According to the media reports of last few days, most of the areas of Gilgit-Baltistan has been provided subvention wheat from reserved quota in federation.

Hunza: Families face difficulties to acquire subvention floor since the flood disaster. According to local floor dealers, regional government in general and bias attitude of some of new appointees in food supply department over distribution created disgust against authorities in most of the areas in the region. Public circles blame regional authorities for creating hurdles to provide their respective share from quota that left poor to buy floor at higher prices being sold in commercial markets in parallel system implicitly in the region. Moreover, locals raise questions over performance of local administration against its recent claims for having storage of food for more than half a year. VoH Photo.

Torrential rains had washed away Karakorum High Way (KKH) along with numerous bridges at various places and the region remained disconnected for around a month. Contrary to ground realities, regional government few weeks earlier had claimed that they have stored ration for more than six months. Yet, the situation became worse couple of days earlier when rumors of lack of cooperation at the hand of food supply department Gilgit floated in air in Hunza-Nagar district. Reliable sources also confirmed that deputy director Rashid, who pertains to Astore district following transfer of former director Supply deliberately tried to deprive Hunza-Nagar district from its reserved quota following his appointment in the said department. A delegation of youth called by Chief Minister and other officials who have assured to provide certain quantity of subsidized floor that were kept in pending for several months. Hunza-Nagar is a nascent district which still lack proper departmentalization. Lack of attention of regional (GB) government has led to dead lock over the allocation of site for district head quarter.
PPP's contemporary regime has been an honor for providing subsidised wheat to facilitate indeginous poor population since inception in centre. Yet, continous silence over suspension and obstacles created by some officials in food supply department is a matter to ponder over. There are continuous reports that some of the officials from some of the other districts of Gilgit-Baltistan were explicitly patronizing hatred and working against the interest of Hunza-Nagar district in general and the residents of Hunza region particular and that may retaliate the farmer in future if such tendencies come to surface and enough to harm regional solidarity. Dumping and induction of non local less qualified people have been inducting since the day the set up introduced to reduce administrative burden over the civil administration. None of government department is reportedly dispensing duties: unscheduled load shedding are irking population on pretext of reduction in flow of water in Hasanabad nallah; roads are still in vulnerable condition; doctors and medicines are scant in government run hospitals, travels charges, and prices of general commodities have been reportedly increased by 46 percent with one and half month leaving majority of population in perplexity.
Nothing is more painful than a situation when residents of country loss any hope of future. We would
like insist Giglit-Baltistan government to ensure provision of subsidized floor including Hunza-Nagar district to alleviate sufferings of common man.


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Iranian, Pakistani officials discuss gas cooperation
VoH Monitor
By: A.Yusifzade
AZERBAIJAN, Baku, September 30: Pakistani Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Seyed Naveed Qamar and a delegation from the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) held a meeting in Islamabad to discuss different aspects of the multi-billion-dollar pipeline project which is due to bring Iran's gas to Pakistan, Fars News Agency reported. The high-level Iranian delegation informed Pakistan that Iran has already constructed 900 km pipeline of 56 inch diameter from Assalouyeh gas processing facility up to Iranshahr.
Syed Naveed Qamar welcomed the Iranian delegation and expressed his satisfaction on the progress of the project for import of 750 million cubic feet per day of gas from the brotherly country of Iran. The next coordination Committee meeting is scheduled to be held in Tehran in February 2011, the statement said. In a major breakthrough on March 20, 2009, the Pakistani government approved Iran's proposed pricing formola for gas supplies to the South Asian nation. Subsequently, Tehran and Islamabad signed a final agreement to launch implementation of the project. Tehran and Islamabad also sealed a final contract for the start of Iran's gas exports to Pakistan through the multi-billion-dollar pipeline in spring 2014. The gas will be supplied from the South Pars field. The initial capacity of the pipeline will be 22 billion cubic meters of natural gas per anum, which is expected to be later raised to 55 billion cubic meters. It is expected to cost $7.4 billion.Cour.- Trend

Violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty unacceptable: President
Monitoring desk
ISLAMABAD, September 30: President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday said the government strongly disapproved any incident of violation of its sovereignty.Any violation of internationally agreed principles was counter-productive and unacceptable, he remarked.The president expressed these views during a meeting with Director CIA Leon Panetta, who called on him here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.Leon Panetta was accompanied with Ms. Anne W. Patterson, US Ambassador to Pakistan. Interior Minister Senator A. Rehman Malik, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir and DG ISI Lt-Gen Ahmed Shuja Pasha also attended the meeting.
Matters relating to cooperation in the fight against militants and security situation in the region among other related issues were discussed in the meeting. President said that the fight against militancy and terrorism remains the highest priority and the government was determined to pursue its struggle against militancy till its logical end. He said that there was a need to enhance trust, cooperation and coordination at the strategic, policy and operational planes.
Capacity enhancement of the Pakistan security apparatus was very crucial, the President observed. The President said Dr. Aafia's sentence was being perceived as harsh and disproportionate and has led to protests in Pakistan. Leon Panetta thanked the President for meeting and reiterated his government's commitment to help people of Pakistan in all possible manners. Asif urges relief bodies to augment efforts: President Asif Ali Zardari on Thursday urged Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS), NGOs and other humanitarian organisations to augment efforts for relief and rehabilitation of the flood affected people. In a meeting with President of International Federation of Red Crescent (IFRC) Tadateru Konoe here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President asked the relief organisations to complement government's efforts in reaching out to the flood victims in remote areas of the country.
President appreciated IFRC for the humanitarian services to the most vulnerable sections of the society in critical times of natural disasters, including the recent devastating floods. The President said the country had never seen such a large scale devastation caused by the floods that affected over 70 districts of the country. He said besides initial relief to the flood affected, there was a need to take measures against the spread of diseases and rebuild destroyed homes, roads, bridges and infrastructure.He said it was a huge challenge for any government or party to undertake on its own and can only be managed with combined and concerted efforts of the whole nation, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the civil society, the international community and donor agencies. IFRC President Tadateru Konoe apprised President Zardari that PRCS and movement partners have so far reached out to over 1,43,000 families by providing food packs and non-food items and added that the IFRC planned to provide assistance to 300,000 affected families during emergency relief phase.

