. The sector combines energy and creativity, with a social conscience. Together, these constitute a powerful impulse and should be nurtured. At the same time, capacities for management, programme design and implementation, fund-raising and self-study and evaluation need to be strengthened."

His Highness the Aga Khan
EBRD Annual Meeting, Tashkent, 5 May 2003

Friday, April 16, 2010

Questions of meaning

The story of Prophet Adam has held deep meanings for many people through the ages. It has the power to touch us deep inside our minds and hearts because it deals with some of the most difficult questions that all human beings ask.
About ourselves
Some of these questions we ask are 'Who am I?' 'Why have I been created? These are questions to do with our origins and our place in the universe. They are to do with the mystery of who we are as human beings.
About Evil and suffering
Other questions that often puzzle us are, 'Why is there evil and suffering in our world?' or 'Why is the world as it is, and not a perfect place? These questions are based on our relationship with the people around us and the world in which we live.
About what is good

We also ask questions, 'How should we lead our lives? What does it mean to live as good human beings?' When we ask these questions, we are concerned about knowing our purpose on earth. We should like to know more about fulfilling our true potential as human beings.

Myths as stories with deep meanings
Human beings in every age and place have asked themselves questions on the meaning and purpose of life. In every age, they have tried to find answers that will guide them in their lives.
Every religion provides explanations to questions about our lives and purpose on earth. Religions often present these answers in the form of stories or myths.

Myths are stories in which we can find deep meanings and truths. When we study them closely we can find insights about ourselves as human beings and our relation with the universe. Myths are stories that continue to be told because they have the power to speak to people in every age.
Creation stories

Creation stories are special types of, myths that describe how the world began. The story of Prophet Adam is an example of a creation story.
The language of the Quran

By understanding the story of Prophet Adam in the Quran, we begin to understand the language of the Quran. It is a language that deals with our deepest questions and concerns. It is a rich language of stories, myths and parables that contains many levels of meanings.

I will inshallah, place the contents of TALIMAT series developed by IIS on this blog in small bits, which will help the readers to get an insight to the contemporary philosophy and basis of belief that many of us in Hunza and other parts of Gilgit and Baltistan have towards a satisfactory Answer to the type of questions that you have read in the foregoing passages, so help me GOD.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Introduction to the Aga Khan Music Initiative

Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia

The Aga Khan Music Initiative promotes traditional music as part of a broader programme of development that encompasses the physical, social, cultural and economic revitalisation of communities in the Muslim world. Music of Central Asia, the Aga Khan Music Initiative’s panoramic 10-volume audio-visual survey of contemporary tradition-based music from Central Eurasia, is part of these efforts.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Madrasa Early Childhood Programme Africa

In the early 1980s research suggested that it was important that particular attention be paid to the lives of young children, since it became increasingly clear that events during the early years (proper care, health, nutrition and education) provided the foundation for children's later success in school and life.

General News: His Highness the Aga Khan addresses the Marketplacebron Innovative Financial Solutions for Development

General News: His Highness the Aga Khan addresses the Marketplacebron Innovative Financial Solutions for Development

Friday, April 9, 2010

International Franchise Expo - Washington DC

EPB will be hosting a delegation to the International Franchise Expo being held in Washington, DC from April 9 through 11th.   Attached is a flyer with more information about the event.  IFE is a unique opportunity to:
  • Meet with hundreds of domestic and international franchisers
  • Explore new and emerging franchise businesses and attend seminars
  • Have questions and concerns answered by experienced personnel
  • Network with fellow jamati members who are in the franchise business or are exploring the franchise business
Please visit www.Ismailibusiness.com for further information and registration.  I highly encourage you to consider participating in this wonderful expo.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


I had put the following questions to the candidates for GBLA from Hunza. Son of one of the candidates responded and I did not vote any one of the candidates.
I am since perusing our elected representative as well as the selected one on the technocrat seat to help find solutions to the inherent issues in these questions. Readers to please join me in helping our representatives find the requisite solutions.
The question to each voter in Hunza was;
"What questions will you ask a candidate before you cast your vote? My vote to a candidate for the GBLA seat from Hunza will be based on his/her answers to the following questions:
a. Do you know the views of USA, UN, EU, India, China, Russia and GOP on the status of Gilgit – Baltistan? What are your views and how do you think you will go about implementing your views?
b. What is your knowledge on the current statutory and customary laws on Natural resources? What does the UN Universal Declaration on this topic contemplate? Are you aware of any local attempts and how will you go about ensuring the economic interests of present and coming generations?
c. What are the burning issues confronting Hunza today? Do you have a statistical analysis and how do you propose tackling them?
d. What is your vision for the Hunza society for the next 5 years, 10 yrs, 20 yrs and 50 years? What collective targets would you set and with what priority?
e. What is your commitment on the improvements of KKH and proposed energy corridor/railway line? What are the reasons for the slowdown? What would you do to overcome the slowdown that you see?"
After the elections, I have initiated following communication;
"My Dear Syed Mehdi Shah,
Please accept my congratulations on the success in elections and nomination by the People's party as the CM of Gilgit and Baltistan. I am using this occasion to share a few documents on different topics that in my view concern the economic interests and social governance of Gilgit and Baltistan for the present as well as future generations. As chief custodian of the trust of indigenous populations, I am sure you will take out the necessary time to go through these documents as a feedback from a concerned citizen.

1.    Status of Gilgit and Baltistan (EU Resolution, GOP view, Late Benazir Bhutto's Views and a lone voice from Gilgit and Baltistan)
2.    Review of Mineral Lease Policy and "Harmonization of Customary Laws: Governing Natural Resource Management in Gilgit and Baltistan" (Copy of letters sent to former Chief Executive, Chief Secretary, Speaker and members of NALA. Preamble to the proposed law is enclosed while the unfinished draft of the law will hopefully be shared with a committee of GBLA.
3.    Proposal on outsourcing Mineral Development Sector.
4.    Challenges and Economical Opportunities in Gilgit and Baltistan.
5.    Sectarian Harmony in Gilgit and Baltistan.
6.    Gist of a Speech at a rally in Karimabad Hunza
7.    Development of Civil Society - HDF, an example of the template that may be adopted throughout Gilgit and Baltistan.
8.    Guidelines on Governance, Management and Financial control for (organizations) evolved (by AKDN) as present day interpretation of our religious guidance. Copies will be provided on demand.
9.    A few questions posed to the GBLA candidates in Hunza.
I normally stay in Hunza for summers but winters I am mostly in Rawalpindi. I will be eagerly waiting for any discussions or clarifications that you may desire to get greater insight into the proposed solutions of issues covered in these documents.

With prayers for success in upcoming responsibilities and best wishes,

Brig (Retd) Hisamullah Beg SI(M),
Former VP His Highness Aga Khan Shia Imami Ismaili Council for Pakistan (1999 to 2005); President Task Force HDF; Former member KIU syndicate (representing Civil Society); Vice Chairman Rupani Foundation Pakistan.
Copy for Information and action:    Mr Wazir Beg, Speaker GBLA and Elected Representative from Hunza for GBLA.   
Mr Mutabiat Shah, Member GBLA (Technocrat)"
Dear readers;
See if this falls in line with the desire for goading towards a meritocratic and democratic mindset.