Eddy Move
Voice of Hunza
Sep 24-30
Hunza, like other parts of Gilgit-Baltistan is now under inching transformation pellucid from the ongoing events occurring in course of time. Annals of history disclose that the people of this region started to know the outer world first time when Diamond Jublee Schools were established by Sir Sulan Muhammad Shah, Aga Khan (III) in early fifties in commemoration of his Diamond Jublee in relation to celebrate the seventy five years of Imamat in Ismaili faith. Later, dwellers of this isolated region for many centuries were driven by the traditional mindset with a closed proximity influenced by monarchical legacy entered in a new phase. Shah Karim Alhussaini, Aga Khan (IV) visited the region in 1960 to extend his philanthropic services for communities in general and Shia Imami Ismaili in particular dwelling on the hard lines of Silk Route along Indus river oxus. The resultant was that the indigenous population realized the worth of education in their lives gradually.
By 1974, people got political awareness when Z.A.Bhutto abrogated princely status of the region to bring political reforms under a new ordinance. Progressive forces welcomed the move but this all proved fruitless when the subsequent rullers like Gen.Zia-ul-Haq overturn a democratic rule; theorocratic government, sowing the seeds of sectrainism, nepotism-thus dilapidating the vary foundations of communal harmony. It was the first time when Pervez Musharraf, ex president managed to deliver some thing explicit establishing a new district comprising Hunza Nagar under Legal Frame work ordinance 2006. Interestingly, he has a credit for establishing and leaving many remarkable institutions behind him which were ought to be deliver by democratic governments during their tenure namely devolution of authority to grass route level vide Local Governments. The plan when we compare with that of Ayub Khan’s Basic Democracy and Zia-ul Haq’s Local Bodies scheme, we comprehend that General Pervez Musharraf’s plan promised substantial autonomy for elected local officials thus placing an elected official at the head of the district administration and development, thereby repealing around a century old beaurocratical structure left behind by white angels. Nevertheless the plan did not work well due to many flaws and inability of the concern authorities during implementation. It was desirable if the same was implemented but there existed constitutional barriers in the way: constitution of Pakistan provides no legal status for being an integral part of Pakistan. His ordinance to empower Hunza-Nagar district, challenging the stance of foreign office seems has sent to trash to keep it in status quo as since last decades.
NGOs and government institutions delivered many projects to develop rural population and to bring them to a sustainable level. Unfortunately, at this stage, the pace of development is either stopped or started to decline in the region since 2006 onwards. There are at least two factors behind such tendency. The first disappointing factor is that our top brass regional political leadership is ignorant, less educated and ineligible to address the issues of area on right platform. Secondly, the life changing pattern largely influenced social psyche to rely on NGOs instead of government institutions- the real stack holders of the masses. Similarly, the common perception infused by non democratic entities to stay away from politics have left people nothing but to support, follow the ineligible traditional leader ship to decide the destinies of their and coming generations. Seeing the lack of interest and accountability before people our political leaders have mastered deluding people with false promises at the time of election campaigns. One of the painful aspects in this dilemma is lack of vision of local leadership to take nation out of inertia; evict the traditional selfish elements and address issues of national interest. The nuances when scrutinized closely reveal that there are many things in common between the people of Hunza and Nagar except an efficient political leader ship for Hunza. The on going developmental work in government sector in Nagar sub division is a tangible evidence of higher level of political awareness among the masses that send a sincere leadership capable of ingratiating authorities.
Hunza has a distinction for being among the top most academically equipped youth; nevertheless, we should not fall a prey of superior complexity. We must try to learn from the experience of Nagar, our next home through supporting and sending young leadership to the assemblies of the state. This will in turn enable us to shift our dependency from NGOs to public institutions to materialize development plans exploiting
the skills to keep pace with the dynamic world.

Editor
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Streching public struggle
VOH
Sep 24-30
Finally, Hunza Action Committee has planned to extend its struggle to rest of the parts of the country like Sindh and Punjab province in order to record its voice against the deprivation of proportionate representation under recently approved self governance reform package for Gilgit-Baltistan. Tyrannically, it has had the division of political forces supporting individual manifestoes under dozens of different parties to pacify their ego has given an opportunity to regressive forces to divide them further, role over and deprive them of right of representation-contrary to the vary principles of democracy. It is also worthy to mention that the contemporary ruling party Pakistan People’s Party Hunza which has been enjoying public mandate since 1974 has so far failed to play its role to induce federal government to materialize the dream of inhabitants for additional representation. Rather federalist parties used to confine to applaud every move of federal authority even it least
support the interest of the indigenous people. The local leadership of ruling party should try to understand the crux of situation to retain its popularity among the masses by playing an effective role to get additional seat approved. It will be injustice to underestimate the successive efforts of nationalist forces under the HAC umbrella. Peaceful protest is always considered a basic human right of the people to inform civilized nations of global community about their suffering and misfortunes. In the last, we hope HAC through peaceful protest will able to get attention and favor of international community to bring round federal authority and further victimization of more than two million people in the name of packages that mere consolidate the interests of federations.
Editor
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Rising Unemployment
Voice of Hunza
Sep 17-23
Hunza, a strategically important part of Gilgit-Baltistan is facing severe rise of unemployment following so called economic melt down started from gaint Lehman of America and overwhelmed and shaken even more stable economies of the world with in a few months onward. The developing countries including Pakistan with little strengths to sustain further weaken with the surge; cut down funds for development sector and withdrew subsidies in different services for the masses. Hunza, an icon of inspiration for visitors experienced a boom in unemployment of educated youth, backed their home to serve communities and to see good days. It is going to become more serious to many sectors as the many sectors of indiginous economy has suffered by many factors. Tourism and trade, a second largest source of incom for the inhibitants has fallen a prey of both terrorism and following operations against militants in NWFP closed to Karakorum High Way (KKH), the only access to capital and mega cities from the region. In a country where red tap, nepotism and dishonest dealings in affairs hinder the way of common man except those acquaintance to higher officials get little chance to become their dreams true by getting a job relavent to the feild of their studies. Consequently, we find many funny and peculiar examples in the region on pattern of rest of the country-majority of people serve in the irrelavent feilds. A person with a qualification in religious or linguistics is appointed in administration while those having administrative qualification, knowledge and experience are forced to teach kids in schools rather to utilize his learnt skills. Interestingly, majority of the organization like that of rest of the country tend to hire candidates mastered in deluding and convincing others even odd to their interests to get organizational ends-financial gains. Despite a resident of the country for our identity card proves itself, the doors of government jobs are virtually except for those affiliated to certain school of thought and group. While those who are at helm of power in the region never ponder over the issue for they do not pertains to poor families.
According to the data available, Hunza is among the top most places with highest literacy rate and accademically saturated society is further growing rapidly with personnel of better qualified personnel. But their dreams turn vague to see curtailing career opportunities day by day. People are willing to work but they do not have jobs at all to do. In absence of work, people usually remains idle. A major cause of the phanomenon is lack of interest and planning on part of regional leadership who are always confine to render lip service.
We through this medium will demand the newly elected representitives in coming elections to propose a comprehensive programme to absorb infulx of qualified youth coming out of universities and colleges before it gets out of their hand.





