PML(N) announces Rs. 100million for affectees, pledges to offer free education facility to orphans, Rs. 0.5 million for per deceased; relief in disasters a human obligation, citizens of GB as important as in rest provinces: Nawaz Sharif
VoH Report
HUNZA, May 25: (Shamsuddin Muhammad) People of the region especial in hurdles posed by natural disaster should not assumed themselves alone, they would find us as helping hand every where in the country. These views were expressed by Mian Nawaz Sharif, Chief Pakistan Muslim League (N) during his visit to view disaster relief operations and general situation created by landslide spawned lake at Attaabad area on January 04, 2010.

HUNZA, Altit: Pakistan Muslim League (N) Chief Nawaz Sharif is speaking to the public gathering during his visit to IDPs relief camp

Accompanied by Mian Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab, Raja Zafarul Haq, Mehdi Shah, Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan, Wazir Baig, Speaker Legislative Assembly Gilgit-Baltistan, Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan, former Chief Executive GBLC, Hafiz Hafeezurehman, President PMN(N) Gilgit-Baltistan chapter reached, Karimabad and then IDPs Camp Altit at 12:30 AM. Speaking to a large public gathering, after condolence to families who lost their loved ones in the calamity, here at Altit Inter Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp, on Monday he said that he feels about the sufferings of IDPs many of whom lost both their property and lives.

Answering charter of demands and expressing solidarity with the disaster hit population, Mr. Sharif announced 100 million rupee for the rehabilitation and 0.5 million for each died in the disaster at Attaabad and Sarat hamlet. Mr. Sharif said that though PPP led regional government was doing under available resources saying further efforts should be made to address the demands of affectees. " This grant as a financial support should not be assumed as an incentive to attract people politically rather it was their duty to help these people in the critical times," he added. Mr. Sharif further said that citizens of Gilgit-Baltistan were as important as the other parts or provinces of the country saying people of this area have always played vital role in country's strategic defense.

He pledged that orphan children, who lost their guardians in the catastrophe will be given free education facility where ever they would study. Speaking to the occasion earlier. Mian Shehbaz Sharif, Chief Minister Punjab ensured that Pujab government will take every possible step to help these deserved people. In the last, PML(N) leadership met IDPs at the camps to get acquaintance about the problems they were facing.

Mere 8.5 feet left to overflow, water level rose to 356 feet
VoH Report
HUNZA, Attaabad, May 25: There remains mere 8.5 feet distance of water surface with the spill way. This was stated by deputy commissioner Hunza-Nagar, Zafar Waqar Taj while talking to media persons, here at Karimabad On Monday. Briefing media he said that water level on Monday rose to about 2.5 feet on the same day saying in case of same entry of water it will take further four days. According to further updates by deputy commissioner office sources, Husani village is besieged by water due to rise in water level.The lake is continuously expanding and reached to twenty kilometers.

PM's visit disappoints affectees, sparks agitation; protesters stage a sit against apathy in rehabilitation and compensation process
VoH Report

HUNZA,Ganish, May 23: Hundreds of protesters in support of affectees staged a sit at Ganish valley intersection in response to prime minister Yusuf Raza Gilani's yesterdays visit to overview disaster reflief operations. According to the details affectees supported by hundreds of residents of Hunza gathered at Ganish junction to record protest following prime minister's meaningless visit to Hunza that proved mere a picnic saga.

HUNZA, Ganish: Protestors are hearing to speakers. Media Persons are also present at the moment. Photo by Shams

Prime Minister paid a visit to disaster site, relief camps at Altit and Karimabad and affected areas of Upper Hunza to observe the actual situation. During visit, Mr. Gilani, in contrast to expectations of the affectees for a special package relied on previous measures taken by local governments.

HUNZA, Ganish: Baba Jan, Chief Organizer, Progressive Youth Hunza-Nagar is addressing the public gathering

A faction of Attabad affectees staged a sit at blockade site while rest of the halve, comprising children and female participants staged a sit on junction main junction, suspending traffic for more than eight hours across Hunza. Public gathering turned into a formal procession with influx of people in the afternoon. Speakers among on the occasion were: Baba Jan, Chief Organizer, Progressive Youth Hunza Nagar, Ibrahim Hussain, Sardar Khan of Hunza Action Committee, and Niamat-ullah-Khan of Jamat-e-Islami.