NATO cross-border air strike ‘kills 3 Pakistani soldiers’
Monitoring Report
ISLAMABAD, Sep 30 (ANI): Three Pakistani soldiers have reportedly been killed in an air strike by NATO helicopters during a cross-border attack, Pakistani officials have said. According to a Pakistani security official, the soldiers were killed in an “unprovoked attack” on a Pakistani checkpoint, the BBC reported.
The NATO helicopters crossed up to 5km (three miles) into Pakistan, he added. This strike was the third NATO raid across the Afghanistan border into Pakistan over the past week. Earlier this week, following aerial engagement in Pakistani territory by the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik had called it a violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty, and assured the Senate that the Afghan ambassador would be summoned to explain his position over the cross-border air raids by the ISAF. According to military sources, ISAF, which had earlier defended their air raids as an action ‘under the right of self-defence’, later informed the Pakistani commanders that they were trying to establish whether their helicopters during the operation had entered Pakistani territory.

‘Home-Page’ - Telling the story of the unknown and overlooked side

VoH News Monitor

KARACHI, September 28: Marium Agha and Seher Naveed from Pakistan, Manali Shroff from India, Ivy Hon Mei Chan from China and Jo Ying Peng from Taiwan are the five artists whose works transform into a visual language, and a series of attractive representations come about through a conversation about home.
‘Home-Page’ writes to eliminate race, political affiliations and borders; it writes to alert the public about abuses occurring beyond the news headlines. It tells the story of the other side - a side often unknown, ignored, overlooked or disregarded. This exhibition aims to show what goes beyond the media culture and the subjects that make the world and its people alike. Agha and Naveed received their Bachelor of Arts degree from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, while Shroff, Chan and Peng received theirs from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Tamkang University in Taipei respectively. All the artists received their Master of Arts degree from the Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design of London. Agha’s works explore the process of seeing an object, doing which one develops a relationship with the object based on one’s interpretation. She challenges predefined interpretations through her works by allowing the viewers to have a relationship with an object without tainting their experience of seeing it in any other context or framework. Her work style is derived from her home and society, the failed democratic government, the Muslims’ apathy and the conflicts within oneself. Naveed’s work develops with her awareness of physically living in one urban space and virtually being part of another. She came to London with a keen interest in the cityscape and has since been working with subject matters that involve urban landscape and social politics for reasons she is still not fully aware of. Perhaps it is this void that lies between visual imagery and reason that makes her increasingly curious of the workings of the urban landscape.
She is curious with the fascination of the everyday life, how media interprets, the constructions that interrupt our daily movement and her fascination with ‘living in a window punctuated world’. Shroff’s paintings are suffused with the surrealism of the everyday life and she often draws on visions and eccentric encounters in her mundane life that thrive in strange juxtapositions of humans and animals. The mysterious animals with their human eyes have very illusive but essentially benign presence. Though for all its strangeness and for all its dreamlike quality of its representation, in her paintings is a world rooted in reality. Her paintings are a window into her unexplained world that is at once recognisable, yet bizarre. The unrealistic nature of this relationship creates an enticing predicament, leaving the viewers to question the situation, and it would not be wrong to call her paintings ‘urban folktales’. Chan’s works deal with the transformation and reconfiguration of quotidian objects. By showing familiar things in unfamiliar ways, not only the characteristics of materials but the cultural and symbolic meanings are also challenged and transformed.
Thus, viewers are brought into an unprecedented realm to experience these everyday objects again. Peng is practicing primarily in video and photography and she has worked extensively with the theme found in ‘The Screen Project’ that explores the relation between the real and the representation. She has been the concept of few recent exhibitions, and her works multiply the different layers of symbolic boundaries. ‘Home-Page’ includes Agha’s ‘72 Virgins for my suicide lover’; Naveed’s ‘Time pieces’; Shroff’s ‘I go east, you go west, let’s lead the rest’, ‘Hark, hark the dogs do bite... utopian fantasies of Dominique clerk’ and ‘And the world calls us Colonial Cousins’; Chan’s ‘Tiny Oceans’; and Peng’s ‘Between Arrival & Departure’. This exhibition would continue until Thursday. photos courtesy artchowk gallery, Daily Times reports.