Eidtor

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Second Editorial

Beating a dead horse
Voice of Hunza
Sep 17-23
The statement of Qamar Zaman Kaira, federal minister for information and newly elected unique governor that the government obsecurate the demand of additional seat for Hunza
has incited a rumor in public circles and terming it nothing but to beat a dead horse. Nationalists who have defied the rejection have warned to hold protest and railies followed by lang march and civil disobedience if the governenment fails to heed the demand of the people. Hunza is enjoying mere a single seat since liberation as compare to Nagar subdivision that has give two seat in the assembly. According to the view of nationalist forces the country has kept them in limbo with out any legal and constitutional obastacle in the way to empower Hunza. They have started to talk of complete autonomy to ensure their own indentity coupled with indiginous ledership and set up.
The federalist parties Pakistan Peoples party, the ruling party, PML(N) and (Q) for instance who cried of the reform package as a positive step towards self autonomy, though little clear in their stance now verbally hailed their stance in the struggle. Behind the scene, their exists two opion in the society in this regard. One who wants agitation against deprivation and not ready to pull back from their view claims that the disapproval is an evidence that government no more sincere to the people of the region. So they want to record their voice as a right in democracy. On the other hand there are people who claims that this is not only Hunza who lost the seat but also the other five regions simultaneously. And to declare an additional seat for Hunza means to announce rest of five seats for other areas too-really a hard decision for contemporary government. Secondly they assert that the struggle may endanger the unity of people leading to mutual resentment in the region. So they emphasize to bear with existing status rather agitation.
Thus the political arena may witness a change pattern in coming days to address this issue. Appart from the view of both sides, we will suggest the all making efforts in this regard should get consensus with a comprehensive plan to record voice for additional seat. Because it is the collective effort that may induce federal government to accept the legitimat of people in days to come other wise it will really like beating a dead horse.





Editor
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Consolidate Hunza
Voice of Hunza
Sep 10-16
The new self governance reform package approved by federal cabinet has stir a burning debate in terms of
change of status and aurthority with in the paramaters of self autonomy. Political analysts, constitutional experts and acknowlegable politicians have termed it as old wine in a new vesel. Generally, it seems the package is aimed at protecting the interests of federation rather more then two million indigenous people of the region. When scruntinized, it reveals many defects within. The actual authority will rest with the proposed governor and the Chariman-Prime Minister of Pakistan.More interesting thing is that the package has been prepared by a committee under Qamar Zaman Kaira, minister for KANA devision and an alien representitive imposed by central government not by the aboriges. The chairman of the package committee has been appinted as the governor to drive the poeple in his own manner to succeed the drama. The all powers rest with the President of Pakistan, not elected by the vote of Gilgit Baltistan; Prime Minister, Chairman of the Council, again not elected by the people of the region have now declared as approving authority in the package. The new Council would be headed by the prime minister of Pakistan, and an alien imposed governor is supposed to act as vice-chairman of the council and keep his eyes fixed to control the elected representatives of Gilgit Baltistan. This will in new political set up lead to turn council to a rubber stamp to gain its objectives. It is rare in the history of Pakistan that a serving He said it is for the very first time in history of Pakistan that a serving federal minister has been appointed as governor of a disputed region overlookihg the will of the two million people and the resolutions of United Nations.