HUNZA: Protestors stages a sit on the main Karakorum High Way, Ganish, Hunza intersection.
Talking to public, speakers criticized government for negligence and demanded of it not to play with the sentiments of people by delivering mere statements. Participants chanted slogans against government and authorities and slammed them for confining to Islamabad.

HUNZA; Protesters chanting slogans against government and FWO's incompetency and for misleading information.

Government officials and civil society members undertook dialogue with dissent affectees, gave a week deadline and brought to the protest point Ganish, Hunza Talking to media persons, Deputy commissioner Hunza-Nagar, Zafar Waqar Taj said that local government is doing its best to make the process of compensation transparent and efficient saying certain political elements trying to sabortage the peace of the region. Protesters dispersed on assurance of deputy commissioner to deliver compensation plan with in a week's deadline.
It is pertinent to mention that landslide-spawned Lake is rising continuously, leaving the gap between the Lake and the spillway about seventeen feet, a focus official told.

Army helicopters replaces boat with chopper service ahead of water release
VoH Report
HUNZA, Aliabad, May 23: Army helicopters continued its mission to shift commmuters and essentials after replacing boat service with chopper once again ahead of release of blockade water and as the gap between spill way and water level shirinks rapidly for last ten days.

Boat service has been suspended to reduce any mishap in case of outburst of lake since last two days. Similarly, none was allowed by officials to reach closed to water level as a preventive measure.
The choopers will continue its mission if the climate remain favorable till the definite time period, sources told voice of Hunza.

Fifteen feet remain for over flow; Western bank declared prohibited zone
VoH Report
HUNZA, Attaabad, May 23:With every passing day, increasing water level is submerging rest of land properties of Shiskat,Ayeenabad, Gulmit and Gulkin settlements, land slide spawned-lake is about to force water via spill way made in the middle of blockade area on site at Attaabad limits. According to reliable sources, only fifteen feet remained for overflow of water.

Seepage points have developed below the spill way where water is releasing at 0.23 cubic meters per second, on left margin with bit more quantity on the right side many points are about to allow seepage by erosion. On the other hand, Western bank of the lake was declared by authorities as prohibited zone, saturated with mud and ditches.

PM pays visit to Hunza, problems of IDPs to be addressed soon, says Gilani
VoH Report
HUNZA, Altit, May 22: Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani Prime Minister, Islamic Republic of Pakistan has siad that my presence among the affectees is evident of government's vigilance on challenges posed by blocked water at Attaabad village.

HUNZA: Prime Minister Yusuf Gilani is speaking to the affectees and general public. Governor doctor Shama Khalid, Mian Manzoor Watoo, minister Kashmir affairs, Chief minister Syed Mehdi Shah, Wazir Baig, Speaker GBLA. Photo by: Abid

He was accompanied by governor doctor Shama Khalid, Mian Manzoor Watoo, minister Kashmir affairs, Chief minister Syed Mehdi Shah, Wazir Baig, Speaker GBLA and other officials. Speaking to the affectees of Attaabad
and Sarat village, here at Altit,on Friday he said that current region came to power with the support of poor of the country and will continue its tenure. He praised the volunteerism of the local and their contribution to relief work. Appraising the role of NDMA and FWO, he said that these are more efficient organization in turbulence saying he has no words to give tribute to them for their dedication for more than three months. He said that land slide affectees will be compensated soon saying few differences in measurements have delayed the compensation process. " While those, who lost their properties in blocked water will be compensated after proper assessment," he added. He directed GB administration, to complete compensation process within a week.
Mr. Gilani did not make any new announcement except giving directives to implement the previous announcements soon. This made many disappointed who waited for any new additional announcement to facilitate affectees on both sides.

Aga Khan's visit still a rumour
VoH Report
HUNZA, May 21: The report , aired on various private television channels that His Highness Prince Karim, Shah Karim-al-Hussaini, Aga Khan is still not confirmed by communal authorities.

