VoH Team, after an interval of a year due to a busy schedule on part of its volunteer citizen journalists, would like to inform our readers about the new name of the blog. The Blog titled "Voice of Hunza" is being replaced with "GB Chronicle" under URL: www.gbchronicle.blogspot.com


The new name is being adopted to cover comparatively a large area than before under the former blog name to be updated on daily basis.
Our valuable readers can also read us on wordpress interface under the same name of blog:
www.gbchronicle.wordpress.com

Yet, VoH will continue to update our reader under the same name on weekly basis. Our readers are requested to quote following address to read our updates from the same platform:


www.vohweekly.blogspot.com


Regards!

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We, the team of VoH Weekly would like to say a fabulous Happy New Year to all members of world community viewing this blog. We pray for end of War and aggressions from powerful against powerless. May the Year 2012 bring peace, prosperity and harmony among members, communities and different segments of global community?

We will soon back with a new Name of this blog to keep our blog updated after an interval due to busy schedules of the team members. The blog URL will be published a day earlier for the kind information of our valuable readers, globally.

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It has come to the knowledge of the team of Weekly VoH recently that the term 'Voice of Hunza' has been misused by any unknown individual/individuals by broadcasting an interview movie of a private tv channel on social networking websites like You tube and Face Book to show his/their hatred towards a state security organization. We highly condemn such unethical and illegal actions by the unknown individual/ individuals who used the term 'Voice of Hunza' aimed to show disrespect towards a certain security institution and authorties by concealing his/their identity. VoH team vows to desist any action from such misreants/miscreant who so ever use the term captioned to spread misleading information in future.



The policy of Weekly VoH as a blog since its inception has been to promote harmony amoung different communities living in the region to ensure co-existance; give respect to diversity, human rights, have a say on public policy, public finance, undertake socio-economic analysis for transparency and accountiblity in a constructive way to bring improvement in the public and private sector organizations and to bring fore the problems of a common man to authorities without consideration of caste, creed, faith and origin in an ethical and democratic manner.



We respect state owned security institutions for they are supposed exist to protect our national interest.



Broadcaste, publishing of any text, image and vedio with the name of 'Voice of Hunza' by any individual/inividuals is prohibited under copy right act. Simiarly, no image or text of VoH-Weekly can be published, broadcast or re-wtritten by any individual or individuals with out permission from publishing team under the same act. We, the team of Voice of Hunza reserves the right to take the miscreant/miscreants who so ever try to misuse the term that aims to hurt any individual/institution/ institutions to the court of law.










Team, Editor,
VoH Weekly

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Aisamul Haq in Gilgit-Baltistan: Tennis ace wants flood victims back in spotlight
Monitoring Report

ISLAMABAD, December 10: UNDP goodwill ambassador and tennis player Aisamul Haq Qureshi on his return from a one-day trip to Gilgit-Baltistan said that his visit was ‘an eye-opener’, and added that the government and the media are not projecting the right image of the floods. On his first visit to the flood-affected regions of Gilgit-Baltistan, Ghizer Valley and Hunza, Qureshi described his whole experience as ‘memorable’,while talking to a national daily .

Tennis player Aisamul Haq Qureshi says his visit to the flood zone has been an eye-opener

“I am amused to see the people’s patience, courage and will to get back. If I were to put myself in their place, I do not know what I would have done,” Qureshi said, adding that the trip has made him appreciate life more than ever. While criticising the government and the media, Qureshi said that the limelight needs to be put back on the floods situation. “There is no news about the floods anymore and we feel as if the disaster is over. Far from it,” he said. “We are not acting as a nation; people are always aspiring to move out of Pakistan,” he added.
The tennis player himself has witnessed an unbelievable year. However, he insisted that there is more to life beyond the game. “There is more to life than tennis, this trip has been an eye-opener,” he said. Qureshi shared that he had aspired to assist the earthquake victims in 2005 and dreamt of making a rehabilitation centre for them, but was unable to get support from the government. “I do not like to get into politics, but I am more than happy to be a part of the UNDP and reaching out to the flood-stricken people,” he said.
Praising the contribution made by the youth of Pakistan, Qureshi desires to use his status to create awareness through the media and address the international community to keep supporting Pakistan. Qureshi announced that $10,000 donated by his tennis opponents, the Bryan Brothers, will be used in responding to the huge need for shelter and for the Gilgit housing project.The Express Tribune
Justify Full




CM press foreign investors for investments in Gilgit-Baltistan; Illegal contracts of wheat dealership declared nul and void: Amjad Hussain Advocate
VoH Monitoring Report
GILGIT, Dec. 09: (Aslam) Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah has invited foreing investors to invest in Gilgit-Baltistan.Talking to a regional daily, he said that Gilgit-Baltistan has great potential for hydro power generation through construction of dams over rivers. He said that regional environement was attractive and peaceful saying PPP government would give them security. He said that investment in hydro power generation would help reduce the energy crisis in the region saying Foreign investors are supposed to be exampt from tax net.
On the other hand, illegal contracts signed with civil supply for the delivery of wheat has been declared nul and void. Member Legislative Assembly Amjad Hussain has alleged Zafar Iqbal, the managing director for his involvement in approving contract for his favourite ones saying his actions given mental pain to the assembly.





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AKDN, UN agencies deserve appraise; I shall appeal Tenis federation for contribution in rehibilitation process of Attaabad disaster: Aisam-ul-Haq
VoH Report
HUNZA, Aliabad Dec. 10: Aisam-ul-Haq, tenis star and popular player who got international fame in the recent US Open trophy.

A file photo of Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi speaking after semi final of US Open trophy in the men’s doubles title. India’s Rohan Bopanna also present on left -Reuters Photo

Aisam-ul-Haq, who is also United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) goodwill ambasider reached Hunza in Friday noon to meet the disaster hit families of Attaabad and Sarat at makeshift camps of Altit. He applauded the Aga Khan Development network and United Nations agencies for their humanitarian services during crucial times. Talking to media persons, ere at Aliabad he vowed that he would request International Tenis Federation (ITF) for a contribution in rehabilitation process of affectees. He also applauded the courage, patience , and organized approach of population of affected areas to tackle the challenges in the region.






Hunzo-e-Qaumi Maraka hails Baig as governor; ten days dead line for immediate long term solution of energy crisis
VoH Report
HUNZA, Aliabad Dec.8: Hunzo -e-Qaumi Maraka ( HQM) has unanimously hailed interim governor Wazir Baig as governor,Gilgit-Baltistan during a meeting convyened by the party leadership. An emergency meeting of Hunzo-e-Qaumi Maraka (a Brushaski term means Hunza national Forum) presided by engineer Aman ullah was held and participants unanimously hailed the proposal of Wazir Baig as the new governor of Gilgit-Baltistan.

HUNZA, Karimabad: The only electric transfermer, for more than 150 families of the locality went out of order and kept without repair for weeks. VoH Photo

Speakers and participants demanded of government to solve energy crisis on long term basis. They have worned the local authorities for strong agitation and mass protest if current government continue to neglect the crucial issue of energy crisis resolution in Central and Lower Hunza.

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Given the dependency of Gilgit Baltistan on down cities of the country has led more than twenty lake population in scattered paleographer with with meager income levels with broken infrastructure since the summer heavy rains to face numerous problems including availability of petroleum products to facilitate moment across the region to cater their needs in wake of artificial shortage of diesal and petrol for last four weeks . The regional authorities succeeded to managed to arrange addendam in reserved quota of essentials especially feud and food items from federal government for Gilgit-Baltistan after de-linking of Karakorum High Way that remained block for more than a month during last rains and subsequent flash floods. The move helped as a temporary remedy to pacify the pressure in time but what it seems now is irk some.The are reservations among public circles that petroleum products and food items from the Gilgit-Baltistan quota was being smuggled to to areas of Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa including Kohistan. There are rumors in media and public circles of involvment officials of Diamer civil supply department in issuance of bogus invoices against fake issued stuff from Sai Juglot deport.On the other hand, according to local population of Central, Lower Hunza-Nagar, petrol pump owners through secret deals disappearing high octane diesel, petrol and kerosene oil to create artificial petroleum shortage. Consequently, indigenous public in this area of Gilgit-Baltistan region are facing double edge sword: one they have to pay high fare increased by transporters their own and secondly public transport is dear even in emergency. Similarly, there are rumors that civil supply officer of this region is reportedly neglect common man and bestowing a portion of reserved quota to mill owners.
Drastic increase in LPG and lack of hydro electricity, one of the major component in past to help poor sustain their lives in severe cold winter has put a dent upon the pockets of families with decreasing incomew.We would like to press the local government to keep constant check on supply department, take remedial steps to stop black marketing and smuggling before arrival to the region and ensure proper mechanism of distribution of qouat as par requirement.



