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Unknown Places In Gwadar For The Local

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Regarding the word Baloch nation, most Baloch complain to the country’s senior politicians, members of parliament, journalists, intellectuals and other eminent personalities that they call and write the Baloch nation as Balochi, while Balochi is only a language spoken by Baloch. And there are differences in all three dialects, even in the use of words, accents and some alphabets, as well as in many other languages that the Baloch speak as their mother tongue.

Photo Credits: Abdullah Rahim Baloch

Whenever they are called Balochi, it seems strange to them. In the same way, the pronunciation of some names are losing their originality with time, such as Gwadar being pronunciated Gawadar. By changing this pronunciation, of course, the original meaning of the word “Gwat e Dar” (the door of wind) is being affected, but still, every common person who hears this word knows that it means Gwadar.

But how would you feel if someone mentioned a name in your area that you have never heard of?

This is exactly what happened to two of us the friends, when we met a journalist friend from Islamabad who had come for a trip in Gwadar. The meeting did not go long as they were scheduled to go for a visit to “Gwadar Hammer Head”. After hearing the name “Gwadar Hammer Head” we both started asking each other where is this “Gwadar Hammer Head”? When I searched on Google, all the images I saw were of mountain of “Baathail” with Gwadar city. After asking many people later, Mr. Nasir Sohrabi, a social worker and teacher from Gwadar, found out that since the aerial view of Gwadar city with “Koh e Baathail” looks like a hammer, that’s why the travel agencies and in official documents it’s named now the “hammerhead” , changing this name even if the tourists do not know that they are wandering on the mountain of Baathail, even though they are walking on it. The locals may not know that there is a place called “Hammer Head” in Gwadar which they have never heard of.

Just as over the last few years, Kund Malir, a beautiful beach in Balochistan, has become an important tourist destination for tourists from all over the country, especially for the people of Karachi, as everyone knows this location by its real name. In order to preserve the identity and heritage of all places, including Gwadar, it is imperative that they have real names as these names have a long history, traditions and stories behind them which are coming from hundred of years to new generations.

Similarly, some friends in Gwadar were once asked to come to “Jabal e Nooh” for an official work. Despite being locals, they were very worried about where is this mountain named to Prophet Nooh in Gwadar. Later inquiries revealed that the eastern part of “koh e Baathail” is officially called “Jabal e Nooh”, which is known to the locals by various names, including “Jombail”. To this day, any Gwadari citizen no matter how old, knows where is “Jabal e Nooh located.

“Jombail” was an astana on the east side of “koh e Baathail” where devotees used to go with their children to fulfill their prayers and intentions. “Jombail” is commonly known locally instead of Jabal e Nooh, which is limited to documents, but it is feared that “Baathail” Mount, like the site of Jombail, may be a coined name for future generations.

Ongoing development schemes and new projects in Gwadar are also raising concerns at the local level that local heritage and identity are in danger of extinction, an example of which is the recently famous cricket ground which locals call the Senator Muhammad Ishaq Baloch Cricket Stadium. The name of this stadium became known only as Gwadar Cricket Stadium due to its sudden popularity. Many nonlocals on social media even suggested different names for this stadium.

When the land business started in Gwadar, various capitalists bought thousands of acres of land on which various schemes were started. Today, apart from Google and signboards of these schemes, very few people at the local level know those areas.

No wonder, so many people are worried about the identity of Gwadar in upcoming years. And what will be the areas’ name which are “Vshen Dhor, Negwar, Palleri and Shanikani Dar” today.

Sur bandan, a small population area of fishermen adjacent to Gwadar city, is now known as Sur Bandar because Bandan is a settlement on the coast in Balochi language while Bandar is used for a “Bandar”(port) which isn’t a local word. Many such names are now becoming a thing of the past and are being replaced by seeing and hearing names that have nothing to do with the local language, identity and heritage. These new names do not represent the culture here and the locals will not be familiar with them. In this case, people from outside will come to these places, visit them and share those captured photos on social media. But tourists will never be able to enjoy Saad-e-Kandag, Char Padago, Wajah-e-Hidr, Kallag, Padi Zar, Koh-e-Mahdi, Daran and Shahabi. Which are connected to a history…

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