MQM slams US for Dr Aafia Siddiqui’s sentence

Monitoring desk
KARACHI: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain deemed the United States responsible for the unrest in the world, demanding the release of Dr Aafia Siddiqui. Hussain addressed the scores of people, estimated to be 300,000 by the MQM, who gathered on his call at MA Jinnah road, near Tibet centre, on Tuesday to condemn an American court’s verdict of Siddiqui’s case.

On September 23, she was sentenced to 86 years in prison on seven charges, including the attempt to murder US military personnel. The rally was declared successful as members of MQM-opposing groups including the Sunni Tehreek and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam also participated in the rally. Representatives of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, Karachi Bar Association, trade unions also joined to condemn the verdict of Dr Siddiqui’s case. Claiming that Siddiqui is innocent, Hussain demanded her release. “The Americans are responsible for what they have done to the world. America has killed innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he decried. “The allegations against Dr Siddiqui are false as they could not prove them. America is answerable [not Dr Siddiqui],” he said, slamming the US. Hussain claimed that ninety percent of the world’s population is against the US and its policies. The MQM showed solidarity with Dr Siddiqui’s cause in more than one way – representatives of MQM’s Rabita Committee were sitting with Dr Siddiqui’s sister, Fauzia Siddiqui. Altaf Hussain called for a united stand on Dr Siddiqui’s case, urging all civil society groups to join in the “struggle”. “Dr Aafia is the daughter of the nation and a symbol of pride [as she] stood courageously and faced the trial. It was exemplary to see a Muslim woman not give up and fight,” Hussain claimed.

Security arrangements
A few hours before the rally, men in yellow caps guarded the entry and exit points of the venue, while a heavy contingent of police and other law enforcing agencies were also deployed. MQM’s security personnel searched each and every participant of the rally at the entrance. The police was seen on the roofs of buildings around MA Jinnah road while the paramilitary Rangers took their resistant positions after the rally ended.

Rallies across Sindh
Several rallies were organised in various parts of the province to protest against Dr Siddiqui’s sentence. Activists of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Muslim Students Federation held a demonstration outside the Hyderabad Press Club to condemn the sentence. Protesters shouted slogans against the verdict and claimed that the government has not taken the issue seriously. Meanwhile, in Sukkur, a rally was led by Qutubud Din, the MQM Sukkur Zone incharge, during which protesters marched from Jinnah Chowk to the press club. Activists of the Sunni Tehreek and the Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz also participated in the rally. Expres Tribune Pakisan

Protest against Aafia sentencing,Police baton charge, arrest IJT workers

KARACHI, September 25: The area surrounding the US Consulate was turned into a battlefield on Friday when a large number of workers of Islami Jamiat Talaba and other organisations tried to march towards it during a protest against the sentencing of Dr Aafia Siddiqui by a US court.The doctor was given 86 years imprisonment on Thursday for allegedly snatching a weapon from US men in Afghanistan and attacking them.Following the incident, a massive traffic jam was witnessed in surrounding areas including Zaibun Nissa Street, MA Jinnah Road, Fawara Chowk and II Chandigar Road. Thousands of vehicles remained stranded for about two hours, while all commercial activities remained suspended.
Officials of law enforcement agencies baton charged the protesters and resorted to tear gas shelling. The Islami Jamiat Talba (IJT) workers, led by their Karachi Amir Samiullah Hussaini, organised a meeting near Jehangir Park, Saddar after Juma prayers. Later they took out a rally and started marching towards the Karachi Press club, said SSP Saddar Town Javaid Akbar Riaz, while talking to Daily Times.
He said when the rally participants started to march towards American consulate, the law enforcement agencies and elite force blocked the roads with barricades in order to avoid any untoward incident near the American consulate.Daily times

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Wazir to get additional charges; speaker to look after the GB as acting governor
VoH Report
GILGIT, September 16: According to the media sources, Wazir Baig, Speaker Gilgit Baltisan Legisltive Assembly (GBLA) would assume additional charge of acting governor for the region till the appointment of any other person for governorship. Under the Self Governance and empowerment order, 2009 speaker is authorized to look after affairs of the office in case of absence of death of the working governor. GBLA sources told Voice of Hunza that the acting governor is expected to take oath by the end of third week of December.
Waqar Salim, a reknown regional analyst, while talking to VoH said that the new situation would pose to the speaker additional burden for he already has to tackle major issues in the capacity of speaker as well as member of Hunza vicinity.
Meanwhile, Mirza Hussain, Muhammad Ali Akhtar, Abdul Khaliq Rehmat, Raziuddin Rizvi, Deedar Ali and other members of GBLA have eexpressed their over sudden demise of governor and prayed that May God almighty bestow her eternal peace in the heavens.