Editor

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By:Nadeem F. Paracha
VoH Monitor
Now how bad can it be for a president to be criticized by a monarch who is alleged to have asked the Americans to bomb Iran and whose countrymen are still thought to be one of the leading donors to terror organizations like Al-Qaeda? Well, that’s what the recent US intelligence documents uploaded on WikiLeaks suggest.
To a lot of Pakistanis, the leaks were a big fat disappointment. For example, a colleague of mine was wagging a finger at me saying, ‘NFP, these new leaks will expose your president in the worst way possible.’ He was ‘my president’ and not my colleague’s because the guy’s into … ahem …the concept of modern-day caliphs as heads of state. Well, come the day of the leaks and I saw him all glum and gloomy. Sure the president was taken to task by the Saudi monarch according to the leaked documents. Nevertheless what the monarch said about Mr Zardari would have been music to the ears of all the Saudi-philes out there but only if the leaked documents had stopped at that.
What gave my pro-caliphate colleague a sudden bout of embarrassment, inducing depression, was how the same documents then go on to quote many Arab leaders (including the said monarch), asking the US to conduct aerial raids against Iran. Now, I am no fan of the current Iranian leadership; in fact, I find Ahmadinejad suffering from verbal diarrhoea against the West and all things western. However, it is actually this trait of his that has turned him into a hero of sorts among Muslims everywhere. What a shock then it was for my colleague to read that Arab monarchs had actually instigated their American friends to bomb a fellow Muslim country. But, really, why the surprise? I mean, hasn’t it been clear all along that Arab leadership has always been repulsed by Iran, especially after the 1979 revolution? The truth is, and this goes for a lot of groups with sympathies for Iran in Pakistan too, no matter how loudly they exhibit their spite against Israel, they remain suspect in the eyes of a majority of Arab leaders, or worse, targets of various extremist groups.
I don’t think my pan-Islamic colleague’s shock was due to his surprise over the revelations, because everyone knows about the historical fissures that divide Arabs and Persians. Instead, he was stunned by the realisation that lofty caliph-oriented daydreams that men like him hold so dear would sound ridiculous now that the world knows that one set of Muslim leaders want the ‘infidels to bomb another Muslim country.He was itching to let loose the tirade that people like him usually unleash once they do not agree with something: It’s a trick. A conspiracy and propaganda against Muslims, blah. But how could he? Not this time. Because had he termed these documents a ploy by Zionists to ridicule Arab leaders, it would also mean that the Saudi monarch’s criticism of Mr Zardari too was not true. Anyway, even if we forget what the Arabs blurted out against Iran, there is an inherent irony in the statement that sees a monarch being unhappy about a president in a democratic country.
The Pakistani president, no matter how unpopular he may have become, remains an elected leader. So what right does a monarch have to show concern about an elected leader of another Muslim country? The Saudi king is supposed to have said that Pakistan cannot progress as long as Zardari holds office. Now, I do wonder, what is the concept of progress to a monarch of a puritanical Muslim state? Is his disappointment based in the fact that unlike the Ziaul Haq dictatorship, the Zardari regime is not constructing enough mosques or madressas? Is it due to the fact that unlike Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N, Zardari’s PPP has been traditionally more associated with certain populist and indigenous folk versions of Islam in Pakistan that the Saudis scorn at? I am really interested in determining exactly what constitutes ‘progress’ to oil-rich Muslim monarchies, one of which, according to the leaked documents, is hovering at the top as the world’s leading donor nation to terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda.
Yes, sir, no matter how much carnage and madness countries like Saudi Arabia or Pakistan face from the monsters they themselves have created, they just refuse to learn from their follies. In their obsessive-compulsive paranoia that sees many of their citizens stuck in an old Cold War thinking mode as far as countries like Israel, India and US are concerned, they keep feeding merciless ogres whom they believe will fight their egotistical battles against their sectarian, religious and ideological enemies. The mindset continues despite the fact that in the last one decade, terrorist foot soldiers have spilled more Muslim blood than that of ‘infidels.’ Wikileaks or not, we are suffering from a freaky deluge of a delusion. Courtesy: Dawn



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Punjab students protest educational institutes’ privatisation

Monitoring Report
LAHORE, December 10: The students’ protest against the privatisation of educational institutes by the Punjab government continued for the third day on Friday. However, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif invited teachers and students for negotiations over the issue and assured redress.
Protests were also staged in Vehari, Multan, Mian Channu and other parts of Punjab. —Photo by Online
In Faisalabad city, students boycotted classes and staged a protest demonstration, chanting slogans against the provincial government and its decision to privatise educational institutes.
Charged students also pelted stones at cars. Police subsequently resorted to tear-gas shelling and baton-charged the students to disperse them. An exchange of hot words was also witnessed between teachers and policemen. Moreover, students in Vehari, Multan, Mian Channu and other parts of Punjab also held protest rallies.Dawn





Round table Conference on Human rights day calls govt for information on for missing persons
Press Release
LAHORE, December 10: A round table coference for missing persons under the theme 'problem of missing persons and role of government institutions and civil society organizations' organized by International Institute for Research and Education Asian Human Rights Commission in collaboration with Labour Education Foundation was held on Friday at Rawalpindi press club to mark international Human Rights day. A large number of activists of different political parties, lawyers and civil society members participated in the conference. According to the press release, the speakers and participants of the confrence demanded of government to assure respect of fundamental rights of its citizens given in the international charter of human rights in general and constitution of Pakistan particular.
"Articles 8 to Article 28 of the 1973 Constitution describe the Fundamental Rights which are to be available to all citizens, women as well as men wherever they may be, as well as all people temporarily or permanently in Pakistan. However, the freedoms guaranteed can be curtailed or taken away by the government on the grounds of the sovereignty or integrity of Pakistan, maintenance of public order, public morality. BUT these restrictions can be challenged in the superior courts. The executive is bound to implement these rights while the judiciary is bound to take notice of any violations and provide redress on individual complaints or take notice of its own (called ‘suo moto’ notice) of any gross violations of a collective right."1
The conference maintained that detention of somebody without registration of report was against human rights. Press release also pressed for search for missing persons among whom, mostly belong to Balochistan where nationalist
forces resorted to armed struggle.
1.SDPI





Kaira seeks youth support to re-create liberal,tolerant Pakistan

Monitoring Report
ISLAMABAD, Dec 9 (APP): Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira has said that the present government was striving to re-create a liberal,tolerant,and peaceful Pakistan of the past and this cannot be done without active support and participation of youth.While addressing the participants of International Youth Conference titled “Building Bridges Across the World”,at a dinner hosted by Ministry of Information he said such events are dialogue between the two generations. The minister asked the youth to play their active role in combating and defeating terrorism in the country.He urged the organizers of the conference to arrange similar conferences at regional level to create bridges between the urban and rural youth.Kaira said that the overseas participants of the conference are a sort of country’s ambassadors and they should promote the real soft image of Pakistan abroad. Kaira said the entire nation is united for eliminating terrorism and extremism from the society. He said dictatorship is also a big challenge in the way of democracy and the government is committed to tackle this challenge by following the philosophy of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. He said the Shaheed leader worked in her life for promoting and strengthening of democracy and the government is following her vision to ensure supremacy of the constitution and rule of law.





India needs to cooperate more with Pakistan: FO

Monitoring Desk

ISLAMABAD, Dec. 08: India will have to take further steps to cooperate with Pakistan in order to reach the final outcome of the Mumbai attacks, said Foreign Office Spokesman Abdul Basit on Thursday. Speaking at the weekly Foreign Office briefing, Abdul Basit said that India needed to do more on its part by responding to Pakistan’s requests on the Mumbai trial instead of doubting Islamabad’s intentions. He said that the Indian Home Secretary’s remarks on the Mumbai attack trial in Pakistan were misleading and that Pakistan was seriously pursuing the trial.
He stated that Pakistan was looking forward to resuming the dialogue process with India so that issues such as the plight of fishermen were addressed efficiently. However, Abdul Basit stated that despite making serious efforts to resume the dialogue between the two nations, Pakistan was not willing to compromise on its national security at any cost. The spokesman rejected the claim made by the Indian Foreign Secretary that Kashmir was an integral part of India and said that the issue was awaiting settlement in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolution, Dawn News Reported.





Police arrests 30 suspects after attack on CM Raisani
Monitoring Desk
QUETTA, December 8: Quetta police on Wednesday arrested more than 30 suspects after the suicide attack on Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani. The chief minister’s convoy was attacked on Tuesday at Saryab Road in Quetta which resulted in the death of one person while injuring 12 others.