Image source:

According to Geo, a private TV channel, Aga Khan is expected to pay an official visit on 22 May is being rejected from the sources of the community. Yet the situation will be clear on the next day.

Watoo, CM overviews relief operations; urges local administeration to cooperate, ensures immediate rehibilitation
VoH Report
HUNZA, Altit, Aliabad, May 21: Minister Kashmir Affairs Mian Manzoor Watoo, Syed Mehdi Shah, Chief Minister GBLA, Speaker Wazir Baig GBLA, Zamarud Khan, Managing Director, Baitul Mall Pakistan and government official visited Altit and Karimabad disaster relief camp to overview the operations. Before returning to Gilgit, Mr.Watoo met commuters stranded at Aliabad and Gulmit on the first day of resuming of chopper service.

HUNZA: Chief Minister Mehdi Shah along with officials leaving Hunza after a detailed visit to affectees relief camps

Answering to questions of affectees of Shishkat at Heli pad, Aliabad Mr.Watoo said that current democratic government was fully aware with the problems of disaster hit people saying they would not be left alone in this critical situation. He said that on advice of national government, ministry of Kashmir affairs was also looking the situation carefully. On last day of his two days visit, he chatted commuters about their problems personally.

HUNZA, Aliabad: Zamarud Khan along with Wazir Baig after talking with affectees meeting with officials

Zamrud Khan, Managing director, Baitul Mall Pakistan also ensured affectees before departure to provide with them financial assistance in consultation with the Kashmir Affair ministry. Salman, a resident of Shishkat Upper Hunza asked national government via ministry of Kashmir affairs to provide children of affectees with scholarship for their studies and immediate compensation to all those who lost their property into blockade water. Mr. Watoo ensured them to provide all facilities announced by the government in past.

HUNZA, Aliabad: Mian Manzoor Watoo is talking to Salman, a resident of Shishkat village before departure. Photo by: Shams

Internally Displaced Persons to get every possible assistance; NHA and FWO made impossible task possible, situation is manuplated by national media: Manzoor Watoo
VoH Report
HUNZA, May 20: Mian Manzoor Watoo, Minister Kashmir Affairs has said that internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) of Attaabad and Sarat disaster would be given every possible assistance to reduce their sufferings.

HUNZA, Karimabad: Manzoor watoo is replying to a question of government owned TV channel on his return from disaster site. Photo by: Shams

Talking to media on return from the natural lake formed at Attaabad, he reiterated the government's stance that national, in collaboration with the regional governent was committed to give every possible relief to shun sufferings of affectees in either form. He was received by Wazir Baig, Speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, Muhammad Ali Akhtar, Finance Minister, Babar Yaqoob Fatah, Cheif secretary Gilgit-Baltistan, Deputy commissioner Waqar Taj and other government officials.He said that Frontier Works Organization(FWO) and National High Way Authority(NHA) has done a remarkable work saying both has made an impossible mission possible.Answering to a question of government owned television chanel and radio that what guidence would he like to give to media for creating a chaotic situation and insecurity in last few days,he said that government is vigilant and made proper arrangements to cope any challenge posed by water blockade. Replying to another question by VoH that what government has planned in case of outburst the main links of Hunza-Nagar region will be cut off from the rest due to destruction of bridges inflicted by flood he said that under the expert's opinion government machinery has tried its best to paw a spill way to breach in lake and there was no chance of sudden outburst of lake; and if case outburst, it will hardly release fifty percent water, and according to facts and figures, Terbela dam has lager capacity to absorb as many as five times more water blocked on Hunza river." People of the region are more responsible, courageous and responsive any odd," he added. Mr. Watoo, who was also expected to visit new relief camp at Girls Inter College, Karimabad and met the affectees of Salman abad could not visit due to time shortage.

HUNZA, Karimabad: Manzoor Watoo, Minister Kashmir affairs answering a question of VoH
What was really more strange during this visit by a government representative was activeness of many departments that used to remain dumb or have little output. The area of 3 kilometer was decorated with banners, explaining its so-called contribution majority of masses never observed. It is pertinent to mention, whether in public or private sector, visits of signatories bring bit improvement in infrastructure and services for a single day. At least this was not little for a nation into perplexities of multidimensional forces few from within and few from outside society.

