By: Shamsuddin Muhammad
Voice of Hunza
Speaking to a press conference a couple of days ago in Islamabad, Major General Athar Abass, Director General Inter services Public Relations (ISPR) has said that ehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has started to recruit youngsters most boys to brain wash and convert ultimately into suicide bombers. Smillarly, reports in media vindicate the notion that extremists can exploit economic miseries of the poor poeple through clandestine planned financial support to suicide bombers and their families via funds from drugs within and in border regions of Afghanistan. Pakistan has a peculiar history since its creation on map of the world. In one of the famous songs of Shehzad Roy, he rightly reiterates that in childhood I headrd the country is passing through crucial times, when I become twenty one the same thing was repeated and now I am young and I am told that was told that country is in trouble. Why should we go in past profound details, lets take a look on common observation on collective level. It is an agreed percetpion that Pakistan was a resident supporter of Jihadist philosophy in South Asia for more than three decades as prime stretegy in foreign policy making process. It is a world reality, if some one nourish a nest of snakes in our house, it will be pity to wonder, though harly to our past policy makers, to hear if a snake gets enter underneath the door and bites our nighbers or friends. Generla Zia-ul-Haq, followed the same thing by Islamizing every institutional organograme, procedures and codes with the help of clergy not only on mass but even on state level. Financial assistance from America during 1980s and later by religious organizations of Saudia gave a life to these non state actors to flourish without a check. With the fall of Union Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) in 1991 onwards, some of these elements found their way to Kashmir, a heaven to protect such a jihadist strategy, while rest opted return Pakistan. During 1995 and 2001 everything changed dramatically both in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Taliban emerged as a rising power with the moral support from conservative forces across the Muslim world; persecuted hundreds of minorities and dimentled their worship places like that of Bhudhist community-thus patronized brutility and harmed communal patience on part of Taliban. In Pakistan, military toppled a democratic government to punish a silly act of an shortsighted leader vide a murder attempt in hijacking case of General (r) Musharraf's plane. Many top level personnel were detained on charges of abetement ranging from military establishment to civil administration. General (r) Musharraf got a best chance to consolidate influence of military through appointment as head of public intitutions and corporations to portray them incorupt souls. While according to doctor Ayesha, army is one of the most stable and influential institution that evolves corporate culture in every venture and has a good machanism to justify corruption through formal procedures. It is quite right that retired generals are considered among the most wealthy and financially well organized personnel having foreign accounts can not be possible with a mere remuneration coupled with some perks. Even the educational institutions were forced to accept appoinments of retired military generals who turned the institutions into contonments. On global front, the situation drastically changed after 9/11 episode when Taliban in Afghanistan refused to surrender so called entity Usama Bin Ladin to America. US and Pakistan relations came to drifting still when jihadist organiztions started support stance of Taliban in Afghanistan. President Bush, in frustration phoned Musharraf to assist US otherwise get ready to turn into stone age shortly. Musharraf being a dictator did not intend to consult in order to comply the demands of America against influx rain of dollars.
On domestic level, Musharraf and his supportive party got overwhelm victory in elections of 2002; the ruling party like a saturated ox remained ignorant of pubic miseries. Nevertheless, general Musharraf was one of the man who did many things which are remarkable for oppressed classes of our society namely empowerment of woman, consideration of minorities, socio-econmic and political reforms in areas like Gilgit-Baltistan. He, unlike his predicessors was able to bring a comprehensive Local government system to fulfill the article aimed at devolution of authority to grass root level 32 of Constitution of Pakistan which provides that state shall encourage local government institutions composed of elected representitives of the areas concerned and in such institutions special represention will be given to women, peasants and workers. In order to diminish dependancy on provincial levels, on British lines he introduced the system with two tiers: distric and union council with their respective council structure. The new system worked more than it was expected with upto standard results in urban areas like Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Faisalabad and some other cities. Yet, it served to benefit in urban area especially in the interior Sindh, Balochistan and Punjab where powerful sardars or feudal lords supported members of both tiers in elections with vested interest who bestowed them later instead of masses. Lack of check and blance system irregularities were observed and as a result the fate of local government seem in hot waters-thus endangered a beneficial system due to lack of well planned machanism on part of the previous government. State bank of Pakistan during its reports have been showing a continuous decline in purchasing power of consumers due to increase in inflaition unchecked. Similarly, Oil and Gas Regularity Authority (OGRA) was left free to fill their pockets that used to transfer burden burden of oil prices irrespect of international oil market's fluctuations that indirectly hit the poor class as it caused to increase the prices of general commodities of use. Advisors of government continued to utter the phrase " every thing going well in the country " and flattery of Musharrar that his is the best and most rationale of all in the country. The enlightened moderation confined to nacked marathon did nothing but to incrase furstration of masses deprived of the day's bread. Later when Pervez Musharraf sent the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Ch.Iftikhar home, in a reference against him with charges of misuse of authority,he invited a new trouble for him. The steady but powerful resistance and protest of layers through a well organized movement with support of civil society Ch. Iftikhar was reinstated. The game did not stop here, he again dismissed him with a charge for revenge in many cases with government as second party. The lawyers movement entred into a new phase that succeeded to reinforce rule of law with the reinstatement of Chief Justice of Pakistan in the reign of Pakistan Peoples Party followed by Chief Justice Dogar,forcebily.