Policemen gather at the site of the suicide attack on Chief Minister Raisani's convoy in Quetta on December 7, 2010. PHOTO: AFP

The Inspector General (IG) of Balochistan constituted four investigation teams to probe the attack, which arrested more than 30 suspects from different areas of the province. Meanwhile the body parts of the suicide bomber have been sent to the laboratory for tests, while a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) team has also collected evidence from the blast site. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Raisani said the incident was an act of terrorism carried out either by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi or the Baloch Liberation United Front. He said both these organizations are banned militant outfits which will be pursued vigorously. Addressing the media at an inaugural ceremony Raisani also said that there is no reason for carrying out drone attacks in Balochistan. Courtesy: Express Tibune





N-reactors sale to India will create 'mistrust': FO
VoH News Watch
ISLAMABAD, Dec. 07Pakistan today criticised a multi-billion-agreement finalised by France to sell two nuclear reactors to India, saying the deal would create "mistrust" and have "serious security implications" in South Asia. Responding to a question on the France-India deal at a weekly news briefing, Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit renewed Pakistan's demand to be treated at par with India in the field of civil nuclear cooperation. "We strongly believe that creating exceptions for any country is not only a step backwards in terms of promoting peaceful nuclear cooperation, but it also has serious security implications at the regional and global levels," he said. Basit contended there was "no tenable alternative to criteria-based approaches towards promoting international cooperation" in issues like civilian use of nuclear energy.-The Nation






15 killed in Kohat suicide attack against Shias;Bomber blows himself up close to passenger van ready to depart for Orakza,Taliban from Darra Adam Khel claim responsibility
Monitoring Report

KOHAT, December 8: A suicide bomber blew himself up close to a minivan in Kohat, leaving 15 passengers, including women and children, dead and 24 others injured in a blatant attack on Shias, police officials said on Wednesday. The packed minivan was ready to depart for Kalaya in Orakzai, west of Kohat, which is 65 kilometres south of Peshawar, when a 20-year-old terrorist detonated explosives coupled with lethal ball-bearings close to the passengers, Kohat District Police Officer Dilawar Bangash told reporters.
“It was a suicide attack on a passenger van at the Tirah bus stand,” the police official said. He did not say which sect the casualties belonged to, however, local journalists said most of the victims were Shias. A purported spokesman for the Taliban from Darra Adam Khel, Usman Ali, rang up journalists in Kohat to say that “Shias were targeted and more such attacks would follow”. Eyewitness Waheed Ahmed said the bus stand was used mainly by passengers from Shia-dominated areas of Orakzai and Kurram, where sectarian violence has rocked the local population. Wednesday’s attack comes after authorities sealed off Kohat and adjoining Hangu districts as part of the security arrangements for Muharram to prevent possible attacks from Sunni sectarian groups. Double suicide attacks in Ghalanai on Monday left 42 tribal elders, levy force personnel and journalists dead, while another bomber failed to assassinate Balochistan Chief Minister Aslam Raisani on Tuesday. Security officials warned that the Taliban might increase suicide attacks during Muharram and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has ordered strict measures to foil the designs of terrorists.-Daily Times

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Voice of Hunza
We are living in strange times, few are unccomfortable with all and others few are contented with little, few straddling against tyranny and oppression to get liberty, few doing away with their liberty and there are very few who really know what the liberation actually means in the earth planet. Liberty virtually does not only mean a physical or territorial freedom on mass level or freedom of expression, adoption and speech but also to an extent exemption of mind from availability of facilities to the citizens of a state of modern era. What ever is the case for a citizen of a particular state, with reference to developing states as in case of Pakistan, it is duty of the later to whether the government is theocratic, aristocratic, oligarchic or democratic to ensure access to the later to services such as education, shelter, security and clothing. Given the pattern of prototyped economies of cold war era which gradually merged or infused into each other gradually, the concept of welfare state has been blurred Universally and China is a good example where amalgamation of sue do typed neo-captalist cum socialist nature of political economy emerged; in the North America, many features of socialist nature of economy like unemployment allowance, accommodation facilities and welfare health and food related facilities for families with meager income levels.In third world countries, like in Pakistan where establishment and functioning of industrial sector is becoming day dream for a drastic increase in accumulated cost of production coupled with worsening law and order situation has serve to halt industrial development. Similar is the case with commercial activities across the country except few cities.
While few country side region like Gilgit-Baltistan, particularly its distant aluring valleys which affected a lot during monsoon rains, destroyed some of hydro power generation plants, the only mean of energy to bolster meager commercial and social needs, now facing severe energy short fall. The valleys like Hunza, Chalt, Oshikhandas, Danyore,Tangeer,Bagrot, Yasin, Ishkoman and some other, there exist a huge discrepancy between generating capacity and net consumption.

HUNZA: The file photo of the only 1.2 mega watt Hydro-power generating plant for more than thirty thousand population of a large portion of Central Hunza. Image by: Shams

In Central Hunza for instance,generation capacity is around 1.7 mega watt against current demand of 4.4 mega watt, with difference of around 2.5 mega watt, cumulatively. Addition of floor mills and expansion in population has further increased pressure on decades old hydro power generation plant, affecting the common man especially in winter season when LPG and Petroleum products are already beyond reach of poor. Interestingly neither concerned power department nor any public representative ever thought earlier about it and nor contemporary one. An additional fuel back automatic electricity producing generator has been used to cater the needs of the people which in current scenario unable to do so.
Contrary to claims of rulers, Hunza-Nagar still deprive of proper departmentalization and any proper set up and it seems that mere establishment of this department was to calm the demands for more rights from different circles in the Central and Lower Hunza. In Gilgit, civil supply officials are said have involvement in creation of artificial shortag in the disttrict. We would like to press on concerned department and our public reprsentatives to think over this issue to chalk out a long term strategy to fill the gap by approving a new plant with capcity of 10 mega watt in Hunza. Similarly, in those areas of Gilgit-Baltistan where such shortfall exist, the government must work on war footings to address on priority basis. This, we are sure would serve to strengthen faith on current regime that cliams for greater internal autonomy provided by federal government under self governance order, 2009.




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GB government amidst challenges, NGOs should collaborate; AKES playing vital role in education sector:Governor
VoH News Monitor
GAHKUCH, December 06: Government of Gilgit-Baltistan is trying to get out from hard times and still working amidst numerous challenges ranging from rehibilitation to good governance. These views were expressed by Interim Governor and speaker Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) on Foundation day aniversary of Aga Khan Higher Secondary School, Gahkuch, Ghizer. He said that resources were being utilized for the rehibilitation of affectees of moonsoon torential rains and subsequent floods saying government would leave no stone unturn to address the demands of the peole. According ot media sources, he emphasized Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) to join hand with Gilgit Baltistan government to assure grass root level benefit of initiatives like Benazir Income Support Programme and Wattan card aims to cater the needs of those in trouble. He applauded the revolutionary role of Aga Khan Education Services (AKES) saying it was the services of this NGO that given alternate option to youth for quality education. He announced Rs. 200,000 as grant for development of facilities, welfare of students and teacher community in the institution.
AKES is rendering its services in nine countries including Pakistan where four higher secondary schools and more than 120 secondary level schools are contributing to provision of quality education.





Leadership crisis exists in GB; incompetent government officials endangering new set up to function smoothly, Chief secretary holds actual powers, public representatives still powerless: Wazir Shakeel
VoH Monitoring Report
SKARDU, December 3: Wazir Shakeel, minister for law Gilgit Baltistan legislative assembly cabinet has claimed that existing leadership crisis endangering new set up given by centre under self rule reform package. He said that chief secretary is the sole bearer of powers and every department is powerless before him. He expressed these views while talking with a regional urdu daily. He said inclusion of region in national mainstreme was give harm than any benefit saying despite of unlimited natural resources, we are overwhelemed by inumerable issues ranging from competence in government officials to the proper allocation of funds in ADPs and their appropriate utilization. Courtesy: Daily Baad-e-Shimal, Urdu





Ban on pillion riding, disputed religious literature during Muharram; a permanent 8 members peace forum constituted
VoH Report
GILGIT, December 02: Law enforcement agencies has imposed section 144 banning pillion riding and exchange of disputed literature among followers of different faiths to ensure peace in the city. According to our correspondent, in a high level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah, it was decided to constitute an eight member permanent peace forum comprised of members Gilgit-Baltistan council and local members Legislative Assembly. Participants of meeting including Chairman Public Accounts Committee Syed Raziuddin Rizvi, deputy speaker Jamil Ahmed, member GB council Moulana Attaullah Shahab, Chief Secretary Saif-ullah-Chatta,advisor forestry Aftab Hyder, Amjad Hussain, Home Secretary Asif Bilal Lodhi, DIG Farman Ali, deuputy Commissioner Asad Zamin , Superitendent Police Gilgit city Sulatan Azam and other local administration officials hailed the proposal and unanimously approved immediately. According to sources, the first ever meeting of this permenant peace forum would be held at the residence of Syed Riziuddin Rizvi. Chief Minister also gave consent for establishment of three additional police stations: Jutial, Basin and Danyore area. Other matters including pick and drop of government employees and respect to meritocracy in recruitments were also discussed in the meeting. Suggestion from Few participants was also hailed in which they proposed to entrust peace keeping mission to the officials and subordinates hailing from Gilgit city keeping them accountable.

