President, PM meet; discuss situation
VoH Watch dog
LAHORE, Jan. 18: (APP) Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Called on President Asif Ali Zardari at Governor House on Monday. The two leaders discussed the political situation, pace of progress on varous development schemes and the prevailation of law and order situation in the country.

Holbrook meets Zardari; drone attacks, screening of Pakistanis be stopped: President
Monitoring Report
LAHORE, Jan. 17: President Asif Ali Zardari emphasising the need of US to clear reservations, misunderstandings prevailing amongst the Pakistani people has emphasized that drone attacks and screening of Pakistanis at US airports should be stopped. US Special Representative on Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke met President Asif Ali Zardari on Friday here and exchanged views on bilateral relations, regional security, cooperation in war against terror and new US policy on Afghanistan.
According to official sources Holbrook told President that the purpose of his visit was to discuss various issues with the political, military leadership and civil society so that the misunderstanding and mistrust regarding US should be removed.
Sources told that President said that Pakistan values its relations with US and want promotion of
durable strategic partnership in all sectors. He said that in order to remove the mistrust and misunderstanding prevailing amongst the people of Pakistan the US should stop drone attacks and give drone technology to Pakistan so that our security forces could deal with terrorists in an effective way. He said that armed forces of Pakistan did an outstanding job in Swat and Malakand division to purge it from terrorists. Sources say that President again made it clear to US that it must make sure that screening of Pakistanis at US airports should be halted immediately as due to screening Pakistanis living in the US are facing enormous difficulties thus their dignity is at sheer stake.We don't want Aid but trade with foreign countries as it is need of Pakistan to develop and progress swiftly, he pointed.Sources further added that during the course of the meeting, President informed US Special representative on Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrook about Pakistan's reservations on new US policy on Afghanistan adding that negative impact must not be created with it. Daily post

PPP-PML-N rift may jeopardize democracy: Aitzaz
VoH Watch Dog

LAHORE, January 15:(Geo Tv) PPP leader Chaudhry Aitzaz Ahsan has said that although Pakistan Muslim League-N’s attitude does not appear to cause any threat to democratic set-up, but the way President Asif Ali Zardari got carried away during his address at Naudero, there could be something wrong. He was speaking to newsmen after attending a workshop at the Lahore High Court on the issue of ‘proposed accountability bill’ today (Friday). Ahsan said that only President Zardari could tell if any conspiracy was being hatched against the government. He was of the view that the opposition’s role should not be a cause of concern for the democracy. But if both sides created rift than it would jeopardize democracy.Addressing the participants of the workshop, he said that only opposition used to face the accountability in the past and nobody would bother about the government.

Pakistan collapse after Ponting double ton
VoH Monitor
HOBART, January 15:(Dawn News) Pakistan were left staring down the barrel on Friday after they ended the second day of the Hobart Test on 94/4 in reply to Australia’s first innings total of 519/8-declared.Peter Siddle struck twice in an over to reduce Pakistan to 63-2 after openers Imran Farhat and Salman Butt survived 22 overs in the face of Australia’s massive total. Farhat, a compulsive driver outside the off-stump went in familiar fashion when he edged a good length delivery to give wicketkeeper Brad Haddin his 100th Test dismissal behind the stumps. Siddle’s next victim was Khurram Manzoor who was previously discarded for the series but called back to replace Faisal Iqbal at number three. Manzoor went flashing after a short delivery to be caught at second slip by Ricky Ponting on the last delivery of the over.The visitors’ plight worsened when they lost captain Mohammad Yousuf and Umar Akmal to run-outs in the space of five overs and 10 runs. Yousuf, notorious for his running between the wickets, was looking for a third run when he was sent back by Butt only for Haddin to run the captain out well short of the crease. Butt was then involved in another run out when he sent Umar Akmal back from half-way down the pitch. Pakistan now trail the hosts by 425 runs and may well find themselves following-on after failing toutilize a batsmen-friendly track at Hobart. Earlier Australian captain Ricky Ponting capitalized on Pakistan’s poor performance in the field with his fifth double hundred while his deputy Michael Clarke cracked 166 in the pair’s 352-run partnership.

