Northern Areas – 1986 (Notes from Arif Hasan’s Diary)
This is my third visit to the Northern Areas. This time after three weeks of travelling the length and breath of it, and speaking to hundreds of people from all walks of life and all ages, I think I can paint a picture of its transition from feudalism to its present state.
Settlements in the Northern Areas exist only where agriculture can take place. Such locations are few and far between. Thus interaction between different settlements has seldom taken place. Where settlements have been close together, they have often fought each other for control of meagre land and resources. Due to this most of the settlements were fortified and are in locations that are difficult to access.