By Fazal Amin Beg
No matter whatever a person’s personal or familial background or the conditions within the overall environment may be, iff he or she is determined to do something extraordinary in life, nothing could stop him or her to do it, though the strategy and timeline may vary in the cases of individuals. It is thus tested that the determinations around the set targets then provides its positive or negative results not only to the concerned individuals but rather leads towards a broader and collective domains.
If the logica behind the aforesaid argument is valid, it then holds true in the case of a marvelous personality from Hunza valley, Northern Pakistan named Muhammad Tahir of Khaybar village in a harsh environment but he does continue his life struggles , goes through series of tests and trials , gets through them and comes up with lots of accomplishements and achievements at individual, familial, communal and regional scales. Hereunder, I’m thus trying to present just a sketch of his life struggles and experiences, though the details on them will emerge not only chapters of a book but rather couples of books around different topics or titles.
It was just two years after introduction of the Diamond Jubilee Schools of His Highness Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah Aga Khan III and one year after emergence of Pakistan on the world map that Muhammad Tahir son of Muhammad Amir comes in this world in 1948 in the Sakhi family within Quli tribe of Hunza.Though, serious and grave poverty existed in the entire Gilgit-Baltistan Region, Hunza was not any exception or spared in the face of such poverty but courageous people like Muhammad Tahir open their eyes in this world of harsh environment in different contexts. Formal schooling had already started even in his own village but the sensitization and wareness about getting education was yet far behind from the views of the native community. Muhammad Tahir is seen so much enthusiastic to get education while getting enrolled in the pre-matured school at his doorsteps but his father prfers agro-pastoral activities and he is taken out of the school for the purpose of grazing the livestock, especially the sheep and goats. Nonetheless, the passion for getting education and study of Muhammad Tahir doesn’t shake. There was no books in the 1950s for the nursery or primary level students as we witness even unnecessary bookloads on the poor children rather there was a couple of books and eeven that was not available to each student and on rotation the book was taken by the classmates. In such incredible and critical situations,Muhammad Tahir manages to get a book of Urdu and reads it during grazing the livestock as a shepard.
Muhammad Tahir appears in the primary lele examination from his village and then for the pre-secondary level education, he trabels down and reaches Baltit (today known as Karimabad), more or less 60 kilometers away from his village. In brief, he spends his time productively under one of his renowned and influential teachers, late Sultan Ali Samarqand, who happens to be his relative, too.
After acquiring his middle level education from Central Hunza, he travels towards Karachi. He gets employment with different companies with poltical activism in the labor unions along with his age and village fellow plus friend late Shaukat Al, the latter becomes a former General Manager of Landscape of Serena Hotel chains. Even Muhammad Tahir and his friend Master Tahir of Shishkat initiate a small scale business of selling vegetables in Karachi, when they go through financial crunches. Despite such genuine and practical issues in life, Muhammad Tahir does not give up his mission of acquiring education. He does his matriculation, F.A, B.A and LLB from Karachi. He returns to Gilgit-Baltistan Region and serves his mountain communities. Initially he joins a public/government organization in the administration as a sub-magistrate but later gives it up and continues his practice of law as an advocate, which he had initiated in Karachi in addition to his sociopolitical activities.
When Imam of the Time, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan , appoints Muhammad Tahir Advocate as the head of Arbitration and Reconciliation Bord for Gilgit-Baltistan in voluntary capacity in 1986, he prefers this voluntary assignment over his professional endeavors. Earlier than this position, he also served voluntarily the Aga Khan Economic Board for Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. In the second half of 1990s, he was appointed as the President of Shia Ismail Regional Council for Gilgit.
In the aftermath, Muhammad Tahir Advocate is seen to serve as the Commissioner of The Ismaili Boys Scout and Girls Guide. It was this time he got an opportunity to attend aan international program in the United States of America in 2002 and he avails the chance. While in the USA, Muhamad Tahir chooses to live there. He spends 14 years there and manages to support his family and children with regard to their education and upbringing. His sinceer wife, Najma Din Ali’s roles and responsibilities are seen so tested and credulous, indeed.
In this connection, couples of months earlier, a lively discussion was made with Mrs. Najma Din Ali wife of Advocate Muhammad Tahir who so nicely and courageously shared her childhood memories and stories in addition to her appealing experiences of youth and middle age for being a mother of five children, especially two PhD daughters. Those who could not watch it may click on the following link of EaglesWorld and listen her productive discussions in Wakhi: if intested
In short, Muhammad Tahir Advocate returns from the U.S.A when all his five children completed their education. Two of her daughters, Fouzia Parveen and Aliya Parveen ,did their PhD from Oxford University (U.K) and North Carolina University respectively. Aliya is currently pursuing her job and Post Doctoral Program in Ireland. Two of his sons chose engineering and they have got their degrees as Engineers while his youngest son is seen choosing Pakistan Armmy as a commissioned officer.
Moreover, Muhammad Tahir has visited some countries including France, United Kingdom and Australia in addition to his longer stay in the United States. Though, he is in his 70 plus age at present, he is selflessly proactive in his voluntary work at his village and regional scales on the ground and social media.
Though his mother tongue is Wakhi, I chose to take his interview in Urdu as his contributions are enormously at regional scale and all those concerned should know about his tireless efforts and wonderful achievements, the missions and purposes of life.Hope the viewers and related stakeholders will enjoy his inspiring discussions. If so, don’t forget to give him a huge appreciation in the comment section of this channel and give him a big like in addition to sharing this video within your cirlces plus those who have not yet subscribed this channel may subscribe it to remain updated about the upcoming and more interesting videos from the field around various topics and themes based on research.
Production, presentation and copyright: #EaglesWorld
Interviewer: Fazal Amin Beg in July 2021 in Khaybar, Hunza
Interviewee: Advocatee Muhammad Tahir
Videography: Naveed Karim, Bio-Medical Engineer in AKUH, Karachi
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Twitter: @fazalaminbeg (www.twitter.com/fazalaminbeg)
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