The actual controversy starts with the authority line between proposed governor and Chief Minister; a new name
has been given to Chief Executive as Chief Minister without wested powers to form his own cabinet. The governor is subjected to form a cabinet albeit with advise of the chief minister. The elected legislative assembly would not be able to elect the chief minister. The legislation on porposed subjects will be subjected to the assent of both Prime Minister-Chairman and Vice Chairman-Minister KANA respectively. It is believed that in the presence of Chairman and an imported governor, the definition of self-rule is a futile effort and a tool to eyewash the world community. The other subjects to legislate on including internal and external security matters is beyond the authority of package. The tendency shows that certain federalist political partiles will be bestowed with in this Council and many others will be given personal benefits in return for mass exploitation. The elected people will have no constitutional protetion as is given to AJK through its interim constitution of 1974. The increment in number of judges of the Supreme Appellate Court from three to five without a High and Supreme Court will prove a fruitless effort. It has also learnt that the proposal to change the name of Northern areas was presented by any other party rather by the rulling party which takes credit for. The ruling party which claims for being champion of democracy should at least have to take into confidence the people of the region while preparing the self governance package. Interestingly, prime Minister Gilani claimed in his speech before the approval that major political parties including President of AJK and Kashmir's puppet leaders were taken on board except the local people of Gilgit Baltistan-the centre of discussion. The approved package is an alternative to annex and strengthen
its hold in order to justify its claim on region.
Now we come closer to our focus: the additional
representation to different areas in Gilgit-Baltistan including Hunza. According to reliable sources about six additional seats were proposed by committee for approval which has been refused in its last stage. A general assumption is that the population of Hunza is more peaceful, cooperative. and abstain from sever agitaion. Nevertheless, the continous events occuring from time to time reveals that rulers to test the patience of inhibitants. Hunza valley is a stretegically important region of Gilgit Baltistan stretched over ten thousand square kilometers with population exceeding eighty thousand approxmately. Its borders faces China in the East, Kashmir in the South-West, Gilgit in the West and Tajikistan in the North East. By 1947, at the time of liberation Hunza has been left with a single seat regradless of its population size. Interestingly, other areas within Gilgit district were given additional seat in pretex of increase in population through Legal frame work order 1994, 98 and 99 while the Hunza has been treated like a slave. But, it is also a trute that this nation has a remarkable historing both in bettle field, valour and academic pursuits. Authorities should understand the paradigm shifting drastically in terms of deprivation. We urge federal government to devise a committee to consider legitimate demand to deminish the increase in feeling of deprivation in terms of equitable representation compared to their population size on priority basis. This will not only lead to win the heart of the people but also strengthen the belief on democratic processes. The yesterday's demonstration is evident of such tendency in politically well aware youth. At the same time we would also like to urged nationalist, federalist and religous leadership to shun their differences and come forward to play their role to defend the cause of this region to create further sense of harmony with the other regions in Gilgit Baltistan.






Editor

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Though, better late than never

Voice of Hunza
Sep.03-Sep. 09
Finally the central government approved self governance reform package for its colonized territory-Gilgit Baltistan , though bit late yet, better to satisfy the pressing need of the people struggling for their constitutional rights. The package though not published completed yet, considered a land mark in the process of struggles for self autonomy and identity.Contemporary PPP led government with success in operation against extremism is on the way to its second remarkable accomplishments to satisfy the demands of people to consolidate co-existence. Despite the rumors that the new package will see a year more, the ruling party through a politically matured decision has showed its ability to keep the promises that it had made to the people of the region, a year before. Now the proposed structure of self-governance that is going to be implemented through a presidential ordinance will need more further autonomy will work under a governor appointed by central government; a chief minister and the advisers will be replaced by by a half dozen ministers to form the cabinet or elected parallel council in the assembly. The assembly will be composed of thirty members, twenty four to be elected directly and six on reserved seats for women and technocrats. The assembly will able to legislate on 55 subjects, plan and approve its budget while federal government will be responsible to provide the funds under article 55. A positive aspect in the process was that opposition parties did not come in the way to create any obstacle for federal government nor they try to cash the issue on political fronts.Gilgit-Baltistan has been a so called part of Azad Kashmir both on domestic and in international treaties like that in United Nations resolutions. Pakistan, due to its strategic importance has kept under close observation and direct administration through armed forces leaving little room for the consideration of constitutional and political rights to the region. It was Z.A.Bhutto, who absolve the people of the region from monarchical yolk-a tool to serve imperialist interests by draging nation to national political orbit partially. This is the second time that a democratic government is trying to satisfy the demand and acknowledging the right of self rule to an oppressed the people of the area for decades. As the package has been not published fully to go through, generally there exists some nuances: lack of the full autonomy available to that of Azad Kashmir and dependent on an alien governor appointed from the central government. Being unaware about the status of this region, constitution makers of Pakistan have not provided any clause and again here it is silent about right to the royalties on minerals, water and tourism to the region. More than six decades, the region has been kept in constitutional fix led to rise nationalism to raise voice against the deprivation. The situation became more complex when Kashmiri leadership claimed the area as its integral part and challenged any external force to administer it separately. But in the ground realities tells some thing else. The area was liberated through a successful mutiny with the help of masses with the power of mutual trust, faith, brotherhood, cooperation and discipline.
The course of history reveals an interesting hint: liberty was behind a nation about sixty two years ago is now they are behind liberty and autonomy -really an interesting journey to many of us. During this exhaustive period, rulers of the country kept the people of the region in fool paradise either in the amaze of a constitutional package or developmental reform to serve their own interests. This is the result that majority of the masses turned to be more nationalists and unhappy to the status qou and suffered immensely to get their fundamental rights. At the same time many leaders both from political and religious parties made it a part of lucrative business ventures and have become very rich while the ordinary masses suffered and made secrifices. Those who are in this business want to keep it working as a tool to boost their influence, powerand to gain material gains. Amidst such a situation if any one points out at those parasites who are hunger for fame and money and breeds on public support and votes to consider public miseries is perceived their enemy.
The package, we hope will reduce the feeling of deprivation of the masses in this backward region. Yet a question arises in our mind: what benefit will a common man? A general notion is that the package will serve the interest of upper and upper middle class, though very few in the region. On real grounds every one knows that our leaders used to betray masses, fly first class and do not resembles to the masses. In many cases certain people would think that their leaders have a right to fly in helicopters, enjoy the perks, drive expensive vehicles provided by their occupiers but we think that it is also their due obligation or right to those all who votes them and make them to enter into assemblies. There is a Shina saying that mean people used to forget God when they get wealth. It is painful that the condition of Gilgit Baltistan in services structure resembles to rest of the country-corruption, nepotism, red tap-ism and personal bias is on rise and prevails the rule of might is right. The greater is the access to a high authorities greater is the reward of your deeds. With the implementation of the new reform package, we hope that both nationalist, religious and federalist forces will initiate a more organized struggle with a proper vision and consensus on an agenda for complete autonomy or at least like that of Azad Kashmir set up govern by the local representation if federal government use tactics to take us aside to representation in parliament. These forces which has been working hard but scattered and individually could not achieve any remarkable out come to their struggles. There is a pressing need to struggle collectively for the cause lest divided we may fall.







