Karakorum: In the Procession of the Death
Syed Mohd. Saleh Uddin
“Ke kobor posha goriban, Hame giah boss aast”
(From the epitaph of a poetess)
When ‘Mahakal’ (Time from the beginning and onward) started only its creator knows. Is it from the ‘Big bang’? None knows. But we know from that moment many pages were open and closed. Though remote past from thousands of light years time to time we are recording now by our sophisticated observation machineries yet it is not possible for us to open pages Earth chapter of Mahakal because we till date did not invent such devices. However, it may possible for the intelligent being (if any) of thousands of light years away to read Mahakal of the earth if they have such advanced technology to read that. Being a Muslim I believe in the Mahakal is recorded as it is part of Islamic faith that every individual will be given his Amal Nama (life report) in his hand in the Day of Judgment i.e. the longest day where people have to wait for thousands of year for judgment. So, everything is recorded big and small.
Karakorum it is as old as this earth. So when life emerged in this earth Karakorum was ready to accept life. So we get fossils of ancient animals there. They became the part of eternity. On death they proved their existence that once upon a time before lacs or crores of years they were alive. However at that time there was no human species. So their death were either natural or they became foods of others. Once there lived apes. They were not Homo sapiens species like us the cruelest species in the earth who are also caused of abolition of many wild lives i.e. species that became their food. Now also Karakorum is rich in wild lives. During my training period in PAF as my initial training center was in a valley of Karakorum I had chance to visit many of its places. I cannot remember now where I saw big signboard where many of animals lived there at that time were drawn. I cannot tell you exact name but the pictures are still engraved in my mind are big Pythons, other types of snakes, some types of deers, boars, wild goats, big cats of leopard species, birds like ‘Titir’,’Duck’ etc. I saw also various types of birds, but I am not a bird specialist, so I cannot tell you their names exactly. By the courtesy of the National Geographic channel I learnt the name of beautiful bird like the ‘bird of paradise’. I do not know the birds I saw there, whether there were any species that resembles birds of the Papua New Guinea where such beautiful birds actually live. But I remember dove, wild baj i.e. eagles. I saw this Eagle over Kohat, Bannu and other places. I was astonished to see it over Bango Bandhu Agriculture University (former EPSA), Bangladesh. I saw it over a research paddy field of the University long after my repatriation from Pakistan. In one of story I told its local name of Karakorum area as ‘Kabotara baj’. But to birds’ experts it is ‘changeable hawk eagle’. It is thus named because after few months its feathers are changed. It is certain that what animals were there in my time in mountains abodes is no more now. They are now in the world of death. But their species may exist.
Let us come back to the matter of human races. We are not exactly clear when first man or a group of men reached in this subcontinent and from where. But they had certainly to cross hard and high & low pass of Karakorum. Then group after group people crossed the mountainous passes and made their Basti (locality) in India. Some chosen suitable valleys where they started living. Then they fought each other. So, they traduced human civilization here. A group of man started killing another group. In Karakorum this is still tradition. Drones flew silently and bomb to kill people in some remote places of the mountain. Rebel fighters and government forces fight and kill each other. This mal practice most probably started from just after the human races started to live here. History says at about 10,000 BC people started cultivation; during plight some groups of those people in search of easy and fertile agricultural lands might have crossed Karakorum. At about 4000 to 2000 BC the Babylonian culture and commerce predominant in Mediterranean regions of Asia, so there were possibility of human mobilization to India also crossing that mountainous reason. So, human locality increased also. Its results were fighting and death beyond the natural death. In 327 BC Alexander extended his cruel fighting hand to India. Its result is written in the history. In the way of his back he had to fight in many places. So, there were deaths. Howe ever many of his fighters absconded or left behind for a peaceful life. The blue eyes of many people of present Karakorum area, proves this fact. In 1001 AD Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni, Afghanistan made expedition to India. It is said he entered 17 times in India and there were several battles. So in the death procession many were included. In 1398 AD Tamerlane (Timur) the great Mongol conqueror invades India. In1526 AD Babur founded Mogul dynasty in India. In 1739 AD Nadir Shah of Persia invaded India. Later British, USSR, USA and about European aggressions we are aware. These were not without bloodshed. Present Indian and Pakistani wars that are till dates continued were discussed in other stories. So death tolls are increasing during battles and also during avalanches. Who knows when this chapter will be closed?
Above were the stories of warring nations and groups and survival for the fittest. In peace time among the general inhabitants of the area there are natural birth and death. There is dearth also. So, for economic reasons they cannot get proper medical aids. So, mother and children death are high. During peace time K-2 inspires summit loving people worldwide to come hither and win the summit. There are other summits also that attract the brave to them. Among them Rakaposhi, Chegolisha, Masher brim, Superno and other summits that totals about 18 are the choice of Summit lovers. Few ice bergs except Siachen like Baltoro, Hisper, Biato, Chugo Lungma, Biafo, Panam, Savaii, Godwin Austin and many unnamed icebergs are also the interest of those who like to track in the mountain. Abruzzi is one of the famous Ridges. Till date how many adventurers fallen in the mountain gorges or ravines and lost forever from those places none can give this account! In peace soldiers of both India and Pakistan also died during their construction works. During the construction of Pakistan China friendship road many soldiers of Engineers corps and other detachments died. Then among deaths were many Bengali soldiers also.
Above inscription found in an epitaph of a grave among the readers many may understand it. The poetess who is living in that grave is the daughter of great Mogul emperor Shahjahan. But most of the graves of deaths in the Karakorum are without any epitaph. Who died in the battles in the past their graves are unspotted. In the ‘tabula rasa’ i.e. in the blank tablets of ‘Mahakal’ there might be pains and sorrows of those deaths are written. Those soldiers of the past were not happy in life, so they went to one country to another to fight and kill people. Once they were killed. Their ‘lex loci’ i.e. custom of the place announced them martyrs. ‘gloria in excelsis!’ Glory to God in the highest is a ‘von mot’ i.e. a witty saying of every nation!