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Contingent security and facilitation plan discussed during the Ashura Maharram; alternate route for vehicles using KKH
VoH Report
HUNZA, Garelt,December 2: A comprehensive contingent security and facilitation plan for mourners (Aza Daraan) during holy month of Muharram was planned. In a meeting convened and chaired by Supritendant of Police, Hunza-Nagar district Muhammad Yusuf discussed prospected facilitation plan with local notables, religious leaders,civil society members and media persons here at his office. Participants suggested local administration particularly police to
deply contingents at various points. It was decided that public transport and heavy vehicles using Karakorum High Way would be divert from Dordkhand towards Karimabad via Hyderabad while entrance to Ganish vally would be closed at Mominabad besides check at Ganish bridge. Police officials agreed to request National High Way authority to fill the ditches and intersections ahead of ashora to reduce dust for pedestrians.
Followers of Shiat school of thought in Islam commomerte the great sacrifice of Hussain Ibn-e-Ali, the grandson of Holy Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) and younger son of Ali Ibn-e-Abi Talib who laid his life to save value of Islam endangered by Yazid, the then tyrrant Khalifa of Muslim community.





Mercury during night falls minus one; anxiety of possible chilling weather proved wrong, demand for wool made sweaters and over coats increased
VoH Report
Hunza-Nagar, December 2: The demand for for wool made sweaters and over coats increased with the mercury fell during night in the district. Water freez has burst taps creating water shortage problems in many localities. With the commencement of month of December, the tradition of 'Nasalo' a tradition among mountain communities of presevation of meat from animals has badly affected due to rise in inflation and lowering income level.

Hunza: As the autom passes and winter fall caused to fall mercury minus one during night, freezing water on surface. VoH Photo
Anxiety among some people especially the astrologist of a possible chilling weather due to water blockade at Attaabad proved wrong as the consecutive sunny days made the day time hotter than before deuring winter.





Chinese fast food centers in town
Voice of Hunza
Hunza: Sheikh Juma-wal-Jamia Musa Karim and President Ismaili Religious concil innugurates a chines food center at Aliabad Hunza. Fida Karim, President PPP, Hunza chapter also present at the moment. Photo by:Shams






Pictory: Good by automn

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Wiki Leaks discloses another key point regarding Pakistan-US ties
Monitoring Desk
Voice of Hunza
ISLAMABAD, December 6: WikiLeaks has disclosed another key point regarding Pakistan-US ties, which is about putting a condition on Pakistan for securing a nuclear cooperation with superpower likewise India.
According to WikiLeaks, during a meeting with President Zardari in 2009, a US’s Senator John Kerry placed a condition on Pakistan that the latter would have to ink a ‘New Security Arrangement’ accord with neighbor India, if it wanted a civil nuclear cooperation with US, according to leaked memos of US diplomatic cables, cited in a letter of the then US ambassador N.W Patterson. Citing a letter of Patterson, WikiLeaks claimed that Senator Kerry wanted Pakistan to make agreement with New Delhi on New Security Arrangement, if latter was looking for winning a cooperation with US on Civil Nuclear deal. Kerry also urged Pakistan to strengthen democratic institutions first for the purpose, leaked diplomatic cables disclosed. Senator said AQ Khan network was key hurdle in way of progress of Pakistan. While, during the same sitting, President Zardari told him that India itself plotted Mumbai Attacks in November 2008. Courtesy: The Nation






Concern over damage done by leaks
Monitoring Desk
Voice of Hunza
ISLAMABAD, December 4: The Defence Committee of the Cabinet decided on Friday to convey to the US authorities the government’s reservations over the disclosure of confidential and secret information by WikiLeaks, reliable sources said. A meeting of the committee, presided over by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, denounced the leak of sensitive information and warned that its continuation would endanger friendly ties among countries. The DCC meeting was attended by ministers for defence, interior, finance and information, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the three services chiefs.

PM Gilani chairing the meeting of Defence Committee of Cabinet (DCC) at PM House.—APP
The sources said that a formal stance of the government on the problem caused by the whistleblower website would be handed over to the US authorities through proper channel at an appropriate time. Some TV channels reported that after the DCC meting, Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani called on President Asif Ali Zardari, but neither the Presidency nor the ISPR confirmed the report. Although the Prime Minister’s Secretariat issued a press release of over 1,000 words on the proceedings of the committee, it did not say a word about the much-talked about leak of loads of top secret information about the country the US embassy had been sending back home through confidential cables.
“There are so many important issues than this (WikiLeaks disclosure) and whatever we have discussed at the meeting has been mentioned in detail in the official handout issued by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat,” Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told a private news channel. He kept quiet when repeatedly asked if the DCC, which represents the top civil and military leadership, had deliberated upon information released by WikiLeaks over the past few days.
But sources privy to the proceedings say that the issue was very much discussed by the participants during the four-hour meeting. Initially, they said, it was decided to include one paragraph about it in the official statement, but it was later dropped on the instructions of a ‘top official’.Some participants, according to the sources, wanted that a clear stand should be taken on the WikiLeaks issue in the official statement, but others advised that it should be played down for the time being. According to the press release, the prime minister said that Pakistan needed to depart from its ‘traditional thinking’ on national security and develop ‘alternative strategies’.
“The multiplicity and size of the challenges to our national security demand that we may have to make a departure from our traditional thinking and look for out-of-box solutions and alternative strategies,” he told the meeting. Mr Gilani also sought views of the participants on his visit to Afghanistan beginning on Saturday. But the press release did not say anything about what response he had received from the participants. Dawn, Islambad





Even If Acquitted, Pakistani Blasphemy Suspect Is In Mortal Danger
VoH News Monitor
By Majeed Babar, Charles Recknagel
December,01: A 45-year-old Catholic mother of two has been sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy. But the real danger Aasia Bibi faces may not come from her court case. That is because, to date, although she have been sentenced to death, no one has ever been executed in Pakistan for blasphemy. Instead, the danger is that she will be killed if she is freed. And forhat there are ample precedents.

The daughter and wife of the governor of Punjab Province speak to Aasia Bibi (right), who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy. RadioLiberty Photo