CM on Hunza tour

VoH Report
HUNZA, May 20: Mehdi Shah, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly is reaching Hunza accompanied by Mian Manzoor Watoo, Minister Kashmir Affairs on Thirsday after noon to review situation, relief operations and meet internally Displaced Persons(IDPs) of Attaabad and Sarat village at temporary camps of Altit and Karimabad. He will also visit Upstream areas like Shishkat, Ayeenabad and Gulmit to overview relief by government to IDPs. The both will also overview replacement of boat service with helicopter service against expected rising danger.

Submerging links: Gulmit, Shishkat and Gulkin turns into peninsula
VoH Report
GULMIT, Shishkat, May 20: Due to rapid increase in water level in natural lake, Gulmit, Shishkat and Gulkin have turned into peninsulas. On the other hand, the sudden increase of water level boat service has been replaced with chopper service to facilitate commuters by National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) and Pakistan Army.

Upper Hunza, Gojal: Under construction bridge connecting Gulmit and Shishkat is about to sink in blockade water

On the other hand, Ayeenabad, the very first village affected is so far destroyed completely due to low level of settlement with the rapid rise in water level.

Manzoor Watoo reviews arrangements at Atabad lake
VoH Monitoring desk
GILGIT, May 19 (APP): Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, Mian Manzoor Watoo arrived here on a two day visit to monitor situation emerged at Atabad lake. Talking to media here, the minister said that the government is fully aware of the situation and adopting all measures to see the affairs there. He told that government is competent enough to deal with any situation at Hunza lake. Watoo said that there would be no dearth of food and POL as the government owes responsibility of providing these commodities to the residents of these areas. He said that prime minister has personally asked about spillway and appreciated the role of Pak Army and Chief of Army Staff for visiting the Atabad. He added that the government is fully aware of the hazards. The minister said that President and prime minister are closely monitoring the situation.In reply to a question, he said that National Highway Authority (NHA),Frontier Works Organization (FWO) and other agencies are planning as how to restore the communication in case Ataabad lake overflows. Associated Press of Pakistan

A new seepage point appeared
By: H.Dave
HUNZA, Attaabad, May 19: Part of the reason for the increase in seepage is the development of a new seepage point below the spillway. This is not unexpected, though the rate of seepage is increasing quite quickly at this point.

Photo by Focus
The seepage is probably allowing water to flow beneath the spillway, which will be reducing the resistance to erosion. Second, and more importantly, even though the water flow here is just 0.23 cubic metres per second, a substantial amount of scour and erosion has already been initiated. Readers will not need me to describe the implications of this in terms of the likely performance of the spillway when water flow commences.

NDMA freeboard information on Attaaabad
By: Daves
In the absence of any other information on the state of play at Attabad, I have plotted up the daily updates on freeboard from NDMA. The reliability of these is somewhat unclear as there are often contradictions between the indicated water level rise and the daily difference between freeboard measurements. There are also sometimes errors - e.g. the data for 19th May suggests that freeboard increased rather than declined overnight, but I have corrected that. So the graph for the last 19 days or so looks like this (the last data point is for 19th May at 18:00 local time):

Over the last four days the water level has risen at an average of 1.1 m per day, which means that the remaining freeboard should be lost in 3 or 4 days from 19th May, even allowing for the apparent slight reduction in rate in the last couple of days. On this basis, over topping might be expected tomorrow (22nd May) or on Saturday 23rd May, but happen earlier. Of course all of this is dependent upon the NDMA values being correct, but for the last two weeks the Focus and NDMA freeboard figures have effectively been the same. This does also mean that some of the media reported values of lake rise due to the GLOF earlier in the week were wildly incorrect. Courtesy: Daveslandslideblog

Fifteen main bridges under approaching danger
VoH Report
By: Shamsuddin Muhammad
HUNZA, May 18: With the rise in water level in the natural lake formed as a result of massive land slide on Hunza river, apprehensions mounted in last few days after national media started to cover issue following General Kiani's visit. According to FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance and Gilgit-Baltistan Works department, the water will release by end of this month via spill way. Gilgit-Baltistan region is by and large dependant on food supply from down: cities of Punjab to fulfill its population demand via Karakorum High Way (KKH) supported by bridges over main river that enters Rawal Dam, ultimately. scatered populated region of Gilgit Baltistan thus rely upon the qouta provided against registered population on subsidied prices and in case its suspension, there would be starvation for indigenous land is unsuitable for cultivation of cash crops, yeild production once a year and production or output was usually low.