Drone strike targets Hakeemullah Mehsud in South Waziristan
VoH Monitoring desk

MIRANSHAH,Jan.15: A US drone targeted TTP chief Hakeemullah Mehsud in South Waziristan on Thursday, said government officials and tribal sources, with security agencies waiting for confirmation if Hakeemullah is among the 10 killed in the strike. Hakeemullah recently claimed responsibility for a suicide attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan’s Khost province.“What is confirmed is that Hakeemullah was targeted, but the strike took place in a remote area where communication lines are very poor; we don’t have confirmation yet if he is dead,” the officials told a mainstream national news paper.However, the AP news agency quoted intelligence officials as saying that Hakeemullah was not among the victims.
But the AFP news agency quoted a senior security official as saying, “We are
receiving reports about his death, but we are not 100 percent sure.” Sources close to the political administration said the drone fired four missiles at a house in Shaktoee – a village in South Waziristan close to the border with North Waziristan. AP put the death toll at 12, while AFP said 15 Taliban had been killed. The news agency also reported that there were two foreigners among the dead Taliban.Shaktoee has been targeted on several occasions in the past, and former TTP chief Baitullah Mehsud was also killed last year around the same area.

Hakeemullah Mehsud along with a supreme commander of TTP. Photo by Dawn

The US has stepped up drone attacks since a bomber blew himself up at the CIA base in Afghanistan’s Khost province, killing seven agents.“Shaktoee has been a stronghold of the Taliban, and TTP chief Hakeemullah Mehsud is believed to have been staying in the region after the military retook lost ground from the group during Operation Rah-e-Nijat,” tribal sources, Daily Times reports.

All but Shamsi airbase vacated by US: official
VoH Monitoring desk
ISLAMABAD, Jan.15: The United States has vacated all airbases in Pakistan — except the one in Balochistan —which its forces had been using since the beginning of the war in Afghanistan. “The Shamsi airbase in Balochistan is still being used by US forces,” an official told Dawn on Friday.

He said that the airbases near Jacobabad, Pasni and Dalbandin had been vacated by the Americans “a long time ago”. According to him, the Shamsi base, about 300kms southwest of Quetta, was being used for providing logistical support. But a report published in the Times of London in February 2009 said that the CIA was using the base to launch drones attacks on Al Qaeda and Taliban targets in Pakistan. The paper published a Google Earth image showing three US drones parked at the base as early as in 2006, and a statement by a US official that the base had been used to launch Predator strikes on targets in tribal areas of Pakistan. The US special forces used the airbase in 2001 during the invasion of Afghanistan, but in 2006 the government of Pakistan said that they had left and since then both Islamabad and Washington have been saying that the Americans were not using any base in Pakistan. Some defence analysts here are of the opinion that the US wants to continue to use the Shamsi airbase for a long time. They say that Pakistan should ask the US to vacate the strategically-located base, particularly after reports have emerged that it wants to expand the area of drone attacks into Balochistan. The reports, however, have been denied by the political and military leadership. Sources said the Shahbaz airbase near Jacobabad, about 480kms north of Karachi which was the last base vacated by US forces, preceded by the ones near Pasni and Dalbandin. Following the US decision to attack Afghanistan, hundreds of US soldiers were housed in hangars at the airbase. In early December 2001, Pakistan accepted a US request for a long-term presence at Jacobabad and permitted US Marines to renovate the base and build a concrete hangar for 50 large planes and air-conditioned barracks for troops, Dawn news reported.

Pakistan received $6.739bn from IMF since 2008: Tareen
VoH Monitor

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 15: Pakistan has received $6.379 billion in loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) so far, at an interest rate of four percent under the standby arrangement signed with it in November 2008, Finance Minister Shaukat Tareen informed the Senate on Tuesday. Responding to questions from members of the Upper House, he said under the agreement, the IMF has agreed to provide an amount of $7.6 million, which would be disbursed in seven installments over a period of 23 months. Economic Affairs Ministry informed the Senate through a written reply that from March 25, 2008 to November 30, 2009, the present government had received and disbursed foreign loans amounting to $6,695.9 million – out of which $756.9 million were grants.In a written reply, Ministry of Commerce and Trade informed the Upper House that Pakistan earned $3785.107 million through trade with the United States, $56.001 million in trade with Chile, and $1.552 million trading with Germany during fiscal year 2008-09. Also, the Ministry of Cabinet Division informed the Upper House that 11 federal secretaries had been re-employed since 2007. Daily Times

Posted by Shamsuddin Muhammad on Friday


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Monitoring every regional historical development

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Discerning social Change in Gilgit-Baltistan

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

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Mission Statement & Weekly VoH Publishing team

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.