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Visits of Turkish President & UN Secretary General-a whiff of fresh air with AKRSP

Date: 
Friday, 2020, February 21
Location: 
Source: 
dailytimes.com.pk
Mawlana Hazar Imam joins children for a group photograph at the Gilgit airport   2017-12-10
Author: 
S.M. Hali

Despite Indian claims of having isolated Pakistan, Islamabad continues to receive regular visits by high dignitaries, belying the hollow Indian brag.

Each visit is like a whiff of fresh air, since it addresses different issues and brings laurels for Pakistan. The Royal visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to Pakistan in October 2019 raised focus on climate change but equally importantly, it showcased that local communities have tremendous potential to plan and manage their own development, once they are organized and provided access to necessary skills and capital.

The Royal couple witnessed it firsthand during their visit to Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, where Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), a private, non-profit company, established by the Aga Khan Foundation in 1982 to help improve the quality of life of the villagers of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral has transformed the locals to secure many notable achievements in social and economic domains.

Key achievements include manifold increase in incomes, construction and rehabilitation of more than 4000 small infrastructure projects (bridges, roads, irrigation channels, hydropower units and other small projects), the planting of tens of millions of trees and the development of hundreds of acres of marginal lands, developing a cadre of more than 50,000 community activists, mobilization of nearly $ 5 million village savings, and the establishment of more than 4,993 community organizations.

Most importantly, the literacy rate in Gilgit-Baltistan is 73% but in Chitral, it has shot up to 98 percent while women empowerment in this region is the highest as compared to elsewhere in Pakistan.


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