It is pertinent to mention that after 9/11 incident the relations of Pakistan with nighbouring countries: Afghanistan, Iran, India, China and US dramatically altered. As for as relations with China is concerned is a complex matter on state level naunces. When read between the lines, it reveals a unique nomenclature of such tendencies. Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous region that borders with Gilgit-Baltistan is home to Uyghurs (pronounced as Weegars), a Muslim population which has been the source of occasional friction Pakistan and that of China for more than two decades. The recent insurgency and execution of the Muslim population has given impetus to Muslim nationalism in China-a red signal for Beijing.
In Pakistan, after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and later incidents in one of the highly security zones has left many questions on the ablitity and potential of armed forces to protect nation on borders. Armed forces of Pakistan is considered one of the most vigilent, active, strategic and professionally well trained force in the world. But the failure to stop terrorist attacks on civil popultion has turned the country into fear.
Rulling government has initiated a noble cause-to clean the country out of militancy through a well planned military operation. In response, the militants have attacked with a series of blasts that ruined Peshawar, capital of N.W.F.P. and creat choas in twin cities:Islamabad and Rawalpindi. In Peshawar city alone, the two successive incidents have claimed more than 150 lives and left hundreds criticially injured. Similarlly, the attack on one of the prestigious Islamic University has disclosed that those invovled in this sort of acts can be some elements working for enemy's agenda to destablize the country. In simple terms they can not be Muslims who are thirsty for blood of innocent people. The both nefarious acts shows a tactics of militants to pressurize government to roll back military operations in Waziristan by terrorizing people across the country.
A layer of another form of terrorist style has gripped the country in a new syndrom-that is target killings of innocent people. Alone in Qoueta, the capital of Balochistan three incidents of target killings have claimed precious lives including a provincial education minister and latter a University professor in yesterday evening. Tyranically, culprits find their way to escape from the science; that has created a sense of insecurity among the masses. On the other hand an alleged boy of kidnapping and murder of a child has been found dead in police custody. The murder of a human being with a hand of unprofessional police, that has no capacity to restraint or stop suicide but mastered in killing armless people. Our society is one which has lost its concious and does not affected by a murder or any kind of other voilence around us. Judiciary in the country is custodian of law and it is on court to prove the guilt of suspect. Nevertheless, brutal methods used by police against those detained has two main objectives: to creat fear among the masses from police not from law as they consider themselves above the law and secondly, to implement the so called philosophy of speedy justice by any means. Judiciary has restored with the restoration of Chief Justice and he idea of socalled freedom of judiciary has gone in the air like somke. Who can say that it is vigilant, effective and take action against injustices with the hand of government institution especially law and order inforcement agencies. We have taken this example to convey our message to make the police department on professional lines existing in civilized world. The judiciary should also bound the repective departments and agencies to respect human dignity as the killing of a single suspect using brutal methods will not ensure the end of crime.
Gen.Ashfaq Kiyani, Chief of Army Staff is an eminent professional who has abstain any step that may harm to about two years old democratic process through negotiations on US aid package and other security related issues.
There is a lack of coordination between different ministeries evident from the statements of our foreign minister who used to change his morning statement in the evening. Nevertheless, Mr. Qureshi is one of knowledgeable foriegn minister who can talk with the counterparts of the world community, on ratinale grounds where necessary, while talking on issues of national interest.
There is another side of the coin: our rulers can hardly think get out of their residence to visit public even using bullet proof vehicles but observe what happened two days ago in the country. Mrs. Hillary Clinton, US Secretary State visited various places, participated in public gatherings without informing them beforehand. She was in one city in the noon and reached to another in afternoon to pay tribute to police men sacrificed their lives during operation and suicide bombing during few years. She managed to meet many poeple and discussed many issues in three days which take more than two weeks for our high ups within and outside country. It gives us a lesson: if you are since and brave enough get socilize and people will prove your strenth in the days to come. Our rulers should ponder for a second that there are many lives in the hope of dawn of prosparity in the country with a hard rutine of life. This is really a critical time and implies unification among the masses. There is an immediate need to identify our enemies no others but exist within the society and who want to divide us on sectarian, regional, ehtnic and linguistic lines. These evil forces with neferous designs can only be defeated if abided to the values of our ancestors: communal patience, respect, acceptance of belief and cultural legacy, forebearance and foresight in daily life.

The Writer is a free lance researcher. He can be contacted

Posted by Shamsuddin Muhammad on Friday
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Discerning social Change in Gilgit-Baltistan
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Mission Statement & Weekly VoH Publishing team

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

Co-editor: Inam Karim

Reporting Team
Karachi: Sartaj Karim

Hunza: Naeem Hamoon

Gilgit: Aslam Shah


Islamabad: Ikramullah Baig

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,



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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.