IMF assesses financing for flood-hit Pakistan
Monitoring Report
WASHINGTON, Aug 24 (APP): The International Monetary Fund meeting with Pakistani government officials here to evaluate the economic impact of still unfolding flooding disaster and to discuss ways in which the Fund can help in recovery, officials said here Tuesday.Masood Ahmed, Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, described the flooding devastation that has left millions homeless as a human catastrophe that is still evolving.He said in an interview that the economic costs would be very significant and added the Fund would be looking at as to how it can provide financial support during the crisis including the possibility of providing financing through an emergency instrument for natural disasters.
Discussions this week with Pakistani officials will examine implications for the budget and longer term growth targets and how the IMF can help Pakistan as part of an ongoing $11 billion loan program. The program began in late 2008 and loan installments are subject to a review by the IMF of Pakistan’s economic policies and performance, including the government’s budget deficit and making public finances more sustainable. The Fund will also discuss with Pakistani officials the need for emergency assistance. Pakistani Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh is due to attend talks with the IMF on August 25. Asked in an interview if the Fund expects to provide emergency financing to Pakistan, Ahmed replied:“We will be looking at how we, the IMF, can provide financial support during this difficult period. We already have a program in place and we also have the possibility of providing financing through an emergency instrument for natural disasters, and we’ll be discussing both of those with the visiting delegation.”
The unprecedented monsoon flooding, now almost one-month old, is having a major impact on the economy of Pakistan, he stated.

New wave of flood on way to Gandakha in Balochistan, 15 villages submerged
VoH Monioring Desk

By: Baqir Ali
BALOCHISTAN, August 23: Devastations due to the flood continues along the length and breadth of the country. New wave of flood inundates the Gandakha area of Balochistan. Approximately, 60 feet of sand was swept away by the flood into the sea at Aqillo Bank. High level of flood is reported in Kotri barrage.
According to the details, 15 villages were deluged due to the breach in the safety bank at Shikarpur in district Rajanpur. People are trying to seal the breach on their own. Houses have been razed down. The flood tide, meandering through different courses is falling into River Chenab near Sher Sultan. Fatal diseases have reached epidemic levels in affected areas. Flood pressure is mounting on the embankments in Shahdadkot. The flood tide is reaching Khot Chakiyani. Due to the flash flood in Aqilo bank, 60 feet of mud washed away into the sea.
DCO Qamber Yaseen has issued warning to the residence of Shahdadkot and asked them to evacuate the city. In Thatta, flood pressure has escalated at the banks of Menarki Bank, Surjani, Sondayaliyan. The flood tide is swiftly reaching its final destination in Arabian Sea. The land route of Jacobabad still remained cut-off on the tenth day. The embankments on Sindh River and Daudhor Bridge at Nawabshah have been under pressure since three days. Water level is swelling in Manchar Jheel. After the flood in Gandakha, water level is menacingly rising in Derullah Yar and Jan Jamali. Rescue operation is going on in Gandakha to bring people to safety patches. The affectees are being shifted to Magsi Jheel and other areas. The floodwater could not be drawn out from Derullah on the tenth day. Source: Daily Messenger, Pakistan

UN official attacks international response to Pakistan floods crisis
Monitoring desk
ISLAMABAD, Aug.21: A senior United Nations official has criticised the "quite xtraordinary" lack of international support for Pakistan in its struggle to deal with devastating floods. Louis-George Arsenault, the director of emergency services for Unicef, said the flooding was the biggest humanitarian crisis in decades.
"One of the major challenges that we have, which is quite extraordinary, is the lack of level of support from the international community," he was quoted as saying by the Guardian."Right now, our level of needs in terms of funding is huge compared to what we've been receiving - even though this is the largest, by far, humanitarian crisis we've seen in decades." His comments came as the International Monetary Fund prepared to meet Pakistani officials in Washington to hold talks about measures to stave off an economic crisis in the aftermath of the devastation.
The UK Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), the umbrella organisation for aid agencies, will also renew its appeal for help, which has already prompted £24m in donations. Tens of thousands of people are trying to flee the latest flood surge in southern Pakistan, three weeks after huge monsoon rainfall hit the country. About 1,600 people are thought to have died and an estimated 20 million have been affected by the disaster. The World Health Organisation has warned that diseases are spreading, with hundreds of hospitals and clinics damaged or destroyed, The Nation reported.

