Prince Rahim inaugurated a software technology park, launched the development of two solar power plants, and visited a restored fort and a hotel.

Prince Rahim continued his visit to Pakistan, travelling to Hunza in northern Pakistan yesterday to visit several AKDN projects. He inaugurated a Software Technology Park in Nasirabad, which will support the sustainable development of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Park will provide an uninterrupted power supply, high-speed internet, and a co-working space for small and growing start-ups, freelancers, and chambers of commerce. It will act as the central resource for a hub and spokes model linking other IT facilities in more remote areas of the region. This will enhance access to distance learning, entrepreneurship and career counselling, and digital skills development, while catalysing freelance business opportunities.

He launched the development of the Duiker Phase II and Nasirabad Solar Power Plants, which together will increase the daily power supply for over 32,000 people. The power plant at Duiker replaces diesel power generation, leading to an annual reduction of 1,100 metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

NPAK Energy Ltd, a subsidiary of Industrial Promotion Services, the industrial and infrastructure development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, is investing $6m in these projects. Other development partners will contribute $14m to enhance the region’s energy infrastructure. Investments in clean, sustainable sources of electricity across Hunza and the surrounding areas will address the region’s acute energy deficit while contributing to global efforts to mitigate climate change.

Prince Rahim also made a stop at the Altit Fort, walking through the surrounding streets – which have been settlements for over 1,000 years. The streets were lined with members of the Jamat and Ismaili Volunteers.
The 800-year-old fort, built by the ruling family of Hunza, has been restored by the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan and is now a major attraction for tourists, a local history museum and a cultural centre. It received the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Award of Distinction in 2011.

In the evening, Prince  Rahim attended a reception at the newly constructed Hunza Serena Hotel, the first five-star hotel in Hunza. The hotel’s construction provided employment for over 600 workers, including women from CIQAM – a social enterprise that trains women in carpentry. Members of the group were responsible for much of the woodwork at the hotel. Like the other Serena hotels, sustainability and eco-friendly tourism are priorities. The Hunza Serena is the second Serena hotel in the country to have its own sewage recycling plant, which will significantly reduce wastage.

Earlier in this visit, Prince Rahim met the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, who awarded him the Nishan-i-Pakistan.