In July, two Christian brothers accused of writing a blasphemous pamphlet critical of the Prophet Muhammad were shot dead within the premises of a court in Punjab. One of the brothers was a pastor. That happened as they exited a court hearing in Faisalabad city, wherE hundreds of protesters had demanded they be sentenced to death. Those same crowds of protestors have gathered in Bibi's case like ominous storm clouds hovering over the proceedings.
Angry Demonstrations Last week, an Islamic party Jamat-e-Islami held a demonstration outside a mosque in Karachi after Friday prayers. The protesters demanded that Bibi be hanged as sentenced. Other groups have held other demonstrations, including the banned charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which the United Nations has blacklisted as aterrorist organization. It demonstrated in the streets of Lahore, wherePunjab's high court must confirm Bibi's November 8 death sentence before it can be carried out. The demonstrations have the support of many Islamic clerics, who see blasphemy as attacking the very heart of Pakistan's Muslim identity. As one Islamic scholar, Dr. Qasim Mahmood told to representative of European Radio service Mashaal:"The most sacred name is that of Allah and after that it is Muhammad, peace be upon him, and if somebody talks low about them, the Islamic clerics in Pakistan already describe the details of the punishment forthose who commit blasphemy, and now it's the law of the land inPakistan that they have to be awarded the death sentence." Islamic political parties and militant groups have seized upon the blasphemy case to cast themselves yet again as defenders of religion and show their street power. But the blame for the intensity of the issue lies with the blasphemy laws themselves and the willingness oflower courts to enforce them mercilessly.
The case of Bibi, the first woman ever to be convicted under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, provides a textbook example. In June 2009, a group of her co-workers accused Bibi of blaspheming Islam as the group worked in the fields around her home village in Nankana district, about 70 kilometers from Lahore. The trouble began on a searing hot day as she harvested the berry-sized fruit Grewia Asiatica, also known as falsa, which is used throughout the region as a flavor for juices and sorbets. She had forgotten to bring her own water pitcher so she drank a glass of water from a pitcher belonging to her female Muslim co-workers -- an act which some considered defiling. Bibi could not pacify her Muslim co-workers despite saying sorry. The co-workers asked her to convert to Islam and she refused and left the scene with tears rolling down her cheeks. Taking his cue from three of the Muslim women, a prayer leader of a local mosque, Qari Muhammad Salam, filed a case against Bibi in the district court. From there the accusations against her mounted. According to the lower court's verdict, obtained by RFE/RL, witnesses against her during the proceedings stated she had said the Koran is fake and "your prophet remained in bed for one month before his death because he had insects in his mouth and ears." She also allegedly said the Prophet Muhammad had married his wife, Khadija, who was wealthy, "just for money" and after stealing from herkicked her out of the house.
Judge Naveed Iqbal, in sentencing her to death, "totally ruled out" anychance that Bibi was falsely implicated and said there were "no mitigating circumstances." Speaking about why the judge passed a death sentence, Secretary-General of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan I.A. Rehman told Mashaal Radio: "In Pakistan, mullahs are stronger then the courts, and due to fear the lower courts can't let anybody go free because the lower courts always feel under threat and pressure from the mullahs." Now, as the case has gone to the provincial high court in Lahore, it presents the Pakistan government with a major dilemma. Human rights groups in Pakistan and abroad are incensed by the case and hard-liners' implicit threats to carry out the execution themselves if necessary.
Christians are a minority in PakistanAsim Malik, spokesman for Aurat Foundation, a women's-rights watchdog in Pakistan which is closely watching the case, says Bibi has already had to suffer harsh conditions because of the danger from hard-liners. "For the past year, Aasia Bibi, who is 45 years old, has been kept in isolation by the police because of the fear that somebody will end her life," Malik said. Meanwhile, Pope Benedict XVI has called for the release of Bibi, and
political pressure has been growing for her pardon. Showdown So far, the government in Islamabad and conservatives appear locked in a showdown over the case. Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti has presented a report to President Asif Ali Zardari recommending a pardon for Bibi. The report concluded that "the blasphemy against Asia Bibi has been registered on grounds of personal enmity." But conservative lawyers have petitioned the Lahore High Court this week not to let Zardari to use his office to pardon Bibi so long as the case is pending in the courts.
The only certainty is that the blasphemy law itself is never likely to be repealed. Minority Affairs Minister Bhatti, who is a Christian, toldReuters on November 23 that a repeal "is not being considered, though we are considering changing it so that misuse of the law should be stopped." But the pernicious effects of the blasphemy laws -- and the threat they resent not just to victims, but to the rule of law in Pakistan -- runtoo deep to be mitigated by simply guarding against misuse. Since the controversial blasphemy laws were introduced by then-dictator General Zia-ul- Huq in 1980, at least 1,035 men and women, including Muslims, Ahmadis, Christians, and Hindus have been accused, although all the accusations were dropped when the cases reached the higher courts. Some have languished in jail for years awaiting a final resolution of their case. Waji ul-Hassan, a Christian, has been on death row since 2002. Perhaps worse still, the laws have helped to legitimize the physical attacks, social stigmatization, forced conversion, and continued institutional degradation that characterize the position of religious minorities in Pakistan. Around 3 percent of Pakistan's population of about 170 million isestimated to be non-Muslim, and most of those are Christian or Hindu. Both communities are marginalized economically as well as socially, with both men and women commonly limited to working as street sweepers or in other odd jobs. The blasphemy laws also encourage a sense of majority power, even mob rule, over religious minorities that the Pakistani state cannot assure the safety of those accused of blasphemy even if they are acquitted. That is particularly true in Punjab, which is home to most of Pakistan's militant groups and where most of the attacks on Christians have taken place. Source: Radio Liberty




Zardari worried military may take him out: WikiLeaks
Monitoring Desk

WASHINGTON, Dec.1: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari told US Vice President Joe Biden that he was worried the powerful military in his country might 'take me out,' according to US diplomatic cables published in US and British newspapers on Tuesday. Zardari's comments reflect the influential role the Pakistani military holds in a country with a long history of coup d'etats, and further raises questions about the effectiveness of civilian rule. It was unclear whether Zardari's comments suggested he could be killed or merely forced out of office.
The US cables from the embassy in Islamabad were part of a massive cache of internal American diplomatic correspondence acquired by WikiLeaks and distributed to a handful of news organizations, including Indian, British, German and US newspapers and in France and Spain too. More than 250,000 documents were being released this week despite the strong objections of the US government, which considers them stolen and says their public release undermines international diplomacy. The cables underscore the difficult relationship between the United States and Pakistan and US skepticism about whether Islamabad is fully committed to defeating Islamic extremism despite billions of of dollars in annual military and civilian aid.Source: Geo Tv





Sherry submits bill for amending blasphemy laws
VoH News Watch

By Amir Wasim

Voice of Hunza
ISLAMABAD, Nov.30: Amid announcements by the religious forces in the country to resist any move to change the blasphemy laws, former information minister and Pakistan People’s Party MNA Sherry Rehman has submitted a bill to the National Assembly Secretariat seeking an end to the death penalty under the existing blasphemy laws.

Right: Former information minister and Pakistan People’s Party MNA Sherry Rehman had submitted a private member’s bill as she believed that blasphemy laws as set out in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) found their roots in colonial laws. – AFP Photo


Talking to Dawn here on Monday, Ms Rehman said that she had submitted aprivate member’s bill as she believed that blasphemy laws as set out in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) found their roots in colonial laws and had in their present form become a source of victimisation and persecution of the minorities in the country. The amendments to the Blasphemy Act, she said, were intended to ensure that all citizens of Pakistan had an equal right to constitutional protection and that miscarriages of justice in the name of blasphemy were avoided at all costs. “The bill amends both the PPC and the Code of Criminal Procedure, the two main sources of criminal law. The aim is to amend the codes to ensure protection of Pakistan’s minorities and vulnerable citizens, who routinely face judgments and verdicts in the lower courts where mob pressure is often mobilised to obtain a conviction,” she said.
According to Ms Rehman, the definition of the term “blasphemy” is currently vague, yet it carries a mandatory death sentence. Also, she said, there were serious problems with the mechanisms to implement the law. She said her proposed bill would rationalise the punishments prescribed for offences relating to religion provided under Sections 295 and 298 of the PPC. share save 120 16 Sherry submits bill for amending blasphemy laws. Source: Dawn

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Even If Acquitted, Pakistani Blasphemy Suspect Is In Mortal Danger
VoH News Monitor
By Majeed Babar, Charles Recknagel
December,01: A 45-year-old Catholic mother of two has been sentenced to death in Pakistan for blasphemy. But the real danger Aasia Bibi faces may not come from her court case. That is because, to date, although some have been sentenced to death, no one has ever been executed in
Pakistan for blasphemy.
Instead, the danger is that she will be killed if she is freed. And for that there are ample precedents. In July, two Christian brothers accused of writing a blasphemous pamphlet critical of the Prophet Muhammad were shot dead within the premises of a court in Punjab. One of the brothers was a pastor. That happened as they exited a court hearing in Faisalabad city, where hundreds of protesters had demanded they be sentenced to death. Those same crowds of protestors have gathered in Bibi's case like ominous storm clouds hovering over the proceedings.
Angry DemonstrationsLast week, an Islamic party Jamat-e-Islami held a demonstration outside
a mosque in Karachi after Friday prayers. The protesters demanded that Bibi be hanged as sentenced.
Other groups have held other demonstrations, including the banned charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa, which the United Nations has blacklisted as a terrorist organization. It demonstrated in the streets of Lahore, where Punjab's high court must confirm Bibi's November 8 death sentence before it can be carried out.


The daughter and wife of the governor of Punjab Province speak to Aasia Bibi (right), who has been sentenced to death for blasphemy. Radio Liberty Photo