Manzoor Eleven red won defence day commemorating tournament; recreational activites a healthy trend for fragile societies: Rani Attiqa Ghazanfar Ali
Bureau Report
HUNZA, September 15: Manzoor eleven won final match of defense day commemorating smash tournament held on September 14, 2010. In the best of five, Manzoor eleven entitled the victory by 3 sets after an exciting match. The smash event coupled with a marathon race of three four kilometers was started in afternoon. Winner and runner up teams' players presented with dance over local traditional tunes.
Rani Attiqa Ghazanfar Ali Khan who was chief guest in the final event gave away medals and trophies to the prominent players and the teams on board. Seaking at the moment, Rani Ghazanfar said that arrangment of recreational events are necessary to engage our educated youth in healthy activities. She praised the manner and the discipline maintained by amateurs and particapants of the games. She called on the people present at the moment to help affectees saying rest of country suffered a huge disaster including various areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and this may divert attention of government towards Attaabad land slide affectees. She announced Rs. 10,000 cash as contribution for KCSC and Rs.1,000 for each team. " Arrangement of such an interesting event amidst disasters and uncertainities that hit people alike across the country was a remakable venture on part of KCSC," she added.

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GB Governor Shama Khalid passes away

VoH Monitoring Desk
GILGIT, September 15: (APP) The first woman governor of Gilgit-Baltistan, Dr Shama Khalid, passed away in Islamabad on Wednesday. The announcement of her demise was made by the Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira during a press conference in Islamabad. Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly Speaker Wazir Baig would be the acting governor of the region after the demise of Dr Shama and until the appointment of the new governor. The people belonging to all segments of society also expressed their heartfelt sorrow over the death of Dr Shama Khalid, the first lady governor of GB. President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer also expressed profound grief over the death. Dr Shama Khalid died at the age of 60 on Wednesday after succumbing to cancer.
Dr Khalid was sworn in as the first governor of the region on March 23, 2010. She was also the first woman governor of Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD: A file photo of late governor Gilgit-Baltistan with Prime minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani after oath ceremony. Photo by: Dawn

She was admitted at a hospital in Islamabad, where she was fighting against cancer for the past one-and-a-half month. When contacted governor house Gilgit, the sources told Voice of Hunza that her body to be shifted to Abotabad on the next day where she would be burried in her family graveyard. -APP,Agencies, Dawn

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Posted by Shamsuddin Muhammad on Saturday

Current PPP led government in center gave an administrative reform package in the end of August last year to empower a colonized region run directly under Islamabad. Other stake holders (those claim for its territory) i.e Azad Kashmir and India created hue and cry over the move saying an apparent attempt to annex Gilgit-Baltistan with formally with Pakistan, an act, according to them against the resolutions of United Nations that recognized areas as an integral part of Kashmir dispute. There was a point to ponder over: the cries raised by both AJK and India, which remained detracted to the miseries experienced by this strategic zone, were not over the benefit the population of the GB were have to realize, rather they were unhappy seeing empowerment of the people after a long waited time period as it gave blow to their constant critique for little work on part of Islamabad towards the area. Whilst, population of the region, which gained liberation from Sikh Kashmir rulers perceived the new package a reconciliation to around 62 years' subjugation, tyranny and oppression.
Contrary to the claims of supporters of current regime, the benefit of empowerment package has been passed on to certain pressure groups, ethinic cum areas vise lobbies and sectarian forces at all levels. Here, majority of educated youth had high expectations for an improved and transparent system supported by avenues of equal opportunities, as those at helms of power used to blame Islamabad based procedures. Regional Federal Public Service Commission, approved under the new package aimed at independent procurement,recruitment,screening out and sellection of personnel in public sector services for instance could not start to function even after and year. One can assess its future capacity to deal with one of the vital task. On the other hand, there is said a substantial failure on part of services department that also fell a pray of corruption, nepotism, continuous intervention of political, sectarian forces and pressure groups from within and out side institutions.
Educated youth, almost out manured in their struggle for better opportunities are vary of the procedures as they feel severe reservations over the way the important positions have been filled. Today, those inherited from poor family grounds, who does not have any influential recommendation and lack flattery tongue are losers in a battle field where odd forces is ready to hinder his way at every step. Simply, jobs are being sold apparently-where the cost of job dependent over the nature of field. Consequently, those with potential and skills loss the ground against those without competencies and hail from affluent families. In such a scenario, for a general educated youth, only bloody revolution in the mountain region is the last option as the population of this backward area with its so called high literacy rate is even unable to ponder over what the future entails coupled with socio-economic and geo-political challenges at regional, national and international fronts simultaneously. The young blood seems willing to serve but odd forces are at work to discourage them, thus given a lethal blow to concepts such as equal opportunities and equal treatment.
Our regional government and those in local administration especially Islamabad backed bureaucracy should deem over this dilemma as realization of merit and just system can only save our downtrodden society in a quasi federal cum military control regime in the region.


