Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Brig ® Mohammad Alimuddin, T.I, (1917 - 28th December 2001)

December each year brings nostalgic reminisces about the melancholic and emotionally charged events which took place towards the end of this month about 10 years ago on this day in the year 2001.

28th December 2011 will be 10th death Anniversary of my Father Brig ® M. Alimuddin, who’s presence and guidance has been missed by me from day to day and from time to time and the vacuum thus created can never be filled.

More than a decade has passed and time has not been able to heal my wounds nor have his pleasant and emotional memories faded or even become dim from my memories.

As every day passes I miss him more and more and find the bond between Father and Son become even stronger which even death can not weaken.

Why is it that such nice relationships and comradeship has to be annulled by the irony of fate that is DEATH, and death is a reality which no one can deny or escape, We all have to embrace it sooner or later.

In order to pass on the Rich Legacy and traditions left by him I on my humble behalf have tried to keep the beacon of light lit for future generations to come. We have started a trust in his name RAZA CHARITY TRUST in which we give Rations during the month of RAMZAN and help the needy and poor people from time to time on monthly basis.

All friends and well wishers are requested to join me in my humanitarian and philanthropic cause to help the needy and poor.

As usual we have arranged FATIYA KHAWANI in the JAMIA ISLAMIA MOSQUE followed by distribution of food to the needy.

All friends and well wishers are requested to join me in a humble prayer for the departed soul.


Dr. Babur Zahiruddin

Saturday, October 8, 2011


Many Pakistani’s are not aware about our rich cultural heritage landmarks and monuments which are found in plentiful in northern areas, Kyber Pakhtoon-khawa and Potohar regions.

As you leave the motorway which leads to Peshawar at the RASHA KAI interchange and come down to the exit after the toll plaza its says Mardan 10 kms.

And at the same time milestone also shows chitral 229 miles away. As we leave the Motorway the road becomes Narrow and we are met with typical frontier traffic slow and impatient, as if everyone is in a hurry and the world is on fire.

We pass the Punjab Regimental Centre the home of the training of famous Punjab Battalions of Pakistan Army and go pass Takht Bai one of the oldest Buddhist Monastery and Stupa are located here. SHINGARDARA STUPA about three kilometers from Barikot, one gets a glance of a magnificent Buddhist Stupa on the right side. Just about one and a half km away from this Stupa, one can see large figures of Buddha carved on the rock.

Our journey then takes us to Shergah and we enter in to Malakand agency to Sakhakot. We pass Malakand agency markaz and started climbing the incline. It is a very good road made by Frontier Works Organization (F.W.O), a tribute to the Army Engineers. We pass through the Malakand Tunnel and the mobile services work very well in the hilly areas. We reach Batkhela (home of Malakand levies) and go pass the Malakand fort.

The Malakand Fort is situated on a high point of the mountain and some parts inside and outside the building bear 1896 as the period of construction of the Fort. It is surrounded by a stone wall with fire slits and iron shutters.

In 1897 Sir, Winston Churchill as a War correspondent stayed in one of the rooms in the Malakand fort which I visited courtesy of the 37 division headquarters of the Pakistan Army. The room where Churchill stayed is marked by a marble commemorative plaque which says Sir Winston Churchill the future prime minister of Great Briton stayed in this room in 1897.

I specially requested to see this room and had to pass through many ups and downs of steep stair cases and ascent to reach the room where Sir Winston Churchill stayed.

This fort needs a full day visit but these days it is occupied by one of the battalions of the Pakistan Army a part of 37 divisions which has now moved for Operation RAHE-RAST in the Swat valley.

We then start our descent down hill to Pirano pass Batkhela Canal and there we encounter a great mad rush on the road hence the speed has to slow down to an ant crawl.

As you reach Batkhela a small sleepy town where main bazaar is more than 2 kilometers long, there are no intersections (junctions) so no traffic lights. Therefore it is the longest bazaar in the country that has no traffic lights or junctions.

Batkhela has many beautiful and big mosques. Some of them are located over fast flowing rivers which increases the beauty of these mosques.

This beautiful valley is covered by tall hills from all sides and there are many fast flowing rivers which are a contribution to its wonderful landscape. One water canal that pours into a small dam in Jaban area is the main source of electricity production.