The demonstrations have the support of many Islamic clerics, who see blasphemy as attacking the very heart of Pakistan's Muslim identity. As one Islamic scholar, Dr. Qasim Mahmood told RFE/'RL's Radio Mashaal: "The most sacred name is that of Allah and after that it is Muhammad, peace be upon him, and if somebody talks low about them, the Islamic clerics in Pakistan already describe the details of the punishment for those who commit blasphemy, and now it's the law of the land in Pakistan that they have to be awarded the death sentence."
Islamic political parties and militant groups have seized upon the blasphemy case to cast themselves yet again as defenders of religion and show their street power. But the blame for the intensity of the issue lies with the blasphemy laws themselves and the willingness of lower courts to enforce them mercilessly. The case of Bibi, the first woman ever to be convicted under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, provides a textbook example. In June 2009, a group of her co-workers accused Bibi of blaspheming Islam as the group worked in the fields around her home village in Nankana district, about 70 kilometers from Lahore. The trouble began on a searing hot day as she harvested the berry-sized fruit Grewia Asiatica, also known as falsa, which is used throughout the region as a flavor for juices and sorbets. She had forgotten to bring her own water pitcher so she drank a glass of water from a pitcher belonging to her female Muslim co-workers -- an act which some considered defiling. Bibi could not pacify her Muslim co-workers despite saying sorry. The co-workers asked her to convert to Islam and she refused and left the scene with tears rolling down her cheeks.Taking his cue from three of the Muslim women, a prayer leader of a local mosque, Qari Muhammad Salam, filed a case against Bibi in the
district court. From there the accusations against her mounted. According to the lower court's verdict, obtained by RFE/RL, witnesses against her during the proceedings stated she had said the Koran is fake and "your prophet remained in bed for one month before his death because he had insects in his mouth and ears."
She also allegedly said the Prophet Muhammad had married his wife, Khadija, who was wealthy, "just for money" and after stealing from her kicked her out of the house.Judge Naveed Iqbal, in sentencing her to death, "totally ruled out" anychance that Bibi was falsely implicated and said there were "no mitigating circumstances." Speaking about why the judge passed a deathsentence, Secretary-General of the Human Rights Commission of PakistanI.A. Rehman told Mashaal Radio: "In Pakistan, mullahs are stronger thenthe courts, and due to fear the lower courts can't let anybody go free because the lower courts always feel under threat and pressure from the mullahs."
Now, as the case has gone to the provincial high court in Lahore, it presents the Pakistan government with a major dilemma. Human rights groups in Pakistan and abroad are incensed by the case and hard-liners' implicit threats to carry out the execution themselves if necessary.
Christians are a minority in Pakistan Asim Malik, spokesman for Aurat Foundation, a women's-rights watchdog in Pakistan which is closely watching the case, says Bibi has alreadyhad to suffer harsh conditions because of the danger from hard-liners. "For the past year, Aasia Bibi, who is 45 years old, has been kept in isolation by the police because of the fear that somebody will end herlife," Malik said.
The blasphemy law also encourage a sense of majority power, even mob rule, over religious minorities that the Pakistani state cannot assure the safety of those accused of blasphemy even if they are acquitted. That is particularly true in Punjab, which is home to most of Pakistan's militant groups and where most of the attacks on Christians have taken place.- Radio Liberty





Zardari worried military may take him out: WikiLeaks

Monitoring Desk
WASHINGTON, Dec.1: Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari told US Vice

President Joe Biden that he was worried the powerful military in his

country might 'take me out,' according to US diplomatic cables

published in US and British newspapers on Tuesday.

Zardari's comments reflect the influential role the Pakistani military

holds in a country with a long history of coup d'etats, and further

raises questions about the effectiveness of civilian rule. It was

unclear whether Zardari's comments suggested he could be killed or

merely forced out of office.

The US cables from the embassy in Islamabad were part of a massive

cache of internal American diplomatic correspondence acquired by

WikiLeaks and distributed to a handful of news organizations, including

Indian, British, German and US newspapers and in France and Spain too.

More than 250,000 documents were being released this week despite the

strong objections of the US government, which considers them stolen and

says their public release undermines international diplomacy.

The cables underscore the difficult relationship between the United

States and Pakistan and US skepticism about whether Islamabad is fully

committed to defeating Islamic extremism despite billions of of dollars

in annual military and civilian aid.Source: Geo Tv






Sherry submits bill for amending blasphemy laws
VoH News Watch
By Amir Wasim
ISLAMABAD, Nov.30: Amid announcements by the religious forces in the

country to resist any move to change the blasphemy laws, former

information minister and Pakistan People’s Party MNA Sherry Rehman has

submitted a bill to the National Assembly Secretariat seeking an end to

the death penalty under the existing blasphemy laws.

Former information minister and Pakistan People’s Party MNA Sherry

Rehman had submitted a private member’s bill as she believed that

blasphemy laws as set out in the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) found their

roots in colonial laws. – AFP Photo


Talking to Dawn here on Monday, Ms Rehman said that she had submitted a

private member’s bill as she believed that blasphemy laws as set out in

the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) found their roots in colonial laws and

had in their present form become a source of victimisation and

persecution of the minorities in the country.

The amendments to the Blasphemy Act, she said, were intended to ensure

that all citizens of Pakistan had an equal right to constitutional

protection and that miscarriages of justice in the name of blasphemy

were avoided at all costs.

“The bill amends both the PPC and the Code of Criminal Procedure, the

two main sources of criminal law. The aim is to amend the codes to

ensure protection of Pakistan’s minorities and vulnerable citizens, who

routinely face judgments and verdicts in the lower courts where mob

pressure is often mobilised to obtain a conviction,” she said.

According to Ms Rehman, the definition of the term “blasphemy” is

currently vague, yet it carries a mandatory death sentence. Also, she

said, there were serious problems with the mechanisms to implement the

law. She said her proposed bill would rationalise the punishments

prescribed for offences relating to religion provided under Sections

295 and 298 of the PPC.
share save 120 16 Sherry submits bill for amending blasphemy laws.

Source: Dawn Pakistan

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Concern over damage done by leaks
Monitoring Desk
ISLAMABAD: The Defence Committee of the Cabinet decided on Friday to convey to the US authorities the government’s reservations over the disclosure of confidential and secret information by WikiLeaks, reliable sources said.A meeting of the committee, presided over by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, denounced the leak of sensitive information and warned that its continuation would endanger friendly ties among countries.

PM Gilani chairing the meeting of Defence Committee of Cabinet (DCC) at PM House.—APP
PhotoThe DCC meeting was attended by ministers for defence, interior, finance and information, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the three services chiefs. The sources said that a formal stance of the government on the problem caused by the whistle blower website would be handed over to the US authorities through proper channel at an appropriate time. Some TV channels reported that after the DCC meting, Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani called on President Asif Ali Zardari, but neither the Presidency nor the ISPR confirmed the report. Although the Prime Minister’s Secretariat issued a press release of over 1,000 words on the proceedings of the committee, it did not say a word about the much-talked about leak of loads of top secret information about the country the US embassy had been sending back home through confidential cables. “There are so many important issues than this (WikiLeaks disclosure) and whatever we have discussed at the meeting has been mentioned in detail in the official handout issued by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat,” Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira told Dawn.
He kept quiet when repeatedly asked if the DCC, which represents the top civil and military leadership, had deliberated upon information released by WikiLeaks over the past few days. But sources privy to the proceedings confided to Dawn that the issue was very much discussed by the participants during the four-hour meeting. Initially, they said, it was decided to include one paragraph about it in the official statement, but it was later dropped on the instructions of a ‘top official’.
Some participants, according to the sources, wanted that a clear stand should be taken on the WikiLeaks issue in the official statement, but others advised that it should be played down for the time being.According to the press release, the prime minister said that Pakistan needed to depart from its ‘traditional thinking’ on national security and develop ‘alternative strategies’.“The multiplicity and size of the challenges to our national security demand that we may have to make a departure from our traditional thinking and look for out-of-box solutions and alternative strategies,” he told the meeting.Mr Gilani also sought views of the participants on his visit to Afghanistan beginning on Saturday. But the press release did not say anything about what response he had received from the
participants.Courtesy:Dawn

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Today, VoH completes its one years of online publication. We, few youth during studies in Karachi had planned to start a regional website few years back amidst numerous constraints ranging from finance to contribution of time and support. Last year on impulse, we decided to start this blog to materialize the desire to create an alternative source to further the cause of the common man of an area surrounded by many challenges as an inspiration from other regional blogs, news bulletin sites and news papers which are already working to educate and inform to the people of backward Gilgit-Baltistan region about developments at regional and international level. Yet, due to widening circle of concern on part of blogs and online websites, numerous issues in the region have been remained unoticed. Few of the readers of this blog from Gilgit-Baltistan region of which Hunza is a small territory and former is the guardian of later also suggested a year back to start a liberal and impartial news paper formally as an addition in print media. The financial cum publishing and bureaucratic red tap and formalities in declaration, economic crunch and regional uncertain market situation and circulation constraint on our own parts compelled us first undertake a home work through a blog under a heading of a suffix (Gilgit-Baltistan) GB.

