|Abstract||This paper is based on the author’s Diploma thesis handed in at the Centre for
Development Studies (ZELF) of the Freie Universität Berlin. There are many people to
whom I would like to extend my thanks for their support, assistance, and contributions to
it. Above all, I am greatly indebted to all my interview partners in Gilgit-Baltistan, as well
as to the whole team of the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP), Pakistan, for
their openness, cooperativeness, and great hospitality during my stay in northern Pakistan.
This study would have not been possible without the collaboration with AKRSP. To the
following members of AKRSP I would like to specifically express my gratitude for supporting
me in multiple ways: Sher Khan, Ahman Ali Shah, Saima Shakoor, Manzoor Hussain and
Hinan Aziz from the Community Physical Infrastructure section; Muzaffar Uddin, Regional
Programme Manager, and Izhar Hunzai, General Manager; Ghulam Amin Baig and
Muhammad Ibrahim, Policy Dialogue and Partnership section; Yasmin Qalandar, Naeema
and Shahana, Gender And Development section; Zaib, Aftab and Kosar, Institutional
Development section; Nazia, Monitoring & Evaluation section; and Amjad Wali, Entreprise
Development section. Special thank-yous further go to Sher Ghazi from MIES (Mountain
Infrastructure and Engineering Services), as well as Nazir Abbas and Murad Shah, both
working for the gems centre of Sumayar.
The successful completion of the field studies would have been unthinkable without the
great collaboration with my translators Ali Nazir Abidy and Mohammad Baqir. I am also
particularly grateful to the families of Abdul Karim from Bargo Bala, Mansoor Karim from
Ahmedabad, and, again, Mohammad Baqir from Sumayar, for providing board and logding.
They made me feel at home in their houses and made each of the visits to the case study
villages very special and unforgettable.
A very special thanks furthermore goes to Prof. Dr. Hermann Kreutzmann, Director of the
Centre for Development Studies (ZELF), Freie Universität Berlin, for getting the research
internship with AKRSP into gear and encouraging and supporting me during the whole
process of writing the thesis. I also want to thank Prof. Dr. Dörte Segebart, Junior
Professor at the Institute of Geographical Sciences, Freie Universität Berlin, very much for
her very valuable and detailed advice, especially in the beginning of the research.
A thank-you goes to the Geographical Society of Berlin (GfE), which supported my research
financially. For supporting and advising me during the writing process in Germany, I finally
express my gratitude to Andreas Benz, Christoph Hinske, René Herlitz, Holle Wlokas and
Imogen Minton, as well as all others who discussed my results with me and offered their
constructive criticism. And last but not least I would like to thank my parents for their
irreplaceable support during all my years of study.