Editor

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Essence of Ramadan

VOICE OF HUNZA
Aug 26-Sep02
Islam is one of the world's major religions, and is the final link in the Judder-Christian-Islamic tradition of monotheism. Among its two major religious celebrations Ramadan is one given the top priority for many reasons: the revelation of Holy Quran and a chance for human beings to absolve themselves from wrong doing by taking fasts throughout the month. The general perspective of the practice of fasting is that it helps one to feel compassion for those who are less fortunate and under privileged and to feel greater appreciation for what they have as a result of feeling hunger and thirst; induces one to build a sense of self-control and willpower, learn to control their natural urges, beneficial in dealing with temptations and lust for wealth. It helps to guard against human urges like hunger and thirst that enables him resist temptations, other harmful substances and attitudes It offers a time to an individual to purify his body and soul by developing a greater sense of humility, spirituality, compassion, brotherhood and community. The faithful is subjected to abstain from food, drink, and sexual intercourse between sunrise and sunset.It also gives a message to feel and respect rights of others. Besides other evil deeds profit making, black marketing, theft, gambling etc are prohibited in Islam. Nevertheless, practically it has reduced to a fashion- we have now confine to keep our selves hungry at least to show others. One of the many virtues, the holy month inculcates in us is patience or Sabr. The world bears an indepth meaning coupled with enormous potential to build an ideal character.It is a better way to get out of adverse circumstances when you have to opt towards anti social activities or attitude by keeping aside such tendencies and getting firm for a good end. The meaning of Sabr is different for different people and in different circumstances and practiced differently to meet the different ends. Every one is in pursuit of pleasure; traders and shopkeepers are involved in hoarding and black marketing to get maximum profit with this month that allows to increase his sales; officials spend fewer time roaming around their office to delay process till the end of the month to facilitate back channel benefits and transporters charge according to their own. There are many examples which can not be quoted here in few lines. According to the media reports hoarding and skyrocketing prices of daily use commodities coupled with the inefficiency of the local administration has made life a hell for the people in Gilgit Baltistan. Essential commodities of daily life ranging from flour, sugar, vegetable, meat, fruit, other food items and now petroleum products have gone up manifold with the advent of Ramadan yet, arrangements of the local administration to check the overcharging seems sibilant out. The prices of sugar and cooking oils have been jumped by 4 percent at the eve of the month due to lack of proper check coupled with self increase of prices in other commodities as well.
We through this medium urge the concern authorities especially the Northern Areas Legislative Assembly representatives to develop a cell that would file daily reports to the DCOs, to maintain a check on the supply, demand and pricing of sugar and ensure the better quality of flour, sugar, rice, meat and other edibles but would also keep watch on implementation of the price control list of essential commodities to be issued by the DCOs. Deputy commissioner and assistant commissioners should have powers to raid and arrest offenders, but under the present local government system DDOs and ADOs had executive powers as well as armed with
criminal powers to initiate a measure to ensure price check from this Ramadan to save a common man from additional burden caused by price hikes accross the region.






Editor


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Second Editorial
Simply hypocracy with a mysterious pacakage
Federal government still not heeding legitimate demands of Gilgit Baltisan

Voice of Hunza
Aug 26-Sep 02
Unjust distribution of wealth causes frustration and chaos in the society, adding the exploitation of the resources has reached its peak in the provinces. Distribution of National Finance Commission awards should be based on the multi-factor formula:poverty, backwardness, cost of per capita development(Latin, By the heads or polls. A term used in the Descent and Distribution of the estate of one who dies without a will) and environment.According to media reports since last two weeks federating units have still not reached to a consensus agenda. According to the media sources the all provinces including Punjab have finally agreed on multicriterian NFC award. There has been concerns of other provinces against the population based distribution of national income.The problem of dividing the revenue is not new. It started with the creation of Pakistan.The first financial award was given in December 1947 by Sir Jeremy Raisman which was used on the same lines after many years like in 1951. Since then there have been seven financial awards but the composition of the divisible pool has not yet been determined to the satisfaction of all the provinces.
The central government has had anxious to keep the pool restricted to the minimum possible items of earnings with strong will of foreign aid, project assistance, loans or privatization proceeds to come into the divisible pool of earnings. The center has thus become the sole custodian of all the official earnings and the provinces have been reduced to the position of supplicants for grants to carry on their development programmes. There seems no consensus has yet been evolved among the four provinces about the award of National Finance Commission despite numerous meetings and all statements of government functionaries so far hinting towards an agreement were false. Allocations of divisible pool were made as per the old award in the budget last year. The population based formula is also ineffectiveness due to drastic change in population in provinces, AJK, FANA and FATA. The figures in during the last twenty years in four provinces have been drastically changed and there are no prospects of a fresh population census this year. Therefore the Commission is in a fix as the population based formula is no longer logical. As the central government, which controls all the revenues of the country so Punjab being the biggest share holder is ally of the central government in this matter. Now we come to the situation of of FANA. Gilgit-Baltistan has been kept in status qou and excluded from the national orbit. People of the region have been made either in the name of packages or special funds for the developmental projects. Interestingly, the country that claims the area for being its integral part has been given very little share as compare to the requirements of the inhabitants. Their efforts for their due rights have been proved as wild goose chase. Federal government should devise a new formula to fulfill the aspirations and demands of the people of the region too.