HUNZA, Ganish: The second bridge apprehended to be hit by flood flesh in case of out burst of lake

HUNZA, Nasirabad: Third main vulnerable bridge between Lower Nagar and Nasir Abad and connects region with the rest was also declared in risk

NAGAR, Gooro: Another vital bridge declared vulnerable in case of release of huge among to water from lake on Hunza River

Rahimabad, Nomal bridge: The main engine for supply of foods and other goods from Gilgit

GILGIT: Work on under construction bridge connecting Gilgit city with Danyore, Sultanabad, Jalalabad via KIU halted ahead of water release.

Governor detest upon delay in construction of House
VoH Report
GILGIT, May 18: Governor Gilgit-Baltistan has shown detest for delaying tactics of contractor and lack of seriousness in construction of governor house.During her visit to site, governor, Dr.Shama Khalid expressed detest and dissatisfaction over delay, slow paced unorganized work by contractor who failed to meet deadline of completion so far. Deadline for completion of governor house was by mid of May but a large portion of building still under construction. On inquiry from contractor and Public Works Department, could not give any reasonable answer. She directed respective contractor and concerned department to complete construction work within two weeks.

Contingency plan made to address any challenge

VoH Report
GILGIT, May 18: Contingency plan to address any challenge in wake of approaching possible danger has been chalked out. According to an official, authorities have finalized a contingency plan in a high level meeting chaired by Syed Mehdi Shah, chief Minister, Gilgit-Baltistan to tackle situation in case the lake outburst with increasing pressure being exerted on its banks. He further said that authorities also ensured residents of down stream areas to take adequate disaster prevention measures besides providing with them accommodation and other needs immediately if eventuality occurs. Law enforcement agencies have been task and put under round-the-clock surveillance in order to keep things under control any avoid possible looting by miscreants. Rapid increase in population, construction of residential buildings on cultivating fields, lack of proper infrastructure and conventional methods of forming has further strengthened dependency on Islamabad.

Hundreds march against price hike, removal of Danyore bridge to create artificial wheat shortages, and silence of local administration; main markets remained closed, food, feul stock for the year and legal action against NDMA,NHA heads demanded
VoH Report
HUNZA, Aliabad, May 17: Hundreds of protesters marched against removal of Danyore bridge that connects Gilgit city with newly established Hunza-Nagar district, suspension of wheat supply, and silence of local administration against rising prices of commodities.
Speakers in their speeches criticized local administration for adopting double standards,criminal negligence and failure to heed to the ensure basic needs of population. They also demanded of government to ensure subsidized wheat supply according to the demand of the masses at least for the year. Shops and main markets remained closed and participants staged a sit on college road, suspending traffic for many hours.

HUNZA, Aliabad: Protesters staged a sit on College road against removal of main Danyore bridge

Protesters marched in a rally to Magistrate office and presented a resolution that reads:
  • To provide a quota Fuel, wheat, and other basic food fulfilling demand of people of at least a year
  • Public condemn removal of bridge that caused to create artificial food shortage that aimed to force people to starve
  • To reconstruct suspended bridge to ensure supply
  • To administer legal proceedings against General (retired) Farooq of NDMA and Chairman National Highway authority (NHA) for criminal negligence to issue that caused to submerge a large portion of land
  • To wave off loans borrowed by traders in milieu of worse commercial activities
  • To implement all announcements made by government to rehabilitate affectees and payment of equitable compensation.
  • And legal action to be taken against local administration for misleading information of having stock of fuel and food for six months while in real it is hardly suffice for mere a month
  • Compensation against expansion of Karakorum High way (KKH) be paid according to international rates

Posted by Shamsuddin Muhammad on Thursday


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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.