UNOCHA reports 15.4 mln affected, around 1600 dead
Monitoring Desk
ISLAMABAD, Aug 22 (APP): United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has quoted the official affected figure at 15.4 million with 1600, according to its recent update.“The Government continues to report 15.4 million people as having been directly affected by the floods. The latest death toll stands at 1,497, with 2,054 people confirmed as injured and just under one million houses are reported as damaged or destroyed,” the update mentioned.A range of assessments to establish the degree to which affected populations are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance are ongoing, including WFP-led Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) assessments in Sindh province.
As the present update covers period till August 20, next update of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is expected for August 23.“Multi-Cluster Rapid Needs Assessment Mechanism” (MCRAM) teams will move into the field early next week to carry out assessments based on an expanded questionnaire. Initial MCRAM assessments were completed in four districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Evacuations have been reported from low-lying areas of Hyderabad as the second wave of flooding moves towards the south of the province. Large parts of Jacobabad district in upper Sindh are still underwater. The Meteorological Department reports that flood levels at Kotri barrage are “high” and rising, and has warned that high tides may exacerbate the effects of the floodwaters as they move towards the Arabian Sea.
Satellite imagery shows floodwaters from the Indus reaching into Balochistan province, where the number of people in need of assistance continues to grow. UNHCR has reported that provincial government has established and is managing five camps in the province, in Quetta, Sibi, Dera Murad Jamali, Dhader and Noutal. The majority of the flood-affected population in Balochistan is reported to have been displaced from neighbouring Sindh.
In Punjab, floodwaters in Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh and D.G. Khan districts - amongst the worst-affected in the province - are now reported to be receding.The update further stated that level of funding has improved and 55% of requirements set out in the Pakistan Initial Floods Emergency Response Plan (PIFERP) are now covered - but with the emergency continuing to unfold in Sindh and Balochistan, significantly more donor support is needed.The OCHA is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where the response has been quicker to
scale up, gaps are still significant. As agreed with the provincial authorities, the humanitarian community is focusing its efforts on the 8 most severely affected districts; Nowsherra and Charsadda, D.I. Khan, Tank, Swat, Upper Dir, Shangla and Kohistan. Road access continues to be a challenge in the province.
Improved information on the impact of floods in Gilgit-Baltistan is now being received but accessing the region is still only possible by air due to damaged roads. There continues to be a need to significantly scale up the response across all affected areas, and in particular in Punjab and Sindh.
Though funding levels are now improving in key sectors, the continuing threat of flooding in many areas and the manner in which affected populations are spread across a vast area persist as major operational challenges. More than 160,000 km are reported to be affected by the floods and most clusters will need to revise initial planning figures upwards as the emergency continues to unfold, the update stated.

Aid begins to flow to flood-ravaged Pakistan By: Emmanuel Duparcq, Agence France-Presse
VoH News Watch
SLAMABAD, August 20:Foreign aid began flowing Wednesday to the 20 million victims of Pakistan's catastrophic floods, but many remained without food or shelter as Islamabad responded slowly to their needs. Weather forecasts signaled some respite was due with monsoon systems weakening after three weeks of torrential rains brought devastating floods that left at least 1,400 people dead in the country's worst natural disaster.
The floods have wiped out villages, farmland and infrastructure and OCHA, the UN's aid coordination body, said Wednesday that more than 650,000 homeless families remained without basic shelter. The United Nations last week launched an immediate appeal for 460 million dollars, and said Wednesday that funding had reached 54.5 percent of this target, though that included pledges that were yet to turn into cash.
Zamir Akram, Pakistan's ambassador to the UN in Geneva, said the country had received more immediate multilateral relief aid through the UN and direct bilateral aid totalling about 301 million dollars (235 million euros). World Bank has also agreed to lend Islamabad 900 million dollars, warning that the disaster's impact on the economy was expected to be "huge" and take years to put right. Nations ranging from Afghanistan and Turkey to the United States and Saudi Arabia have pledged millions in cash and relief as the UN warned more money was needed to stave off a "second wave of death" from disease and food shortages.
Britain, which is emerging from a diplomatic row with Pakistan, branded the aid effort "lamentable" and charities said Pakistan was suffering from an "image deficit" partly because of perceived links to terror.The European Union announced Wednesday that it would provide an additional 30 million euros (39 million dollars) in emergency relief assistance to Pakistan, bringing its total aid to 70 million euros. The nuclear-armed country is on the frontline of the US-led fight against Al-Qaeda, where the military is locked in battle with Taliban in the northwest on the border with Afghanistan.
Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has also warned that the disaster could play into the hands of insurgents-Abs-Cbn News