Editor
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Reduction in Quota has increased public sufferings

Voice Of Hunza
Aug 19-25
Hunza, like other valleys is an icon of inspiration for visitors, a beautiful town on an altitude of about 2,440 meter or 8,000 feet and a part of Gilgit district . Gilgit-Baltistan itself is a backward and scattered populated vast region in the North of country. The area is under the direct administrative control of federal government since the formal affiliation with Pakistan. The people of this area are straightforward, brave, sincere, committed and ready to sacrifice everything in order to honor the commitment and agreement though only few knew about it, to which they have been a party since the last six decades. The very few people of the country know about the sufferings of the inhabitants as the region is an unconstitutional part of the state. Every government has made hollow promises to fool the masses in the name of constitutional package or development reforms and the general structure of governance reminds us that of British colonial system in India subcontinent for region has been kept in status qou to facilitate the control of state. Even in twenty first century, the region has still no representation in national assembly or parliament and people have no say in policy formulation that formats their destiny. Tyrannically, the constitution of Pakistan is silent about the status of the region and fate of people affiliated in past. Being the guardian of the region, it is a duty of the government to ensure basic human needs to more than two million population without which a civilized society can not ever think of. The disputed status of territory has created many obstacles for the people of the region to record their voice on both domestic and global platforms. On domestic level situation is complex due to unconstitutional status that denies the access of the people to the Supreme Court, the highest court against their miseries. While on global level, situation becomes further profound due to presence of multiple claimants on the region in the nutshell. A question raise in our minds: is this not an injustice that Supreme Court of Pakistan, which is independent now to an extent, do not take attention towards this particular case which may leads towards identity crisis in future? The people of Gilgit Baltistan are peace loving people without selfish and territorial ambitions and the affiliation with both federal and provincial governments are based on amity, respect and mutual cooperation. It is really disappointing that the federal government has taken a harsh step by reducing petroleum quota by twenty percent for the region. The move will strengthen the perception of majority of the population for being oppressed and deprived of their due rights to live in today's world. The contemporary government through such measures shows least copassion to public sufferings and consideration of public welfare by diminishing the quotas in all sectors: education, health and development projects. The direction of the government policy seems almost in reverse to that of its founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who initiated such a pattern of policy considering the welfare of common man that became popular with the urban masses and rural poor across the country. The impact of reduction in petroleum quota can be seen in terms of long queues of both vehicles and public on petrol pumps for last more than six days. Interestingly, there is no voice coming even from a single federalist or nationalist political party against the such a move to serve and protect public interest.
The ruling party which has almost stepped into the shoe of former autocratic government by adopting the same lines to bestow
the capitalists, landlords and oppress the lower class and making hollow promises in order to get public mandate. On the other hand nationalist parties finds other issues to address except the of a common man because they have their own axe to grind. The existence of dozens of federalist, nationalist and religious parties are evident of the entity of their distinct manifest and objective. Though, they’re working hard but without a unanimous vision. The role of our political intelligentsia and leadership can be better understood in terms of their reaction in current scenario. Every person here wants to be the sole leader and busy to deliver lectures about the philosophy of the game of politics and democracy and fruits of independence. It is a matter of fact that the people of the Gilgit Baltistan have been kept deprived of their due rights and propagated that the people of the region themselves are willing and delight to stay with Pakistan. This But the gound realities are telling something else for it was suited for the past generations but now the awareness has been increased due to high literacy rate, the people can no longer be made fool either in the name of constitutional package or development reforms. The people of the region who were already deprived of other necessities are left to face a new trouble-shortage of fuel both for their house hold and transportation needs because of reduction in quota of petroleum products.
We should not blink to the fact that the measure federal government has taken has really increased the public miseries. As, there is a
plethora of problems difficult to address at a single time ranging from health, education and transportation sector. Hospitals do exist but without proper staff and medicines. It has been learnt that Ministry of Health provides medicines on quarterly basis which are hardly sufficient for a month; that leads patients to buy from medical store, even on high rates. The inabilitry of local representation to address the public issues on proper forum and constant negligence of government. is causing people to feel depression and uncertainty of their future prosperity. They may now start to think either to have an efficient, autonomous status like a province or an independent set up resembles to that of Azad Kashmir; which ensures supremacy of law, social justice, equitable and proper mass representation, employment opportunities and after all ensure individual basic needs.
Amidst such a situation where personal income and purchasing power of money has depreciated since last ten years, the bread earners of a house hold has left no options but -to think only about his family needs and survival. At this stage, the authorities must ponder for a moment that what should be its priorities as public welfare while devising such policy measures. And through this forum we demand the federal government to take its new measure by declaring it null and void in order to prove its claim for being a democratic government to reduce public miseries. This will in tern help government to win hearts and gain support of the oppressed people of this region.