Churchill Picket, Swat

As you go pass the Chakdara bifurcation the road on the left curves over the Swat River and on the right side is the Chakdara fort, now housing the first wing of the Chitral scouts. About 30 years ago when I visited this place it was the home of the Bajaur Scouts.

As you cross the swat river on the new bridge which was recently washed away by the floods and now two spans have been repaired by the launch of BAILEY BRIDGE a tribute to the Engineers of the Pakistan Army.

This watch tower (Churchill Picket) in Swat Pakistan, is said to be named after Sir Winston Churchill, former Prime Minister of England. It is said that he was stationed here in his military days. Going from Chakdara to Timar Garaha you can not help noticing the sentinel picket which is a local landmark - Churchill's Picket - a lonely spot at the far extremity of the then British Empire where in 1897, the future wartime leader of Great Briton was nearly killed in a ferocious battle against the Mad Mullah of Malakand.

Just across the bridge on the left side is a well marked incline walk way which is further highlighted by white wash stone markings on either side of the path.

It is quite a steep incline and novices and people with hypertension and arthritis should not try to attempt to climb this path in one go.

For the fit and regular walkers it is about 25 – 30 minutes climb to the top of the hill on which is perched the Churchill picket.

It is a well maintained monumental building which is made of stone with an elevation of about 2 ½ stories high.

At the present moment the entry to the picket is not allowed because of the security purpose for which permission has to be taken from the Army Authorities.

On the front side on the picket there are white neat stone markings, which say CHURCHILL PICKET and can be viewed from a distance across the swat river and beyond.

Sir, Winston Churchill came here in 1897, as a war correspondent for the Allahabad Pioneer and Daily Telegraph. He used to signal his messages from this spot to Malakand and onwards by Heliograph. A heliograph meaning "sun", graphein, meaning "write") is a wireless solar telegraph that signals using Morse code flashes of sunlight reflected by a mirror. Heliographs were standard issue in the British and Australian armies until the 1960s, and were used by the Pakistani army as late as 1975.

That is why the picket is also known as "Shisho Picket" (Shisha for Mirror in local language). The present picket was constructed by the British and commands the area around it like a sentry guarding a vantage point which covers 45 degree’s angle of visual eye ball contact on each side.

The picket is set a top a hill in such a way that it over looks 4 valleys at the same time.

On the front is the Swat river on the right is the Malakand agency on the back is the road leading to Timar Garaha on the left side is the Chakdara fort.

The Chakdarra Fort occupies a small detached hillock that provides observation of the surrounding areas on the backside of which is small fishing hut which is a paradise for trout anglers.

So next time when you are visiting Swat Valley for Holidays, please find time to make a small detour to visit Churchill Picket and enrich yourself with the first hand knowledge of our rich cultural heritage.


Wednesday, September 7, 2011


It was some times back in the fall of 2002, I was very withdrawn melancholic depressed and introvert after the loss of my Parents in 2001 with in short span of three months that the phasic depression engulfed me.

I did not find any respite in any of my pursuits like sports, outdoor activities and interaction with friends….. I thought that this was the end.

Then came the Holy month of RAMZAN in 2002 and it was a month of fasting and sharing other people joys and sorrow that the idea dawned on me that happiness lies most in giving to the needy and poor. To help the destitute and those who are under privileged.

With this small idea in mind like the flickering oil lamp (DIWA) as narrated by RABINDAR NATH TAGORE the first noble laureate of South East Asia in his poem GEETANGALI that one small candle lights anther candle.

I started my humble philanthropic and altruist beginning in the form of a Charitable Trust dedicated to the memory of my late Father Brig ® Mohamamd Alimuddin T.I.,

Initially it was a very modest and miniscule endeavor but with the passage of time and because of help and encouragement of my family members and friends that we have matured into a Well organized Charitable Institution by the Name of RAZA CHARITY TRUST.

Since 2002 we have given RATIONS and donations to more than 6000 people and have helped the needy and poor people to overcome their financial problems in the shape of School fees, Utility bills and Marriage of Daughters of widows and less fortunate people.