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World urges transparency in utilisation of flood aid
Monitoring desk
NITED NATIONS, September 21: World powers made fresh aid pledges for Pakistan’s flood disaster on Sunday, after a $2 billion UN appeal, but pressed the country to fully account for the money. UN Secretary General Ban-Ki moon called for an “urgent” global response to “one of the biggest and most complex natural disasters we have faced in the history of the United Nations”. Britain doubled its flood aid to $210 million, the United States said it was now offering $340 million and the European Union $350 million. Saudi Arabia said it had also donated $345 million in government and public funds. Iran has allotted $100 million. Britain has added 70 million pounds to its existing 64 million pounds in emergency aid, taking the total to about $210 million, said UK International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell on Sunday.
But it was not immediately clear whether the $2 billion target had been reached at the meeting of over 25 top diplomats, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Aid groups expressed disappointment at the response. The UN had asked for $460 million in August but quadrupled the figure on Friday because of the scope of the disaster. I call for your urgent response,” the UN chief said. “Of course, we know this is happening in a part of the world where stability and prosperity are profoundly in the world’s interests,” he added.
National Disaster Management Authority Chairman Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmad said the country had only 20 percent of the food and 20 percent of the water needed for the stricken 20 million people. Clinton stressed that Pakistan must become more self-sufficient and raise more domestic money for reconstruction. Clinton said the US would help its ally “bring transparency, oversight and accountability to the reconstruction”. Other major donors also pressed for more transparency to tackle rampant corruption in the country. “It is critical for the government to ensure full transparency of cash flow,” Tadamichi Yamamoto, Japan’s special representative for Pakistan and Afghanistan, told the meeting. Germany’s Development Minister Dirk Niebel said Pakistan must be “realistic” and raise more of its own money to rebuild the country. Daily Times

Indian envoy hands over Rs 90 cr Pak aid cheque to UN chief
VoH News watch
NEW YORK, September 18: Chief Representative of India to the UN Hardeep Singh Puri has handed over a Cheque of Rs 90 crore to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon as India's contribution towards the 'Pakistan Emergency Response Plan.'The cheque was handed over to the UN Secretary General yesterday at the UN headquarters in New York in the presence of Mr Puri's counterpart from Pakistan Abdullah Hussain Haroon, reported UNI. The amount was part of ''Pakistan Emergency Response Plan'' launched by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs at the UN, official sources said.
On the occasion, Mr Puri recalled the messages of solidarity, sympathy and support from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister S M Krishna to their Pakistani counterparts in the aftermath of the devastating floods that affected parts of Pakistan in August this year. Online

EU agrees to grant Pakistan trade breaks, Pak to get access to GSP+ programme by 2014
VoH Watch dog
BRUSSELS, September 17: European Union leaders agreed on Thursday to grant limited trade concessions to Pakistan to help it overcome the impact of devastating floods and maintain political stability, diplomats said. Pakistan will receive an “immediate and time-limited reduction” in duties on key exports to the European Union, taking into account industrial sensitivities in the EU, notably on textiles, the diplomats said after leaders of the 27-nation bloc met at a summit in Brussels.
One diplomat said the arrangement would be worth around $390 million to Pakistan over a year.The details will be worked out by the European Commission, the EU executive, in coordination with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to avoid the concessions violating international trade rules and aggravating other EU partners such as India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. “There is a deal done,” the diplomat said, adding that it included a commitment to grant Pakistan access to the EU’s enhanced trade programme, known as GSP+, by 2014, provided it meets criteria on good governance and human rights.
“The European Council underlines its firm commitment to grant exclusively to Pakistan increased market access to the EU through the immediate and time-limited reduction of duties on key imports,” a statement by the 27 EU leaders at the end of the summit said.“The severity of this crisis demands an immediate and substantial response,” the EU said in a declaration. “A stable, democratic and prosperous Pakistan is key to addressing global issues such as counter-terrorism, nonproliferation or counter-narcotics,” the statement said. Courtesy: Daily Times

APC in Delhi fails to agree on recipe to tackle Kashmir unrest,all-parties meeting decides to send delegation of politicians to trouble areas;Five more killed in IHK
VoH Monitor
NEW DELHI, JAMMU, Sep. 16: As the Indian government held crisis talks in New Delhi to tackle the escalating unrest in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK), Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called for calm and said he was “shocked and distressed” by the demonstrations. However, the all-parties’ conference (APC) ended with no new initiatives, apart from a decision to send a fact-finding mission to IHK. Singh told the meeting that dialogue was the only way out of the crisis, but that peace and calm had to be restored first.
“The only path for lasting peace and prosperity in Jammu and Kashmir is that of dialogue and discussion,” Singh said. “While some of these protests may have been impulsive or spontaneous, it cannot be denied that some incidents were orchestrated by certain groups,” Singh said, while referring to the deadly street protests.Leader of the ruling Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, urged the government to listen to the angry new generation “that has grown up in the embrace of violence, of conflict and brutality”.
“We must give them hope, we must understand and respect their legitimate aspirations,” she added, while stressing that the region was an integral part of India. Various party leaders agreed that “the constitution of India provides ample scope to accommodate any legitimate political demand through dialogue, civil discourse and peaceful negotiations”. Mehbooba Mufti, leader of the People’s Democratic Party in IHK, said that the meeting had also discussed the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).
On the other hand, violence spread to new areas of Indian-held Kashmir on Wednesday, with five more protesters shot dead by security forces. Security forces opened fire on protesters in Mendhar, 210 kilometres from Jammu. “Four youths have been killed in the firing and several government buildings... were attacked and burnt down by the angry protesters,” said police sources to international monitoring teams. Agencies

