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::. Northern Areas | Photo Gallery | Image Galleries of Pakistan

The whole of the Northern Region of Pakistan is very beautiful and its scenic places like Swat, Kalam, Naran, Bhurban, Murree and the set of Galiyats are very popular with the local and foreign tourists. Howerver, the real beauty of this tough and mountainous terrain spreads furthers north in the districts of Gilgit, Skardu, Diamer, Ghizer, and Ghanche, know as Northern Areas, over an area of 72,500 sq. Kilometers.

Northern Areas constitute a pristine home for about one million people. They are connected to Pakistan and the outside world through the Karakorrum Highway (KKH), nicknamed as the Silk Route. The KKH, a marvelous creation of Chinese and Pakistani engineers, is in itself the 8th wonder of the world and a source of great tourist attraction. The Northern Areas, connected to China through the KKH, provide a vast potential in tourism & related activities, trade expansion, minerals, and cottage industries.

Pakistan has an amazing mountain heritage with the four ranges of Hindukush. Pamir, Karakorrum, and the Great Himalayas converging here. Amongst them, they contain the world's densest concentration of high peaks (five out of 14 highest) in their fold which are:-

Name of the Peak                                      Height – Feet/Meters

Godwin Austin (k-2)                                      28,251/8,611

Nanga Parbat                                               26,660/8,125

Gasherbrum-I                                               26,470/8,068

BroadPeak                                                    26,400/8,407

Gasherbrum-II                                              26,360/8,035 

There are 42 other peaks which are higher than all the highest peaks of the other continents. In all, Pakistan has over 700 peaks above 6000 meters in height and over 160 peaks above 7000 meters

Besides the high mountains, the Northern Areas have the world’s longest glaciers including the Godwin Austin, Abruzzin and Baltoro which meet at Concordia forming the largest glacial lake at a high of 4720 meters. The enchanting valleys of Hunza, Shigar, Khaplu, Lshkuman, Nalar, Gilgit, Skardu, Chitral, and Dir and the glacial lakes like Kachura, Satpara, Lalusar, and Saiful Muluk add unmatched grandeur to the beauty of the rugged mountains.

The Northern Areas with its flora and fauna; the wildlife which can be seen in the form of snow leopards, ibexes and urials; and the variety of people who live in these areas with their cultural heritage and millennia-old civilizations form a paradise for the tourists, trekkers, and mountaineers from all around the world. The Government of Pakistan is aware that preservation of these mountains and the future of its tourism industry are inter-linked.

Promotion of tourism and development of tourism - related infrastructure in the Northern Areas thus offer vast opportunities for investors both from local and foreign origin. These facilities could be the creation of hotel accommodation in the most frequented places, the development of ski resorts, fixation of chair lifts, mountain climbing facilities, and the like.

Agriculture also forms a potential area for investment in the shape of :-

  • Production, preservation & marketing of quality fruits and vegetables.
  • Production of vegetable seeds;
  • Livestock, dairy & poultry farming,
  • Fish/trout farming, and the
  • Use of herbs for medicinal purposes.

Another field which promises profitable investment in Northern Areas is the exploration and exploitation of mineral resources and precious stones. Although the quantitative potential has yet to be established there are numerous kinds of minerals like gold, ruby, emerald, aquamarine, topaz, tourmaline etc. which can be gainfully exploited. Some industrial minerals like marble, granite, mica, feldspar, barite, China clay, copper, lead, antimony etc. are also found in large deposit. Based on these resources, cement industry, granite cutting & polishing, paint industry, pottery and ceramics etc. can be established.

The most readily available opportunity for investment is however, in the hydropower sector. At present only half of the Northern Areas requirement for electricity is met through 79 mini and small hydel power plants. Atleast 10 more power planets are needed 2 each in teh Districts of Gilgit, Skardu and Diamer, 3 in District Ghizer, and one mini unit in Ghanche district. The units in Gilgit and Skardu would produce 43 Megawatt each while the units in Diamer will each be 10 MW and that in Ghizer 9 MW. Additionally, some national level power plants like Doyan Astore (425 MW), Basha-DMR (3400-MW) and Bunji-Indus (1400 MW) are also being studied in Northern Areas.

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