Editor



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Democracy- the only option before the nation
Voice of Hunza
Aug 12-18
Pakistan came into existence as a fulfillment of the dream to create a separate state for Muslims under the unwavering leadership of Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the companions of the movement in South Asia. Six decades later that dream, though largely tarnished persists. In his speech, M.Ali Jinnah, the founder of the nation state said that every person in this country is free to practice according to his belief and thoughts. He further said that you may belong to any religion or caste or creed, that has nothing to do with the business of the State. We are starting with this fundamental principle that we are all citizens and equal citizens of one State.We should keep that in front of us as our ideal and you will find that in due course Hindus would cease to be Hindus and Muslims would cease to be Muslims, not in the religious sense, because that is the personal faith of each individual, but in the political sense as citizens of the State. In one of his speech before the constituent assembly he said that where in the principles of democracy. freedom, equality, tolerance and social Justice as enunciated by Islam shall be observed. Yet, what has been happening for last forty years is against the morals of democracy. We have lost patience in all aspects: religiously, ideologically and morally and least positive in our attitudes against criticism though a productive one. Muhammad Ali Jinnah was an idea leader for the masses of newly born state who presented his will to govern the country on secularist lines as his speech three days before the independence before the consequent assembly. His was well aware that the phenomenon of religious basis of Pakistan can be misused in future by fundamentalist lobby. Historically, there are many reasons which may the have led the nation towards such a pattern. The country's record as an independent nation state is any thing but happy. The litany of failure include: the inability to compose a constitution until next nine years after the independence; the abrogation of the constitutions twice within twenty years; three wars with India with no result; the inability to form stable democratic institutions and halt military to overthrow national governments, eradicate corruption from public institutions; inability of national institutions to deliver services; the failure either to sustain economic development or to effect meaningful redistribution of wealth to impoverished masses; the separation of majority populated province; the inability to silence regional and sectarian disputes and lastly inability to to develop and sustain a clear concept of direction to Pakistan's nationalism. The independence resulted in mass exodus of refugees unparalleled in human history and inherited dozens of problems before to resolve. The country was unfortunate in losing its two of the most able statesmen soon after partition: Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the motive force behind the Pakistan movement and its first governor general died in 1948, barely a year after the independence. Liaqat Ali Khan, M.A.Jinnah's most able lieutenant was assassinated three years later in October 16, 1951. No subsequent leader was able to command the unchallenged support of masses since its formation. Ideologically, society in our country is divided into two factions: fundamentalists and modernists. Members of the former favour the imposition of Islamic fourteen hundred years old laws in various spheres of life. In contrast, modernists bolster a more restrictive view of scope of the Islamic laws and opposed the expansion and influence of Islamic practices in both the state and the life of a common man; they favour development along the secularist lines of the West.
Th
e Historical records determines as one of the senior teacher in my University studies during his lecture disclosed that democracy of any kind is new to this country. A thousand years of Muslim monarchical rule shape our political background. The Turko-Afghan and Mughals invaded from North-West and conquered the India. British later came to India by sea who were guided by a single set of values and code of conduct in dealing with the rest of the world. In practicing democracy at home, they indulged in imperialism abroad with all their talks about their burden and leading the rest of the world forwarded by their political institutions. Frankly speaking, they did not train us in the true meaning and working of democracy, its advantages and pitfalls. When Pakistan gained Independence, it could not passed through the gradual stages of political and socio economic evolution of trail and error and rep appraisal after which suited the need s and genius of people. As democracy refers to the government by, of and for the people and for a democracy to flourish, an enlightened, educated and politically alert electorate is absolutely necessary. On economic fronts, Pakistan has one of the lowest per-capita income in the world. Miserable standards of living and gross inequality in the distribution of national income are the apparent characteristics of the country. Interestingly, our economy is based on agriculture but food shortage is on rise in many areas. People due to low literacy rate use the obsolete methods of agriculture leads to yield low out put of their efforts neccessitated imports to fill food-grain demand. The ordinary man is caught in the vicious circle of ignorance. More than fifty eight percent of population is rural, communications are poor except few where multinational tele communicartion companies arrived and many regions like that of Gilgit-Baltistan is still out of national orbit and looking toward federal government for constitutional rights. On political fronts the situation is more unsatisfactory. It possesses majority of politicians who have no public spirit, disinterested services, lack of nationwide vision necessary for the effective working of democracy. Here most politicians are power hungry demagogues who exploit on religious, provincial and parochial lines to people and change their sympathies overnight. Bureaucracy and military establishment is not behind in this race and have overthrew many national governments on lame excuses. A healthy and free press is indispensable and considered as a guardian of democracy. The hope for a sober and constructive opposition lies in the new generation of politicians which will gradually replace the old ones. In fact, press on the whole is irresponsible. Except few media channels and resources mostly shows terror and footages of chaos and unrest to create suspense on one hand and glamour on the other. There are few channels who seems addressing the problems of a common man. It's a function of the media to lay the truth before the public to analyze situations objectively and help citizens with better understanding . Religion, that has an integral part of national politics seems to exert profound influence on an individuals life. According to the Islamic principles of statecraft religion can not be separated from politics. Consequently, it creates confusion a lot. Theologians and religious leaders have gained political power through this source. The country's intelligentsia and theologians are generally at logger heads with each others. Corruption which usually forms a nuisance, here it has become a menace. The disease of corruption is fast spreading in all branches of society and a corrupt society can not be democratic at all. As Pakistan is gradually lifting out of the economic abyss, with the increase in education that cause greater political consciousness is steadily on rise,; there is a hope that it will sustain a democracy in the decades ahead. After all, it must be understood that democracy used to enter first in our hearts and minds in terms of patience towards others' opinion and thought, before the parliamentary houses or even the constitution. It has to be cultivated as an attitude, formed as a habit and acquired as a way of life before it can be practiced.
In the last, I and the blog team want to say a delicious happy Independence day, at least to share the happiness with those who have been recognized by state as a full fledged citizens except us. And imagined a vague dream of this state as was imagined by the Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a country that will bring communal harmony among its citizens,provide constitutional rights to this land of no-constitution and after all equitable distribution of wealth among the masses.