This year because of inflation and price hike I feared that I will not be able to come up to the expectations of the people registered with me but GOD works in strange and mysterious ways.

By the grace of GOD almighty and with help and donations from my sons, wife and friends the response has been over whelming.

This year again we distributed RATIONS on the 18th 19th 20th and 21st August 2011 from 1100 to 1600 hours at RAZA EYE CLINIC 123/A, Market Road Saddar Rawalpindi for more than 700 people.

Also we have arranged AFTARI in the JAMIA ISLAMIA, Mosque Kashmir Road, Saddar, Rawalpindi for more than 125 people daily for the 29 days of RAMZAN.

This information along with photographs is being sent to you to show gratitude and thanks to all my friends, family members and well wishers who have been a source of inspiration and encouragement for me and have helped me with their generous donations.

Please watch our appeal on u-tube.

I look forward to greater response and cooperation next year in RAMZAN.

Thank you my friends May God Bless you

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Dear Friends

Please see the link

An Appeal to all Humanitarian and philanthropic organizations, individuals and volunteers to come forward and help us in this noble cause...

No doubt there are many charities and trusts who are already working in this sector but RAZA CHARITY TRUST is a down to earth hands on organization in which no honorarium is paid to any trustee / Volunteer for his input... and efforts.

As said by Rabindar Nath Tagore the first Nobel laureate of South East Asia that one Candle lights a thousand candles and lights the world.

Let the flame of hope be kept alive by your generous donations and contributions....

So that the poor and needy people are able to celebrate their RAMZAN / EID with no tears in their eyes.

All your contributions will be much appreciated.

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin

0092-51-5584905, 0092-332-4444456

Saturday, June 18, 2011

BROGHIL FESTIVAL-2011 (16th July to 18th July)

BROGHIL FESTIVAL-2011 (16th July to 18th July)



1. Introduction:

Located at a distance of 250 km from main Chitral town, the Broghil valley is the Northern most valley of Chitral district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. By virtue of its strategic location having both internal and international borders, Broghil is one of the most important valleys in the region. Towards the north the valley is connected with famous Wakhan Strip of Afghanistan through the famous “Broghil Pass”. Another important pass “Darwaza” connects Broghil with Afghanistan in the North-west. Broghil pass for the large part of the year remains open for the to and fro movement of the communities, as the population of both sides have familial and tribal relationship with each other since centuries. In the southeast direction the valley is connected with Yasin valley of Gilgit Baltistan region via Darkot Pass. Towards east the valley joins the Karumbar valley through famous Karumbar pass towards Ghizer district of Gilgit Baltistan. In the south Broghil joins the main valley of Yarkhun towards Mastuj and Chitral town. The valley runs narrowly from southwest to northeast along the Broghil River with high mountains on both sides. The stable and somehow open slopes on both sides of the river provide space for settlement and agriculture practices. The valley is comprised of high mountain peaks, wide plains, steep slopes and deep canyons inhabited by “Wakhi” people. It covers a total area of 124964 hectors. The history of Broghil dates back to centuries when communities from different tribal backgrounds i.e. Wakhan, Tajikistan, China etc started pouring into the Broghil valley while searching for rich pastures and safe refuge.

2. Broghil Festival-2011: (A brief Background)

With its lash green meadows, snow clad sky high peaks, mesmerizing Qurambar lake, fascinating wetlands and unique and unexplored Broghil is place with immense tourism potential. To harness the tourism potential of the valley the Chiantar Welfare Society Broghil back in 1999 started Broghil festival. The underlying objectives of this festival are to promote cultural dynamics and aesthetic value of Broghil among tourists and nature loving groups and individual. Since its inception in 1999 the festival is playing vital role not only in promoting cultural values of the valley but is also contributing in supporting the pastoral based economy of the valley. Since the start of the festival tourist influx has increased many folds.

But to the dismay of local population of Broghil the festival was banned through presidential directives in 2007 for unknown reasons. The ban remained effective for two years i.e. 2007-09.

Later on, through the hectic efforts of Chiantar Welfare Society Broghil and Pakistan Wetlands the ban was lifted in 2010. During 2010 large number of tourists including media persons from GEO TV, PTV and representatives of press also participated in Broghil festival and extended coverage to the events of festival. This further enhanced the magnetism of the festival.