Pakistan seeks greater international support
Zardari tells UN chief flood challenge is too huge for any govt or party to undertake on its own
VoH News Watch

ISLAMABAD, August 16:
President Asif Ali Zardari on Sunday called upon the entire world to support millions of people affected by floods in Pakistan, asking them to listen to the voice of the UN for more support to the country. While thanking Ban Ki-moon for his visit to Pakistan, President Asif Ali Zardari said the UN secretary general would be the spokesman for the people of the Pakistan to mobilise international support.“We are passing through testing times, but we will get our people out of this difficult situation,” he said. Defending the government’s response to the flood disaster, Zardari said the military, navy, police and all other public institutions were out to rescue and provide relief to the flood victims. “The media must understand the magnitude of the disaster,” he suggested. Zardari said that the challenge was too huge for any government or party to undertake on its own and added that it could be faced only with the rigorous efforts of the people of Pakistan, the Pakistani community living abroad and the support and assistance of the international community and donor agencies. The president informed the UN secretary general that the government was vigorously working for an early completion of damage and need assessment, so that all available resources could be mobilised in a more efficient manner to undertake reconstruction and rehabilitation. Ban expressed grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives and destruction of infrastructure and property in the floods. He said that UN would stand by the government and people of Pakistan in these critical times. Ban pledged continued support and assistance of the UN for the humanitarian relief and rehabilitation of the flood victims. “In the past I have visited scenes of many natural disasters around the world, but nothing like this. Approximately 20 million people have been affected and thousands of towns and villages have simply been washed away. This has been a heart-wrenching day for me and for my delegation”, he said. Ban pledged to speed up international aid for as many as 20 million people hit by the floods, warning that the “heart-wrenching” disaster was far from over. Courtesy: Daily Times, Agencies

Boy becomes Pak Army soldier for a day

Monitoring Report

KARACHI, August 16: Fifteen-year-old Abdul Basit made history when he became a Pakistan Army soldier for a day on the occasion of the 63rd Independence Day on Saturday. The blood cancer patient had expressed his desire to Chief of the Army Staff General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, an Inter Services Public Relations release said. Kayani allowed the boy to become a soldier for a day and spend time in a unit on the Independence Day. Basit put on the uniform and reported to a unit of the Punjab Regiment at Malir Cantt where he was warmly welcomed. After a day’s work with officers and other soldiers of his unit, Basit said his dream to join the army had come true and he cherished every minute spent with the men. app

News round up
Heavy rain fall,floods inflict heavy loss of lives and properties
VoH Monitoring
PUNJAB, Khyber Pakhtoon Khaw, Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, AJK: Hundreds of villagers, towns and cities have been beadly affected following a contineul heavy rain fall across Pakistan. According to media sources, following news round up was reported initially.

1.Devastation in Punjab
Water has inundated major portions of Mianwali. Currently, about 800,000 cusecs of water is passing through the area causing flooding in several districts. More than 60 villages have been affected by torrential rain and floods in Dera Ghazi Khan and link bridges have collapsed. 600,000 cusecs of water has passed through Layyah whereas water continues to rise in the area, forcing hundreds of families to move.River Indus is in full flood and the army has dynamited four dykes along the Jinnah Hydropower Project to protect it from the force of the water. Flood water is passing through Taunsa as army teams evacuate people to safer locations.

2. Nature unleashes fury in Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa
At least 408 people have been killed so far in three days of flash floods and landslides unleashed by torrential monsoon rains in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa alone, with a nationwide tally topping the 500-mark.
“The lives of around 50,000 people in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa are at risk,” says Provincial Disaster Management Authority director-general Shakeel Qadir Khan, adding that there is an urgent need for at least 45,000 tents.
Authorities warn that the death toll could rise further. “Many areas are inaccessible and we don’t know how many have died there,” an official said. All development projects in the province have been ordered to be halted by the government until the emergency situation persists. More than 30kms of the Silk Route have been washed away. Most of the hospitals were non-functional and the injured in most cases had nowhere to go to seek treatment. In owshera, for example, 25 people were found stranded on top of a submerged hospital.
Peshawar city too has been submerged, with water entering the city from all sides. At least 23 people have been confirmed dead in the provincial capital. On the outskirts of the city, 2500 shanty houses were destroyed. In Kohat, at least 19 people died and 8 received serious injuries.
Despite the precarious condition, the provincial government has instructed security personnel to remain present at sensitive locations and carry out their duties as there was still a threat of terrorism in the province. The government has appealed to the international community for help. The government says around 17 helicopters are in the area undertaking relief activities. An American embassy spokesperson said it had provided seven helicopters to the government, of which five are operating in Swat and two in Nowshera. According to K-P information minister, 150 people are missing, and that floods washed away 200 km of main roads and link roads. “At least 600,000 people have been affected and the number was likely to go up as water levels continue to rise in rivers in Peshawar, Nowshera and Charsada,” the minister said.
Swat, Shangla and Peshawar were cut off from the rest of country as roads and highways were submerged in water, he said.