"Our three months trial publication and valuable suggestion and advice via innumerable emails gave us the courage to continue a path, though difficult but full of fun and experience. We try and will try our most to deliver the voice of a common man to authorities without adding some thing from our own. Our main objectivity is to show reality in news bulletin and keep ourselves impartial but logical and factual in columns and editorials "

Yet, following many e-mails and suggestions, we tried to focus a particular area with reference to Gilgit-Baltistan as well as Pakistan that administer the area for decades. Despite of critic to replace name of Hunza with GB, we continue work the same name for few reasons: first, by focusing on nascent Hunza-Nagar district we would try to identify the flaws in public policy, appreciate healthy, steady and sustainable developmental initiatives, human rights issues and to protect interest of common man in society. Using the same domain, we try to cover Gilgit-Baltistan as well as rest of the country according to our capacity. We know, many would have hatred with name of Hunza that make them vary for any reason, but our aims was and is to identify our deficiencies and convert them into strengths. We, the team of VoH are thankful to God almighty, for his support as well as to our valuable readers whose trust and confidence enabled us to persevere and retain relation during a year like a family members of online community. We faced odds of various types ranging from financial, administrative burden and constant obstacles to deviate us and make us abstain to show reality by few anti social elements besides energy crisis and least cooperation from both government and non-government organization while covering any incident or event on apprehension of sensor free dissemination of information. Despite of difficulties, we are committed to portray reality by disseminating the authentic information with maximum accuracy, without adding something from ourselves except where urgent; while drawing conclusions on any issue, we would continue to be impartial and any kind of suggestions for correction in any of analysis or news post from readers would be highly appreciated. As human beings are err and despite of our efforts to portray reality it is equally possible that the event or any incident bear any other perspective that we might have remained unaware.
We reterate our determination to unfoil every conspiracy against basic human rights, social injustice, nepotism, secterainism, generder biasness and voilation to administrative accountibility. VoH shall follow the principles of undounted journalism irrespective of any ideology, respecting communal harmony,diversity and pluralist thought keeping the our regional identity albiet acceding to other currents. Both public and private sector keep influnce on print and electric media in terms of advertisement. Despite of our limited financial means to operate or moderate this blog, being an independent, non-profit humanitarian mission, we shall continue to hit on corruption and other social evils. We respect human beings irrespective of their faith, origin, ideology and status for the end phenomenas leads to to disturb peace of mind both at individually and collectively. Despite of certain limitations we vow to do our role though nominal as compared to the rest for the larger benefit of poor class and world peace throughout our lives.
Moreover, VoH would strive to become an effective medium to applaud positive developments and voice over injustices that hurt common man in the country. We aspire to become a powerful voice of voiceless people any where in the country in general and he region in particularly. Moreover, we thought extensively over the suggestions by some of the readers to replace name Hunza, as few argued this name has confined its circle of readership. Yet, few others even from down cities disliked it saying being a popular place across the world, we should use the same domain. Thus, we would try to cover every event and incident according to our capacity in future. Furthermore, we shall also cooperate government to fight against social evils as a responsible media.
We, VoH team would like to say happy diwali to followers of Hindu, Eid-ul-Azha Mubarak to the Muslim and to other faiths if any as such celebrations were observed this year, including Happy New year in advance to all our readers, respectively. Once again we thank our readers for their suggestion and guidance both by emails and few comments for correction of both grammatical and lay out errors. Have a fantastic and thrilling year to come! Always welcoming your advice as valuable readers. Good Bye, Khuda Hafiz, Khuda yaar!
Justify Full
VoH Team

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Monitoring every regional historical development

Monitoring every regional historical  development
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Discerning social Change in Gilgit-Baltistan

Discerning social Change in Gilgit-Baltistan
Reflecting socio-economic, administrative and cultural impulses in regional periphery

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Mission Statement & Weekly VoH Publishing team


VoH
Voice of Voiceless

The blog aims to disseminate the accurate regional information without consideration of race, color, ethnicity, religion and ideology to the valuable readers across the globe. We promise to abide with the moral and professional ethics of citizen journalism through this medium of communication. The voiceless masses of this one of the most beautiful places on earth, situated in Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan experience hard times due to continuous natural and man made disasters which have left them at surviving stage. Shortly speaking, in a short span of time, Hunza valley has embraces a steady socio-economic and ecological development making it self an authentic book to read about or take a model for rest of far flung valleys bordering Chines Sinkiang province in the extreme north of the country. The haphazard material development in this comparatively small area has also served to create various socio-economic and ethical problems which ultimately served to shake the fabrics of very roots and foundations of culture and civility among dwellers. On geo-political front, analysts find a very little say of a common man in the major decisions related to regional socio-economic development, violation of meritocracy by mafias in political parties, pressure groups which safe guard their own interests, a unbridled bureaucracy, corrupt regimes that patronizing nepotism or favoritism and who wield powers in Gilgit, the main hub and capital of Gilgit-Baltistan. Rapid increase in expenditures ranging from general commodity price hikes to transportation has left no option or time for people to think on other issues.
The so called Economic-Recession, unequal distribution of wealth, concentration of opportunities towards certain beings, lack of social responsiveness and transparency in government sector and no check and balance on private sector has brought its ugly implication in terms of high unemployment, depression among the youngsters, anxiety and hatred towards system of governance.
We vow to bring fore the issues of common man at grass root level, strive to highlight irregularities in government sector and flaws in public policy and finance in a democratic way. We shall continue to give our opinion on issues of importance and determine to prove a viable platform to have a positive role for public welfare, inter-communal harmony, integrity and social justice.
Amid such a situation when even the survival of country is on stake and is defamed due to continual terrorist incidents throughout the our county, we may pray for a peaceful and prosperous future of the nation. May Lord save the peaceful Gilgit-Baltistan region from the evil designs of devils in human form.

The blog has been developed and upgrading by the efforts of the following dedicated volunteers.


Board of Editors
Editor: Shamsuddin Muhammad
Email:jaashams@gmail.com


Co-editor: Inam Karim
Email: inamkarim02@gmail.com


Reporting Team
Karachi: Sartaj Karim
Email: sartaj_compaq@hotmail.com



Hunza: Naeem Hamoon
Email: naeemhmn@hotmail.com


Gilgit: Aslam Shah

Email: hunzaishah@gmail.com


Islamabad: Ikramullah Baig
Email: hunza_havenonearth@yahoo.com

Voice of the voiceless!

The blog is a venture with exclusive news updates, unbiased analysis and opinion on historical, cultural, ecological, socio-economic, geopolitical and administrative issues and events occurring in country in general and the region particular. It would serve as a portfolio of credible information retained first hand from own and secondary reliable electronic and print media sources and aspire to become a powerful voice for a common man. We are committed to adhere with the professional ethics of citizen journalism, a new trend to shackle the chains of excessive curb over dissemination of reality either for any cause in the name of so-called sensor, with maximum possible accuracy and least deviation while delivering information to show the real side of picture of events so that our valuable readers will have an alternative portal to know what developments are going on various levels, particularly backward areas like that of Gilgit-Baltistan, Balochistan, Azad Jamu and Kahsmir, Tribal areas etc., across the country. One can easily discern a great social change in terms of attitudes, perceptions both in individual and society; values and reaction to the variables in daily life patterns among the dwellers of the comparatively backwards areas like Gilgit-Baltistan, a deprived region of its fundamental rights for more than six decades of its liberation from colonial yolk. In a quest to voice over issues of vital importance, keeping closer to circle of concern, Hunza, a name famous for its beauty and rich cultural heritage has been selected to represent as a case to further the cause and issues of the rest of the region. Virtually, the region especially Hunza-Nagar retained a rapid development with a short span of time after remaining isolated for centuries to out side world. The blog also aims focus largely to identify core areas from on bottom or grass root level to the top. Keeping due consideration of inter-religious harmony, tolerance, respecting pluralism, diversity, mutual respect, democracy, equal opportunity and other aspects of human rights and professional values of journalism, the blog will serve as a binding force and medium of voice of the voiceless people of the area with reference to Gilgit-Baltistan region.