The festival is playing a pivotal role in highlighting the natural exquisiteness of Broghil alongside promoting its unique cultural contrasts both at national and international level.

Besides, the festival is also proving helpful in creating income generating opportunities to resource constrained communities of Broghil valley.

This year too Chiantar Welfare Society Broghil (CWSB) in collaboration with its partners including Pakistan Wetlands Programme, Sarhad Tourism Development Corporation, HASHOO Foundation, Walk About Development Solution and AKRSP is planning to celebrate Broghil Festival from July 16-18, 2011.

3. Existing Sport Events of Broghil Festival 2011includes the following

v Buz Kashi

v Yak Polo

v Yak Race

v Polo

v Horse Race

v Mountain Marathon

v Tug of War

v Mountain Football

v Women Horse and Yak race

v Paragliding by Paraglide Association team

4. Cultural Activities of Broghil Festival 2011 includes the following Events

v Wakhi Music with Daaf and flute

v Women traditional songs, dance with cultural dress

v Wakhi Traditional items, handicrafts, utensils etc display by Women folk

v Wakhi Foods Display by Wakhi women folk

5. Tourism potential at Broghil Valley:

Tourism especially eco-tourism plays a meaningful role in the socio-economic uplift of local communities in rural mountain areas. Broghil valley has all basic ingredients for eco-tourism promotion as mean of livelihood and subsistence. Broghil is famous for its unique wetlands ecosystem and cultural diversity. Besides, availability of trained human resource to manage tourists locally further adds to the tourism attraction of the Broghil valley.

The wetlands ecosystem of Broghil is comprised of more than 35 high alpine lakes, Peatlands and hot springs. To facilitate the incoming tourists the Chiantar Welfare Broghil in Collaboration with Pakistan Wetlands Programme and KPK Wildlife Department has established four camping sites in Broghil valley. In brief the tourism attractions of Broghil include following features:

The tourism attractions of the valley include following socio-ecological features:

* Passes: Broghil is home to some world famous passes. Some of the passes frequently used by the local communities for trans boundary movement are listed below:

o Darkhot Pass: It connects Broghil valley with Yasin valley of Gilgit-Baltistan in the east.

o Sukhtarabad Pass: This pass connect Broghil valley with Ishkiman valley of GB and also connects Broghil valley with Chupursan via Chilinji Pass

o Qarambar Pass: It connects Broghil valley with the highest plateau of the world called the little Pamir

o Darwaza/Broghil Pass: It is also called a window into central Asia. It is a historical pass and was part of the well known silk route.

* Hot springs: Unique hot springs are found scattered through out the length of Broghil valley. The presence of these springs adds to the natural beauty of Broghil valley. The well known hot springs of the valley are:

o Hot Springs of Garamchasma. Garamchasma is one of the largest villages of Broghil valley. It is name is also derived from two words Garam meaning hot and Chasma meaning spring.

o Hot spring of Garil villages.

* Historical Places:

o The ruins of Historical Forte of famous Wakhi Ruler Ali Mardan are also found in Broghil valley

o In ancient times pilgrims from Turkey and other adjacent Countries used to travel through Broghil valley. Ancient graveyards of Turks are also found in Garil and Chikar village of Broghil

o Teerdast is also a famous historical places located in the upper part of Lashkargaz village of Broghil. The place is famous for its hanging arrows from the solid rock and the name Teerdast also originates from these hanging arrows. In Wakhi dialect Teer means arrow. There different myths associated with these arrows.

* High alpine lakes (more than 35 biologically active lakes)

o The majestic Qurambar lake on Chitral-Gilgit Borader

o Surkheen Lake near Darwaza Paza

o Biban Xheoye

o Khinin Xheoye and much more

* Famous mountain peaks (above 20000ft)

o Miankoh peak at Kishmanjh

o Qurambar peak

o Khoye peak

* Famous glaciers:

o Chiantar Glacier (33 KM long)

o Chati Boye Galcier

The Pony Trekking route of Broghil is one of the world famous trekking routes. Before the advent of 9/11 incidents hundreds of foreign tourists used to travel on this trekking route. Besides, the wide stretched Peatlands and grasslands of Chikar, Chilmarabad and Lashkargaz villages of Broghil furthers adds to the beauty of the valley.