3. Sitution in Sindh
The “super flood” warning from the upcountry has created fear and anxiety among the people living in Katcha areas of Sindh. Government officials speak of the possibility of water breaching the protective bunds. Following the threat district administrations have been put on high alert. They have been directed to relocate people from the Katcha areas to the camps
set up in schools and dispensaries. According to the warning, 9 lakh cusec of water may hit Sindh on August 3 near Guddu.
Chief Engineer Sukkur Barrage Mohammed Haroon Memon said they had given a 48-hour ultimatum on Thursday to people living over there to evacuate the places. “We are now going to send vehicles to take the people to relief camps,” he said.
Dr. Qamar-uz-Zaman Chaudhry warned that the monsoon was still not over and next 10 days might be critical.

4. Balochistan
The monsoon in Balochistan has killed 25 people over the past few days, senior officer of the disaster management authority Ataullah Khan told AFP in Quetta on Friday. Flash floods have affected eight districts, he said, adding that around 275,000 people have been affected and more than 15,000 houses have been destroyed.
Around 1,000 villages are inundated in Naseerabad district, rendering over 25,000 families homeless. The entire communication system has been disrupted, and the whole population left marooned in unprecedented floods in Sibi and Kachhi plains. The people lost their entire belongings, including food stock and household articles.
Commissioner Sher Khan Bazai told the media that standing crops on over 100,000 acres in a single district had been destroyed.

At least 11 people died on Friday, three of them girls, in various parts of Gilgit-Baltistan as torrential rains continue to wreck havoc in Gilgit-Baltistan, senior government officials said. Four bridges have also been swept away by the rising flood in various parts of the region, isolating them from the rest of the region.

6. AJK
In Azad Jammu and Kashmir, another 33 people were killed and more than 55 injured Thursday as dozens of houses collapsed due to heavy rains, said AJK Prime Minister Sardar Atique Ahmed. The army said it had sent boats to rescue stranded people and army engineers were attempting to open roads and divert the waters from key routes. Coutesy: Express Tribune, Pakistan

Govt to divert development funds for flood relief: Gilani
News Watch
SOHBATPUR, August: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani said on Thursday that the government would divert funds from development projects to the relief of flood affected people. He also announced summoning of a meeting of the Council of Common Interests to discuss the situation arising out of the floods. Gilani who arrived by a C-130 aircraft at Jacobabad, later landed at a narrow strip of recently built road surrounded by feets of flood water in Sohbatpur, district Jafferabad in Balochistan. He was briefed by Balochistan Chief Minister Nawab Aslam Raisani about the extent of damage caused by the floods.
He said there had been heavy damage in the two districts and he would seek the support of federal government to help cope with it. He also sought queries from the people and their representatives in the national and provincial assemblies about their immediate needs. He also sought their suggestions on how best to tackle with the situation. Gilani assured that the government had mobilised all resources to provide relief to the millions and said that with the help of people, armed forces, local and international aid agencies the difficult situation would be tackled.
Gilani said,”the people of Pakistan have the resilience to overcome any challenge. Though it is the worst natural calamity in 80 years due to its widespread impact, they will face it with courage”. Gilani attired in a Shalwar suit sat on the ground alongwith children, men and women and enquired about the relief goods that were reaching them. He said in 1947 the nation stood as one for creation of a country and again they needed unity to fight this calamity. He also expressed his deep condolences over the heavy loss of life and property. He announced payment of Rs 50 million to Balochistan as immediate assistance for the flood affected people. He said roads were cut off and there was no way to despatch the 100 truckloads taking 1000 tons food aid for the people. The Prime Minister said the government would review budgetary allocations in the wake of devastating floods. Gilani said the Finance Minister has been tasked to evolve a mechanism to ensure transparency in aid disbursement, Aaj tv channel reported.

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Discerning social Change in Gilgit-Baltistan

Discerning social Change in Gilgit-Baltistan
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Mission Statement & Weekly VoH Publishing team

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.