The brave hearts of Chitral

Here are boys who step in where men do not dare to go. The pilots of HIKAP (Hindukush Association for Paragliding) on invitation of the army were the first to fly over Swat when the operation against the Taliban was closing in and Matta still out of bounds. It was dangerous ground as you could be shot at on flying low but HIKAP carried a message of peace. After Matta they soared over the unexplored Gumrat and Dok Darra like eagles led by Shahzada Farhad Aziz was a man who knew no fear. Farhad conquered the torrents of the Chitral river at the age of 15. Crossing the Chitral river for this 15 years old kid was not complete till each time he swam both ways. In 1985 when I brought the first paraglider Peter Windisch from Pettneu Austria to Chitral, Farhad was the first to seek him out. A bachelor myself, I didn’t even know Farhad well to recommend him and he was still studying in university. By 1990 Farhad was desperate to attempt it on the slopes of GumbasBroze. A lift, a tumble, scratches and bruises were his first lessons but there was a thrill in his eyes and I could see a smile of approval on my friend Peter Windisch’s face. For a couple of years Peter stayed with me each summer and flew the skies of Chitral, the bond with Farhad grew. The mountain passes that are now being visited by people from Punjab and KP were all explored by Farhad in the mid 90s with Hindukush Trails. Chilinji pass, Darkot pass, Katchkani pass, Ovirpass,Tirich Mir base, Gazikanstan and so many others were all explored and he was restless to do more. A tumble from a horse did not stop him from taking on polo vigorously. Whenever he had a sports accident and was taken on a stretcher to his orthopaedic surgeon Dr Khushnood Ali Khan at the Northwest Hospital, the Dr would exclaim ‘Goodness he intends to break every bone in his body what all can I repair?’ A couple of years back, he had a heart bypass surgery, after the operation on regaining conscious he was advised by his family to make a list of medical questions to be asked from the surgeon. His first question was ‘Dr, can I fly?’ And fly he did and broke a couple of more bones he smilingly did. This was the Farhad we all knew. There was now no turning back till he made HIKAP with help from all his friends and pushed and guided with the ever helpful Sirajul Mulk.The associations’ exploits are now well documented, there is now more coming out on Farhad. If there was one thing I had to point out most about him, I would say it was his generosity. Farhad had a very big heart and it new no bounds. Friends would see him give to strangers whatever he had on him and later on borrow from someone to get back home. Every Friday after the Juma prayers there would be a dozen plus people out for lunch at his house to discuss Chitral. Farhad was the most helpful soul, he would always volunteer to stay and attend the sick at hospital be it for a stranger or a rival, be it in Chitral or anywhere in the country. He would be desperate to be the first to reach a crisis point or accident and help all. Had he not been on this ATR but in Islamabad, he would have definitely been the very first to be at Havelian trying to put out the fire, such was Farhad. HIKAP now flies with the golden eagles and the Lammergeyer over the Hindukush mountains and way high above them Shahzada Farhad Aziz is smiling down watching hoping his dreams will be fulfilled by these brave hearts of Chitral.]]>

3 Replies to “The brave hearts of Chitral”

  1. Aah. One month has passed since the tragic crash of the unfortunate plane but time seems of no help to ease the pain.
    Sir Shehzada Farhad must have been an accomplished pilot but what I remember him from my childhood is, an affectionate teacher, a totally down-to-earth human being and a very pure soul. I loved mathematics because of his generous appreciation and encouragement. He had been one of those teachers who leave great imprints on the hearts and minds of their students.
    Sir, You are unforgettable. May your soul ascend to the highest place of purity. Ameen

  2. He was my best friend,we were together from 1981 to 1986. We had a great times with ziaulmulk,farhad,faham,sareer,and much more. We were like brothers. We did everything together for 5 years. And I have a very good memory of the time with shaheed farhad aziz. May Allah give him janatul ferdose then placing in Paradise with his daughter.

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