Editor




Second Editorial

Deficient Drinking water
Voice of Hunza
Aug 12-18
John Keats once said that a thing of beauty is joy for ever. And nature is one of the those things that is an invaluable source of joy. Yet, living in this beautiful place were used to come across many socio-economic, environmental, cultural and political problems. One of them is deficiency of drinking water in many localities of Hunza proper. Many areas of Aliabad,Hyderabad and Karimabad are facing drinking water shortage. Many areas get tap water from self made tanks which is up to the standard and purified. Localities such as Shapison, Sinakhand, boys college area in Aliabad; Shahabad, Chumarkhand, Sheraz and Centre in Hyderabad; Astana muhallah, Gharabaras and college area in Karimabad face drinking water deficiency frequently. There are few sources of spring water yet confined to certain areas closed to them. Different bodies (selected) manage to provide water facility: Town management committee in Karimabad, Town management council in Hyderabad and Town management authority in Aliabad. There is a need to improve the service through public cooperation and sincerity. Water is the life and without it there is no sense of life. It is a responsibility of government to provide basic needs of its citizens. Unfortunately, we are inhabitants of a region which is striving for its identity since last six decades. The persistent and acute shortage of drinking water in addition to load shedding in the localities of Altit, Karimabd, Haiderabad, Dorkhand, Aliabad , Ganish and Garelt in Hunza proper have made the lives of thousands of residents all the more miserable. In order to fulfill the demands of indigenous people Such a project for water purification plants is successfully delivering their services under the supervision of Northern Areas Power and Works department in many localities of Hunza but, we think those are insufficient to fulfill the current demand of the people. It has been observed that such purified water is being used for commercial purposes i.e at Karimabad Zero point processing plant.
We would request the authorities to ensure provision of facility to deserved community in the region. The authorities used to turn a deaf ear toward public protest. We through
this medium would request government to allocate funds in this regard and ensure proper provision through a comprehensive mechanism of distribution according to need basis.







Editor


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Let the Evil be niped in the Bud

Voice of Hunza
Aug.04-Aug. 11
Fortunately, the military operation Rah-e-Rast and Rah-e-Najat against the non state actors is gaining success in tribal areas of N.W.F.P. Many military officials and soldiers have laid their life in this noble cause for which there are no words in the appreciation. This was a necessary step that the democratic government taken in order to improve or soften the image of our country in global community against a faction who wants to impose their own brand of Islam in the country. Now, the biggest challenge before government is to ensure a proper machanism of rehabilitation of affecties of the that region to bring in life. Figures shows that eighty percent of the trouble areas have been cleared by Pakistan army and militants are forced to give in at many places considered as their strong holds. The some of few last incidents shows that militants are trying to shift the concentration of government from the operation in order to reduce pressure by redefining their targets with in the country. One of the its example is recent threat from Al-Qaeda leadership to various Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) working to uplift standard of living of the people in general and eradication of gender bias in particular. The role of NGOs can hardly be denied in context of development occurred in the region which played their due role through different projects either individual or Private-public partnership basis. Among them most effective organization in this respect has been Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) which has delivered many developmental projects to the poor masses of Gilgit Baltistan.
Gilgit Baltistan has suffered many carnages which starts with the Zia's sponsored Islamization compaign that caused to create discord among different communities and sowed the seeds of sectarianism across the region. Consequently, the peaceful environment has fallen a prey of religious extremism apparent slightly in last incidents in Gilgit and outskirts. The local administration has taken effective measures immediately by to check the moment of the miscreants to catch them read handed by deploying rangers at different points; Law and order organizations have also advised to keep constant watch to avoid any mishap. The people of Gilgit Baltistan hate religious extremism which they had shown many times. They know that certain non state actors are the tools of foreign hands who work for the outside elements and are envious of the region and its people. The main engine of regional economy: tourism and trade with china are on stake due to deter law and order situation and ongoing operation against militants and expansion work on Karakorum High Way. The relevant government travel and tourism authority should device a comprehensive plan for an extensive publicity of the unique culture and of beautiful valies of Gilgit Baltistan. both on indigenous and global platforms. Further more it is also necessary to indicate the remote location of Gilgit Baltistan away form that of N.W.F.P. The name of Gilgit Baltistan has been mistakenly considered as the a part of frontier province both with in and out side country which has had a negative impact on the flow of tourists in the area.
We are the dwellers of this country and it is our moral duty to open our eyes to check the moment of the miscreants who want to harm our social, cultural and cultural harmony in the name of religion.


Second Editorial

Excess fare charges -a major issue
Voice of Hunza
Aug04-Aug11
Hunza has gained a rapid development in various aspects in the last four decades. The historical evidences show that it was in state of Isolation till 1970s when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, a political icon of national politics who introduced reforms first time and given the new status by abolishing the monarchy and feudalism. We have modern means of communication ranging from telecommunication to new branded vehicles running on the roads. Yet, on grounds there are many problems in health, transportation, energy and employment sector that people are facing currently. Among them one of the most pressing issue is that of local transport facility. Due to lack of a proper regularity authority, here prevails law of forest and fare charges have been fluctuated up to fifty percent in last two years. It can not be an excuse of price hikes in petroleum products. Take an example of the excess fare charged for travel. Aliabad is the commercial hub of Hunza region and private transport is available to different villages. There is a world of difference in the context the fares are being charged. The distance between and Karimabad is about two and half kilometers and fare charged for travel via a light vehicle are Rs. 15. The distance between Momin abad, a village about two kilometers away from Aliabad are charged Rs.10. Similarly, the distance between Garelt village and Aliabad is about one kilometer is charged Rs. 10 comparatively a large amount and the distance from Ali Abad to Hyderabd village is about one and half kilometer and fare charged via light vehicle (Suzuki) is twenty rupee again a world of difference as compared to the distance covered by. The situation resembles to the other villages from the said place. While taxi drivers are free to charge according to their own. The situation of fare charges to Gilgit city are no exception. Every one is taking the knock now-a-days and it is really difficult to keep one's balance due to high cost of living in the region. This is creating frustration among the masses as their is no platform to raise it and having no say in such issues.
We would request the local administration to establish such an authority to check and regularize transport fares to reduce the burden of economic crisis which will be an obligation to the indigenous people.