Imran Frooq will be laid to rest in Karachi
VoH News Monitor
KARACHI, Sep 15: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Rabita Committee Deputy Convenor Dr Farooq Sattar on Friday said that burial of Dr Imran Farooq will take place in Karachi after the British government handed over the body to his family. Talking to mediamen, he said that it was the desire of his family and the party that Dr Imran Farooq will be buried in Karachi.MQM founding member Dr Imran Farooq was murdered in London on Thursday night by some unknown miscreants. He said-The Nation

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Conspiracies to sell relief goods by regional administrations to be unfolded; current regime practicing poor eliminating tricks: Baba Jan
VoH Report
HUNZA, Aliabad, September 11: Conspiracies to sell relief items specially that of petroleum products provided by Chinese government to be unfolded and in case of use of state authority to suppress public will, the masses would settle the account with rulling government to the hallow promises that PPP led regime has been making with the people of the region. These view were expressed by Chief Organizer, Progressive Youth Front, Hunza-Nagar chapter in a press statement. Talking to the media persons, Mr. Baba Jan alleged Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah, Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob Fatah Muhammad, Speaker Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) and finance Minister Muhammad Ali Akhtar for waving conspiracies to get their own benefits from a disaster hit communities of Gojal, Upper Hunza.
Read full story on: gbecho.blogspot.

Defence day Tournament-Karimabad club wins shooting match; Al-Hayat out manured Aliabad eleven in second set;Aliabad-A won from Al-Murtaza club, Manzoor Eleven Red Ganish defeats from Nasirabad in smash
Bureau Report
HUNZA, Karimabad, September 12: On the fifth day of Defense day Tournament,four matches were played in in the after noon.The first sesh volleyball match was played between Aliabad Super Star and Al-Murtaza club, Murtaza abad in which, Aliabad, Super Star won the first smesh match from Al-Mutaza club after an exciting match by 3-5. Second smash was match between Nasirabad adn Ganish Mazoor eleven red. Manzoor eleven red won the match in best of three game. While the last match was played between Karimabad and Hasanabad and this game was won by Karimabad eleven in best of five series.

Intensive continual sub-terrain sounds create panic among residents of Shishkat

VoH Report
SHISHKAT, September 11: The constant observation of continual intensive sub-terrain sounds in Shishkat village and outskirts has served to create panic among the residents. According to the local population, heavy underground sounds were being heard during midnight, leaving people in fear and uncertainty. Afiat Khan, a resident of Upper-Shishkat (locally called Dal-Dus) while talking to Voice of Hunza said that the locals especially woman and children were largely affected psychologically. " Some times intensity to sounds make the people to get out of their houses to escape any possible danger," he added.

SHISHKAT, GOJAL, Upper Hunza: Around 71% of the total settlement of Shishkat Gojal, has been submerged in dammed Hunza river. Constant subtranean sounds irks people and served to infuse psychological naunces among the residents. Image by: Shams

This strtegically important village, which has been known for cash crops especially patatoe producation has lost around 71 percent of its total cultivated land along with thousands of fruit producing trees is now on war with unseen natural forces .
While, despite of apprehensions, neither local governments nor Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) took the matter seriously leaving people in bewilderment. When contacted local authorities to ask whether possible arrangements were made by taking disaster prevention measures to avert any untoward situation in case of a mishap, the answer was in negative saying there is no recommendation from any geological or secimic expert to declare emergency. A public servant on condition of anonymity told VoH that local government is taking little interest to give any substaintial relief including evacuation of population from settlement in question before some thing not happened on pretext of its focus on renovation of infrastructure destroyed by torrential rains last month.

Region divides over Eid celebrations, Shia community announces Eid on Friday; Security beefed up in Gilgit , Skardu city
VoH Report
GILGIT, BALTISTAN, September 10: Like the rest of the country, Gilgit-Baltistan region too experiencing division on the question of Eid. According to available information, Agh Rahat-ul-Husseini, Imam-e-Juma, Shia Muslims declared on Thursday night lately that after acquiring numerous moon sighting evidences, after a detailed meeting, Eid would be observed on Friday,September 10, 2010. Similarly, religious authorities in Baltistan too announced Eid as par in Gilgit and outskirts.
Followers of the faith offered Eid prayers amidst tight security arrangements as law enforcement agencies took control of prayer halls and Eidgahs from early morning in Gilgit, Skardu and Ghanche and allowed participants only after passing through explusive detecting devices installed at different entry points. On the other hand, other reliegious authorities of Islam like Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamat, Tangeem-E-ahle Sunnat and rest of communities have announced the Eid would be celebrated on Saturday, Septeber 11, 2010. The whole Nagar too celebrated Eid on Friday while most of the region in Hunza which comprises Ismaili community in majority observed Eid on Saturday because uncertainity and late annoucement regarding sighting of the moon which left people in bewilderment.

Four died in heavy land slide in Ghanche
VoH Report
GHANCHE, September 08: At least four people have been reported dead while dozens critically injured following a heavy land slide Barah village of the Ghanche district on Tuesday after noon. According to a regional daily news paper, land slide buried more than four residential houses and cattle huts and distroyed a large portion of the settlement. Official sources confirmed four deaths including a child and woman. Land sliding during current year has swallowed hundreds of lives in Gilgit-Baltistan.

