Hushe valley


Baltistan is one of the most mountainous areas on earth and has the highest density of mountains of more than 6,000 and 7,000 meters and five peaks exceeding 8,000 meters. In its heart is the Hushe Valley surrounded by peaks of 6,000 meters and closed by the giant Masherbrum, very close to mythical peaks such as the K-2, Broad Peak and Gasherbrum I and II all above 8,000 meters.

The valley and its communities are at altitudes between 2,500 and 3,000 metres and life is complicated. The Valley has been isolated for centuries. The bridge that connects the Valley with the capital of the district by the south built in the late twentieth century, and the intermittent electricity they have has not reached until 2,009 (¿). The majestic Masherbrum (7,821 m.) closes the valley to the north.

Access to modern technologies is limited by lack of knowledge, poor infrastructure and scarce economic capacity. The digital divide is today a profound reality.

Winters are extremely harsh and temperatures can reach -15 and -20ºC. Subsistence agriculture is based on small-scale wheat and livestock production. More diversity in agricult.



The communities are organised under the laws and rules of a Committee of Notables (Elders) made up about twenty men with good reputation, and a Mulha or religious authority. They are those who, in any conflict in the village, determine and direct the lives of the people. These resolutions are reported in the mosque, which is accessed only by men.

In general, all rural areas of Pakistan are characterised by an open family type. It is a patriarchal society where the father or the eldest son living in the household heads a very large number of members, among which are his wife and children, and often includes married couples with offspring and other relatives too. It is not uncommon to find families of more than 15 or 20 members.

Social norms, customs and religious beliefs are greatly respected by all members.

Women do not participate in public and social life. In fact, for the preservation of honour and reputation, it is not right for a woman to walk alone through the streets, The daily lives of women focuses on family care and household and agricultural work. Women are primarily responsible for the care of all elderly family members, as well as meeting the needs of their own direct family. They have a heavy load of activity and in addition, they should take over the maintenance of livestock, collection of fruit such as apricots, vegetable cultivation and processing: drying, storage, water management for domestic and agricultural purposes, collecting wood, collecting supplies for livestock, maintenance of the garden, etc. Women's work is unpaid, which gives them less control over the resources generated. There is an almost total lack of paid work, especially at the level of teachers and health workers.

Men however, go in search of better job opportunities in the summer months, as porters or in hotel or construction jobs in the southern provinces of the country. This results in these months of absence when women have their work load increased further.