We welcome you to our site. Here you will find material about including Shina language, literature and culture. You can also listen to Shina music and watch cultural dance in the multimedia section. 


Shina is one of the minor languages of Pakistan which the census of 1998, the last one taken in the country, categorises as ‘other languages’. The status of Shina language in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) is lingua-franca. It belongs to the Shina group of the Dardic branch of the North-Western zone of the Indo-Arian sub family of the Indo-European family of languages. According to the Linguistics Survey of Pakistan (1990) about 1.3 million people speak Shina in different valleys of GB province including Gilgit, Ghizer, Nagar, Rondu, Kharmang, Astore, Chilas, Darel, Tangir, as well as in district of Kohistan of Khyber Pukhtoon Khwa (KPK) province including Jalkot, Palas, Kolai, and Kohistan. Apart from Pakistan Shina is spoken in occupied Kashmir as well as the Gurez and Drass valleys. Moreover, Palula of Chitral district, Chiliso and Gawro of Kohistan and Brakskat of Ganukh and Ladakh are the Isoglots of Shina. 

These represent 4.66% of the population, which, in a country of over 160 million people, comes up to a figure of 7.5 million. However, there are about 55 languages under this heading (Rahman 2006:85), Shina is only a small part of this group. The number of Shina speakers, according to informed estimates, totals 871,260 in the Shina-speaking areas and 252,614 migrants in the rest of the country (Kohistani 1998:11; Schmidt 1984; Gordon 2005). It is an Indo-Aryan language of the Dardic group and most of its speakers live in Gilgit, Astor, Chilas, Tangir-Darel, Indus Kohistan, lower Hunza, upper Neelam and Dras valleys. Some are found in Chitral (Palula and Sawi) and Ladakh (Brokskat) and even in the Swat and Dir areas.

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