'Defence day' all Hunza velly ball tournament takes excited but steady start
Bureau Report
HUNZA, Karimabad, September 8: All Hunza velley ball Shooting and Smesh tournament to mark the nation's defence day celebrations. According to the details, Karimabad Culture and Sports Club (KCSC) which has was established recently to support and arrange recreational activities among the your of the region. KCSC in collaboration with Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board Hunza is sponsoring the tournament to engage your in healthy activities. Arrangments have been to made to facilitate both kind of matches simultaneously.
According to the organizers of the tournament,more than fifteen teems have applied for registration in the afternoon velly ball matches would continue for a week. Semi-final and final matches are expected to be played on September 12 and 13 respectively.
Today, two matches were played.......
Read full story on: Readers Time

Participants if one day media advocacy work shop vow to initiate comprehensive collaborative efforts to eradicate TB; 42 new cases identified during first
two quarters in Hunza-Nagar
VoH, RDs' Time Report
HUNZA, Karimabad, September 08: Collaborative conscious, integrated and comprehensive efforts are need of the hour to eradicate Tiber Closis, a silent killer in the region; Victims do not disclose the symptoms for Tuber Closis (T.B) is a fast spreading fatal disease and is usually considered as a mean and abominable disease in the society.

HUNZA: Partcipants of the Media Advocacy session for TB control under Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) exchanging their ideas regarding new approach. VoH Photo

These views were expressed by participants during a one day media advocacy session by T.B control unit under the banner of Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) programme in collaboration with Aga Khan Health Services Pakistan and few foreign NGOs here at a local hotel in Karimabad, Hunza on Wednesday. T.B control unit sought suggestions regarding new approaches, from media circles to implement initiative efficiently and effectively with in given periphery. Fida Nagri,social mobilizer T.B control unit shed light on efforts being done to keep the menace under control.
Presenting his views, since last four years of its creation.Mr. Iftikhar Hussain said that those affected by this disease hardly disclose as it has had considered as abominable fatal disease. He emphasized to create more awareness through involving elders, scholars, writers, poets and other active civil society members to educate general masses about the causes, affects and cure to disease. For more, please log

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Gilgit-Baltistan has a scattered population bearing countable facilities for the dwellers even at the end of first decade of twenty first century. If left little has been further ruined by natural disasters: and sliding, flooding and earth quacks during last few years prevailing anxiety and psychological signs visible from their attitude towards the daily chores across the region. A huge devastation has inflicted by the recent torrential rains which ruined infrastructure, hindered wheel of local economy due to lack of economic activities, tourism sector is on verge of decline, regional hotel industry experiences an inertia, suspension of land link of Gilgit-Baltistan has served to sky rock prices of commodities, purchasing power of common man is declining,law and order situation across the country is deteriorated by miscreants, gap between
have and have not is widening, one after another issue is lack of alternate industrial opportunities and ban on government employments youth is highly depressed.
Amidst the vague image of a good future has further obscured by the lack of capacity of public sector organizations to alleviate sufferings of the masses. There is hardly any department of regional government where procedures i.e sanction over a minor file even could not get accomplished without payment of certain fee imposed as additional charges-in other words Nazranah or in simple economics bribe or rishwat. Interestingly, Ramazan which is considered sacred month in Islamic thought and people try their best to avoid wrong doings. Yet, for this people in this country have found a solution: delay them by the next month to settle the account. Some times those with conscious minds compel to ponder, God is justify to make us suffer to punish our acts. Tyrannically, from works to education department, no one is ready to acknowledge its deficiencies rather tend to place responsibility on others.
We should realize that nothing is perfect except the Lord. Yet, there should be room for improvement to come to the expectations of stake holders on whom behalf one dispense his duties.Bureaucracy still seems to least affected by public sufferings. While ongoing rage among the dwellers of Upper Hunza Gojal against the suspension of boat service from blockade, strong reaction from both population of Gojal and nationalist forces against possible selling of petroleum products from Chinese relief , lack of availability of LPG on affordable prices and lack of control over essentials in Central Hunza can turn into new challenges for political administration in Hunza-Nagar, a district without proper deprtmentalization and funds provded by regional goverment to run it smoothly.. The ambulancemen of bureaucracy coupled with a narrow sighted political administration that takes dictation of Islamabad in every aspect could not find a single minute to think over the plight of the people they are facing whether those in Upper Hunza, Central or lover valleys of Hunza-Nagar consequently augmented the psychological frustration of a common man whose income sources have almost tarnished. People in other parts of Gilgit-Baltistan have also seen mismanagement of relief efforts and lawlessness at the hand of public departments whether emergency mandatory or general distribution through civil supply. of Pakistan. The ongoing flood disaster, mismanaged relief efforts and shocking lawlessness had not yet faded, and they added another speck of disgrace and humiliation to the country.
Nothing is tragic and appalling for a youth than losing prospects for their future.Every thing has still not end up, it is a time for our civil, political administration,service departments, intelligentsia,civil society forces and private regional industry to join hands to strive for a secrue future. For this it calls upon us to shoulder a broader spectrum of developmental frame work, human service spirit, broader mindset as the only vanguard of healthy social change and economic development to reconcile the new demands posed by modernization and to keep the pace with outside dynamic world.
Our policy planners would have to think democratically to involve say of common man to ensure future success. If ever one of us would relize our duties verses authorities and held our self not only to seniors but to the Lord after death, every thing would gradually turn from bad to good and then best.