However, despite having such enormous potential to tourists are still reluctant to visit Broghil valley. This is due to poor infrastructure and lack of basic tourist facilities in the valley. To promote eco-tourism establishment of tourist camping site at suitable places in Broghil is indispensible. To boost tourism sector in the valley as livelihood diversification mean the NAWC-PWP has established four camping ground and equipped tourist camping site in Broghil valley with the basic necessities.

Objectives: The main objective of Broghil Festival:

The overall and long term goal of the festival is to promote the soft image of Islamic Republics of Pakistan to outside world. Besides, the festival also tries to achieve following short term objectives:

o Diversification of local livelihood means through sports and cultural activities

o Engage the locally trained human resource in productive means of income generation

o Encourage national and international tourist to plan their schedule to Broghil valley

o To promote Wakhi Culture and indigenous sports in the valley

o To provide social platform and alternate activities against drug

o To highlight the issues and constraint faced by the Broghil communities

o To encourage the sports lovers and youths of the region

o Promote the unique cultural heritage of the valley

* Anticipated outputs of the activity

o Basic infrastructure to support tourism in the valley is available

o Local livelihood means are diversified

o Household income of the site owners and trained porters augmented

o National and international tourist influx in Broghil valley increased

o Sports lovers will be encouraged

* camping sites in Broghil valley

o Kishmanja, Broghil

o Chilmarabad, Broghil

o Lashkargaz, Broghil

o Chikar, Broghi

We are leading an expedition to Shandoor and beyond onwards to Broghil pass to see the Broghil festival from 16th to 18th July 2011.

Friends are requested to join us and promote our cause for ecotourism and adventure hiking.

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Shandoor and Beyond


Darkot Pass


15,430 ft (4,703 m)





Hindukush Mountains


36°44′42″N 73°25′59″ECoordinates: 36°44′42″N 73°25′59″E

Darkot pass (el. 15,430 ft., open May thru October) is a high mountain pass that connects Broghil valley in Chitral to the Ghizar valley (Yasin tehsil of Ghizer district) in Gilgit in Pakistan. It is also known under the name Darkut.

The pass is about 10 miles to the east of Koyo Zom (Zum) peak (6872m), the highest peak in Ghizer district. The border between Chitral and Northern Areas runs through the pass over Darkot Glacier. 8 miles to the south is village Darkot (11 miles north of Barkulti) on the River Darkot (small tributary of Ghizar river). To the northeast of the pass is Chitral (Yarkhun river valley). 10 miles to the NW of the pass is village Chilmarabad, just one miles south of Boroghil pass.

Broghol, also spelled Broghil, Boroghil and several other ways, (el. 3798 m./12,460 ft.) is a high mountain pass that crosses the Hindu Kush and connects the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan with Chitral in Pakistan.

Broghol is a relatively low pass. It was closed for about three months each winter because of snow, but for much of the rest of the year it was passable even for cart traffic.

It is one of the four major mountain passes entering Chitral; the others are the Dorah Pass from Badakshan in Afghanistan, Shandur Top from Gilgit, andLowari Top from Dir in Pakistan.

The area of Broghol is inhabited by Wakhi and Kyrgyz people.



3,798 m (12,461 ft)



Pakistan / Afghanistan


Hindu Kush


36°53′N 73°21′E


This year again as usual we are embarking on another hiking and trekking expedition to Shandoor and beyond………

The aims and objective of this expedition is to highlight the short route from Pakistan to Tajikistan via the Broghil Pass into the Wakkhan Corridor and across into Tajikistan.

Last year we took the route from Chitral to Mastooj valley to Kashmanja, Lashkar Gah and Teri Dasth but because of inclement weather and bad road conditions we could not complete our track tour to Broghil pass.

This year we have chosen a different route from Goupis to Darkot Pass to Ishkomin Valley to Maranjah on to Lashkargah to Teri Dasht.

My initial reconnaissance of the road conditions show that up to darkot pass we can go on an ordinary vehicle and onwards we need a good 4/4 vehicle / off road.