The idea of creation of this blog came into my mind during a visit after spending few years of career at Karachi, capital of Southern province to the region. While traveling from south pole of the country to north, I experienced many new changes nearly in all aspects of life explicit in urban areas and implicit in rural belts: people have opted to modern technology, availed faster means of communication; task centered behavior, selfishness, following short-cuts, chase of wealth and more opportunities in their career and many more that made their lives much more easier but crazier than before. Nevertheless, the scene suddenly turned bit dim when I entered the region of Gilgit-Baltistan. I could not believe my eyes that this was the Gilgit I saw four years ago. Many things, except the faces were utterly unchanged formats primitive outlook. The Chinese bridge that linked Danyore and Gilgit and a main source of transportation was no more. Few people told me that few journalists have lost their lives in lethal road accident due to lack of arrangements on part of concerned authority to avoid the incident. Karakorum High Way (KKH), one of the highest truck able route and so-called eighth wonder in the world is under construction and many places portray nothing but a passage through a rough stony pasture. It took nearly twenty four hours from Rawalpindi to reach after an exhaustive journey to Hunza, my home town, compared to nineteen hours in past. The scenario seemed worse in Hunza, my home town which remained unchanged for last four years except a drastic decline in standard of living of more than fifty percent of the population. One may think that people have replaced muddy homes with cement ones but that are not the real yardstick of measurement of both mental and material development. Infrastructure, fixtures, telecommunication systems were largely depreciated to their estimated life coupled with inappropriate number of personnel required in educational, administrative and health institutions. The so-called economic meltdown that started from American giant Leman soon took the world into its tyrant claws, shaking many stable economies of the world including the rural areas of developing states- a big example of negligence and subjugation by the rulers of respective countries where people live not above the level of animals. Apart from the allegations on policy makers of industrialized nations having economic interest only, the poor, irrational, incompetent, self-centered and corrupt leadership in Pakistan like other third world countries where immature economies spends it larger portion of budget expenditure on defense could not resist the negative consequences of economic crisis in terms of high rate of unemployment, recession, right or down sizing, price hikes, violation of consumer rights and so on. Hunza-Nagar, like other parts of Gilgit-Baltistan was no exception. The smiling faces that greeted us once warmly few years ago turned unhappy for the crisis brought its ugly implication on the daily life pattern of an individual thus sucking down the unique attributes of population: courtesy, generosity and hospitality. Having a so-called high rate of literacy in the country unfortunately, the region is facing many problems ranging from health to drinking water and energy sector. To many, it was because of lack of geo-political awareness and excessive tendency towards NGO culture where people little bother to beg their rights from the states besides emphasis on duties. Historical chronicles vindicate that the region remained in isolation for many centuries due to a specific location and lack of access to out side world. Many dynasties ruled the area that hardly accepted change in a traditionally sophisticated feudal based society. The wheel of transition continued to move and finally the area got librated through a mutiny with the help of indigenous population from the clutches of Dogra subjugation. Later, the area was affiliated with Pakistan vide a secret treaty called Karachi Treatise as defacto part, unconditionally. Gilgit-Baltistan region got on real terms an impetus to grow from zero level with the visit of three icons of development: Aga Khan, President Ayub Khan and Z.A.Bhutto- a historic event of its nature with long standing implications on live of the people of the region.The area could hardly observed any impulse for more than half dozen years of affiliation with Pakistan when Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan (3rd) first time introduced Diamond Jubilee Schools network during mid fifties in the region. A real phase of development gain impetus when Shah Karim Alhusaini, Aga Khan (fourth) stepped in the region, a population with miserable conditions in 1960. He initiated many new projects in different aspect of life, strengthening the existing educational network under the umbrella of Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) for the betterment and uplift standard of living of masses lived under poverty line. Aga Khan Development Network in collaboration with donor agencies, with a view to bring social change from grass roots level, initiated rural support programme and other services for less-privileged societies in the region. In simple words, initial projects were stretched to new areas under AKDN umbrella ranging from self-entrepreneurship to planning and building services. These development programmes served a catalyst for a common man who, earlier was confine to a certain limit where facilities and perks were confined to a specific creed, definitely a big change in society led to process of decline of so-called nobility. By, 1974, Z.A.Bhutto, chief of Pakistan Peoples Party and his cabinet undertook a disintegrated country following the fall of Dhaka, albeit eliminating princely status of numerous states gave them democratic structures, initiated socio-economic, political and administrative reforms in civil services cadres under 1973 constitution of Pakistan. These reforms opened a path for further reforms in tribal and affiliated princely states, mostly in mountain regions. Elders assert, by 1976, when Bhutto abolished the princely status of the units and replaced the princely flag with that of the country declared region formally its de-fecto part. The new development allowed for the first time a limited right of franchise and representation in a parallel council governed from capital. He in collaboration with international donor agencies like UNICEF and World Food Programme helped ensure provision of basic necessities like food to indigenous population still in poor conditions. He gave word to poor and enables to build his destiny. The facility fell a prey of Zia-ul-Haq who abolished the programme to benefit his favorite breed. He altered such programmes to facilitate Mujahideen busy fighting Afghan war against Soviet invasion on behalf of American assistance. By, 1988, before the withdrawal of USSR, Zia regime played a dirty game: as an integral strategy to get parallel success, he supported a breed of militants to eliminate all those against his faith in Gilgit-Baltistan. Unfortunately, the indigenous people could not understand his nefarious designs under the veil of religion that had to sustain his regime using divide and rule tactic and nothing to do with public welfare fell a prey of communal discord. Thousands of innocent people were brutally killed without a reason from both sides and this in turn sowed the seeds of sectarianism thus introducing a Kalashnikov culture in this region. On country’s political front, frequent interventions of military in politics in the wake of undemocratic moves of leadership, double standard attitude of bureaucracy and excessive influence of establishment forces harmed political evolution during last sixty two years of country's history. A finest dictatorship is considered worse than a worse democracy for it largely overlook the opinion of masses. The undemocratic regimes since 1952 onwards in general and during dictators’ regimes left people with no option but to support immature, corrupt and unable leadership confined to their self interests coupled with narrow vision. On global front, with the withdrawal of USSR from Afghanistan, American administration started to shift its strategy of dependency and support for Pakistan especially that to check movement and expansion of communist philosophy, an anxiety among the then US policy planners. Political front once again passed through a new change in 1999 when military took over in October 1999. Numerous Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), both national and international rapport delivered remarkable work since 1990s to 2004 in many sectors like education, health, cultural preservation, design and building.

History repeated itself, but in a new form under different circumstances after cold war, when terrorists attacked twin towers of World Trade Centre, an icon of prestige and glory of America killing thousands of innocent people as a response to US policies inviting a fresh hostility between US and Islamist groups or in other words initiated an open conflict between two countering forces. To some, hidden forces worked behind the incident: Muslims thought it was a Judaist elements while to Europe and US a strike of Islamist elements; even the then Bush administration alleged Islamist groups behind this nefarious act to initiate an open armed struggle to defy its policies and interests. The September 11 incident served a cause to create sufferings for the Muslim communities residing in America and Europe. Being a sponsoring source of Jihadist elements, Pakistan was in real trouble as it was asked either ally the US or ready to go into stone age. Consequently, Pervez Musharraf took U-turn in state policy against billions of dollars as assistance. Once again, US dependency on Pakistan after Afghan war, in an endless war against an invisible enemy in terms of Osama started, leading farmer to think to gain control over natural resources in Afghanistan and Central Asian states. As a state, Pakistan endured many hardships, mostly from inside elements, Majority of our political leadership, for instance is largely nurtured under the aegis of military establishments and always ready to achieve their own interest lest it comes to compromise on national matters, evident from the successive overthrowing of representative regimes. They could not deliver any remarkable to uplift the standard of living of a common man except false promises. It was the Musharraf regime which can be given credit for many reasons: allowed a national government to complete its five year tenure, introduced local government systems for dicentralization of power though a move to by pass the then political and administrative forces like his predecessors military dictators to bolster one man show. Apart from few of blunders in terms of killing of Akbar Bugti, subjugation of judiciary, appointment of army on service and retired personnel in institutions offering higher education, other key positions in major public organiztions and using force as a decisive force instead of dialogue his regime can be recalled for many things during last eight years. He was the first who put hand on non-state actors, brought changes in status of deprived regions like Gilgit-Baltistan bringing reforms and took initiatives to improve education and health facilities. He gave us an International University, increased woman representation, empowered Northern Light Infantry, established N.A scouts and notified Hunza-Nagar district and many more. Yet, at the same time on mass level, despite many accomplishments, it failed to address the real issues of poor. Giant fishes got most and poor further got depressed as the regime greatly revolved around the interests of Chaurdhries and lords. December 2007, shall be remembered a black day when Benazir Bhutto, a female leader of international repute was assassinated at the same place where one of the most famous Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan as killed. Country fell into chaos and observed an extreme internal and internal threat to her existence second time after 1971. Good heaven, the situation soon normalized. With the dawn of democracy, based on Benazir Bhutto's sacrifice has brought a hope of change of image of the country in global economy. PPP led contemporary government has given a new Self Governance Reforms Package 2009 ahead of poles to empower the assembly to legislate on various subjects not allowed in past and choose their own Chief Minister unanimously with the consent of Prime Minister, the head of set up-a good initiative after Z.A Bhutto's compassions for the region. The package has opened a door for more autonomy resembles to that of Azad Kashmir. Though, there are many flaws in the package yet, it will serve to reduce feeling of deprivation among the masses.

There is another side of the picture that the poor performance in many of the departments in government sector during last two years has raised many questions in our mind regarding its capability to cope the challenges that the country faces internally and externally. Public welfare, security from internal and external aggressions and provision of basic necessities to the citizens is the fundamental responsibilities of modern states. Yet, more focus on external threats under security syndrome has left the country nothing but to expend on defense-thus neglecting other sectors like education, strategic personnel planning, health, trade and industry and exploitation of natural resources to strengthen our economy. As for as the private sector especially the NGOs are concerned, the are now confine to reporting to get funds, roam and measure the length of roads in their luxury vehicles. Now it depends on flow of events that will decide the future course of history.





Shamsuddin Muhammad,

Author and Editor,

VoH



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About Me

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Hyderabad,, IslamicRepublic of Pakistan, Pakistan
I am social person with a tendency towards learning knowledge that will balance the material world and the hereafter, a legacy obtained from the family. I earned my MA (General History with specialization in Modern History) and M.A.S (Master of Administrative siences with speciliazation in HRM) both from University of Karachi in 2005 and 2007 respectively, am fond of social work and public welfare. The blog focuses on social change caused by socio- economic and geo-political impulse in the country in general and the region particular.

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