Editor

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Immediate need to tackle power crisis

Voice of Hunza
July 28-August 04

Hunza is home of different ethnic entities, and its dwellers have always bolstered all development that strengthen national interest. Being known for a peaceful population, they have never created any obstacles in the way of development in either form. Nevertheless, due to the decreasing performance of public and representative institutions they have been irritated to come out into streets. Especially due to ineffective performance of the elected power department, the Indigenous people have no options left but to raise their voice against their miseries. Despite claims of a democratic government, it was actually better in the Musharraf era and it is a shame that people of this region are still living deprived of electricity--a basic necessity of human beings in the wentieth century. The twenty-first century has brought about a technological revolution across the world, and technology requires power which is scant here except to keep equipments for display. The performance of the Northern Areas Legislative Assembly has been under sever criticism due to the ineffective role they have played during their last term. Especially, Chief Executive Ghazanfar Ali Khan who was elected from this region has come under fire for his disappointing performance during his tenure. He was hardly able to complete the few development projects across the region due to lack of funds reserved for Hunza. In fact the last project entitled Beautification of the Karimabad with in his own continuency has been criticised from various circles (i.e a strong criticise from Town Management Committee Karimabad for low quality street lights and lack of proper installation process without survey) ; and their stance seems much rationale when one has to visit to westward of Karimabad after 9.00 P.M; the whole area from Gharabaris to the Haiderabad Nalah sink into darkness. The situation becomes even more vulnerable for pedestrians to pass by in an emergency due to lack of proper lighting. Even the residents of Shanokushal--a locality in west ward--is deprived of this facility and there is hardly one to ask from the concerned institution. Hunza is a place where transportation is scan. That is why the majority of people have to walk by foot, so such a comprehensive project will be a gift to the dwellers if properly executed after a comprehensive survey. A few years ago, Hunza had electricity on daily basis, but now it has reduced to a day after two days on turn to different vicinities. Add to that the fact that electricity is not available most of the day due to load shedding, and you have a hot-blooded temperament where people quickly become agitated. There have already been riots throughout major cities in Pakistan, and much property has been damaged not to mention the loss of human lives in the form of Punjab protesters. Major markets and shopping centers in Lahore remained closed on last Wednesday in response to a strike call. And according to private TV channels the situation is the same in Karachi, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad ,Multan and Peshawar.
As a member of this region it can be expected that there are power shortages across the country, and Hunza can not be an exception. But there are some reservations of the inhabitants that need to be addressed on a priority basis and that is to ensure a proper mechanism of power supply using available fund for the purpose. Therefore, the concerned authorities should take the matter seriously on realistic grounds. Further more after discussing with the experts in the field, it can be suggested that government can either initiate a project in collaboration with the Chinese power authority at a feasible point on Hunza river to address the long run demand of population. This will not only reduce time consumption but also enhance the capacity of power generation. Secondly , as a second option we can suggest the installation of solar panels. These solar panels, though costly during installation and definitely an initial investment, have proven to be a cost effective alternative to reduce power crises in the region. We hope that the concern power generation authorities will take remedial steps to resolve the issue before it becomes worse. Lastly, we would suggest that newly elected representatives in upcoming elections treat all dwellers whether they fall in their favor or opponents living with in their continuencies equally to eliminate the feeling of injustice among the dwellers of other localities within the Hunza division.






Editor

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Government Must address Public Welfare

VOICE OF HUNZA
July 20-July 27

There is a sign of impulse in socio-economic condition of the area due to new measures that Federal Government has taken to lessen its import deficit by introduction of a new tax titled Carbon Tax on Petroleum products as a part of directions of International Monetary Fund (IMF) to fulfill the criterion against its recent package for development projects. While, the Supreme Court of Pakistan has played a vital role giving its verdict to postpone its decision to provide subsidy till December 2009 to facility poor tiers of the population, a really applause able decision from the Honorable court. Due to so called economic crisis that has not only affected developing countries but also developed countries. Tyrannically, in such a situation instead of reducing its extra ordinary expenditures, government seems ready to further impose new taxes on masses. The funds for development projects have drastically ceased down in pretax of economic burden.This definitely will drastically affect people with low income who are already deprived of their civil rights, proper shelter or housing facilities and food security. Since the country has been continuously observing various problems on many fronts especially fierce rapid budget deficit, imbalance of payments, high unemployment incursion, price hikes, worsening law and order situation and lack of social justice. Amidst such a turmoiled Socio-Economic and political scenario where economies of developing countries are shrinking down and uncertainty prevails throughout the country and even its survival is on stake, a need for a close study of events may not be underestimated. Due to the globalization, we are living in the information age. Where information about all phenomenas are largely available and lies under ones finger prints. Of course now it is
difficult to block the flow of information at any level but to disseminate clearly. The blog, we expect to serve as a source of credible facts and figures occurring in real world.





Editor

3 comments

  1. kako jee YAM
    i have no words to explain and apperciate your work.. fantastic job.
    i hope you will do more for our sweet home land.

     
  2. amjad ali Says:
  3. nice job...!!

     
  4. jalal Says:
  5. Great job! Appreciating your lovely work guy. Carry on.
    Good luck

     

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Discerning social Change in Gilgit-Baltistan

Discerning social Change in Gilgit-Baltistan
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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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