The detail itinerary is given below and subject to slight modification from Darkot and beyond.

You are invited to come and join the expedition subject to your physical fitness and willingness to be a happy member and part of our team.

Expected expenditure

The estimated expenditure per participants may vary from 30000 to 35000/-

This includes transportation / hotel stay / messing / camping / horse fare / Jeep transportation, local tolls from ISB to DARKOT & Back.

Last date of confirmation.

In case you are interested please confirm your participation before 15th June 2011.



Destinations From


Night Stay

03rd July 2011

Assembly in RWP / ISB

At own

04th July 2011


Chilas (482 km)


05th July 2011

Chilas ****

Gilgit (255 Km)


06th July 2011


Local Visit


07th July 2011




08th July 2011


Local visit


09th July 2011




10th July 2011


Chatoorkhand to Ilmit



Mastanger to Dharkot pass


11th July 2011

Dharkot Pass



12th July 2011


Teri Dasht (Broghil) Valley


13th July 2011

Teri Dasht (Broghil) Valley

Local Visit


14th July

Teri Dast



15th July


Dharkot Pass


16th July

Darkot to



17th July

Ghakoch to

Gupis / Gilgit


18th July

Gilgit to

Chilas *****


19th July

Chilas to



***** 04th July 2011 Night stay at Chillas may be omitted if we make good time and can reach Gilgit the same day.

***** 18th July 2011, If we are before schedule then a quick trip to the fairy meadows may be possible.

This is the tentative tour itinerary for our up coming trekking expedition to Broghil Pass on the Wakkan Corridor.


The dates from 09th July 2011 to 14th July may vary as to the road conditions / weather conditions and fitness of the participants / members and the local topographic conditions.

Prelude to the Trip

Thing to take with you


  • Joggers, trainers, or hiking boots up to ankle high
  • 03 pairs of towel socks white colour
  • cap , jungle cap , sola cap
  • Sun glasses
  • Sun block with S.P.F 50 , anti sun block
  • Shooting jacket
  • Jeans , trousers , track suit shalwar kameez
  • T- shirt , sweat shirts
  • Vests , u / wear Bermuda shorts
  • Shock proof wrists watch , pocket compass
  • Rechargeable flash light and torches
  • Personal medication
  • Towel handkerchief and towels
  • Chappal and moccasins
  • Mosquito repellants / sprays
  • Personal back pack
  • Warm Clothes jacket / Pullover / Sweaters
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Ground Sheet
  • Walking stick / Mountain Stick
  • Digital Camera / Movie Camera


Provided by the Organizer

  • Tents ground sheet / sleeping bags Optional
  • Pick and shovel
  • Cooking utensils

Gas stove, frying pan, disposable glasses, plastic glasses, plates, fruit knife or sauce pan

  • Walkie /talkie , vehicle mobile charger
  • Generator
  • Masalas, condiments , salt , cooking oil , wheat flour , sugar tea bags , powder milk and rice
  • Tinned fruits cocktails , meat balls , minced meat , meat curry , fish
  • Biscuit saltish and fancy as per your liking loads and loads of them
  • Cold drinks , mineral water in plastic bottles
  • Whistle & mega phone
  • G.P.R.S phone (If available)
  • Maps general map , topo graphic map , contour map.
  • To top it all by 4 x 4 vehicle / Toyotta Hiace Ace / Hi Roof
  • First Aid Kit

Daily Trek Notes

ü Reach your next destination point before sunset under no circumstances should you over stretched your self or travel at night.

ü Please mark your route before you start your journey

ü There should be a talc sheet over your map with markings

ü Permanent marker: - Plan your trek in such away that you are able to make it to your next point with in that day before sunset.

Preparations for the Trip

Please start walking and exercise daily by covering 1 mile distance in 15 minutes.

Climb 50 stairs in 10 – 12 minutes

Carry a load of 05 - 10 kg on your back for half to 1 hour


Remember this is a chance to see Mother Nature at its best and those areas of Pakistan where less than 10 % of the population has gone.

So be determined and make a resolve to complete this trip as a challenge for the out doors.

Dr. Babur Zahiruddin