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Qureshi delivers where diplomats fail
VoH Monitoring Desk
NEW YORK, September 14: Long after dust gathers on the US Open trophy that barely eluded Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi, the message he sent on a grand stage in New York still will echo loudly. After two sets of riveting tennis during which Pakistan’s Qureshi and India’s Rohan Bopanna came a scant few points short of winning the men’s doubles title Friday, Qureshi was handed the microphone and given a chance to speak words that, in his mind, couldn’t be said strongly enough.

“There’s a bad perception that Pakistan is a terrorist nation,” Qureshi told the crowd in 23,000-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium. “We’re a friendly, loving, caring people. We want peace as much as you guys. May God bless us all.” —Reuters Photo

“There’s a bad perception that Pakistan is a terrorist nation,” Qureshi told the crowd in 23,000-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium. “We’re a friendly, loving, caring people. We want peace as much as you guys. May God bless us all.” He received a warm ovation from a crowd that included Bopanna’s parents, who flew from India to New York for the match. And at that moment, it hardly seemed important that Qureshi and Bopanna had lost 7-6 (5), 7-6 (4) to Americans Bob and Mike Bryan, brothers who won their ninth Grand Slam tournament and third US Open title. About a half-hour later, the ambassadors of Bopanna’s India and Qureshi’s Pakistan – neighbouring countries with a decades-long history of war, distrust and tension – placed 5,000-year-old ceremonial cloths over the shoulders of the Bryan brothers, who are donating money through their foundation to help victims of flooding in Pakistan that has affected more than 17 million people. As they’ve been saying all week, Qureshi and Bopanna simply want to send some good news back to their homelands, where good news has been sorely lacking of late. It was one of those moments when an athletic event means something more than a win and a loss. “Sports will always play a certain role,” Pakistani ambassador Abdullah H. Haroon said. “No matter how you look at it, this is bound to improve things. Because this is people to people, this is not governments to governments, which have reservations and other aspects. This is people to people. People have enjoyed it. It has created a tremendous boom.” Bopanna and Qureshi have been playing together since 2003, though the story of their peace partnership – “The Indo-Pak Express,” as they call it – really gathered steam earlier this year when they started wearing sweat shirts with slogans reading “Stop War, Start Tennis” as part of a campaign backed by a group called Peace and Sport.

Rohan Bopanna of India and Aisam-ul-Haq Qureshi of Pakistan.AP Photo.

Hardly unnoticed on Friday was that their closing act in New York came on the eve of Sept. 11, with the city in the midst of a fractious debate about whether an Islamic centre and mosque should be built near ground zero, and the country closely following the twists and turns of a Florida pastor’s threat to burn copies of the Quran. “Yes, I’ve been hearing about that,” said Qureshi, who needed three hours to get through customs when he arrived in New York. “For me, you have to understand there are extremists in every religion. But those small groups or activists shouldn’t justify the thinking that everyone is like them. Above all, everybody wants peace. Not everybody is an extremist. That’s my message and hopefully everyone can understand that.” Qureshi said he vividly recalled the moment of the 2001 attacks in New York, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people. An up-and-coming tennis player at the time, he had been at a training camp in Holland when he saw events unfold at the World Trade Centre in lower Manhattan. “It was strange but I was going through the channels and I actually thought it was a movie or something,” he recalled. “I switched the channel again and then felt like it was the same movie on a different channel. “I was kind of confused. Everything was mostly in Dutch so I couldn’t really understand. Then I actually realized what had happened. It was a very shocking moment.” On the court, the players put on a show worthy of the message they were sending. There wasn’t a single break of serve in 24 games and the tiebreakers were decided by two and three points.
The Bryans won their 65th career title – improving on their own record. For Bob, it marked the second straight day he’s barely outdone Qureshi. On Thursday, he teamed with Liezel Huber to win the mixed doubles championship.
Bob Bryan said Qureshi’s post-match speech “choked me up.” “I could see him. He was quivering a little bit. He was very choked up,” Bryan said. “Just to give that message to everyone was very heartfelt.” Quite a message, indeed, for a tennis match. “It’s the message it sends that India and Pakistan are playing on the same side,” said India’s ambassador, Hardeep Puri. “The core message that comes through is that you cannot allow relations between two countries to be held hostage by actions of a few. A large majority want peace, want tranquility. They want to live together and get along with their daily lives.” Source:Dawn

Security on high alert for Eid
VoH News Watch
KARACHI, LAHORE, September 11: The Karachi police has deployed over 14,000 personnel in the city under a contingency plan to counter any act of terrorism and other subversive activity to ensure peace on the eve of Eid ul Fitr. The especially deployed police personnel will stationed at all the main Eid congregation places, mosques, Imambargahs, shopping centers, bazaars, markets, parks, the seaside, important government and private buildings, offices, airport, railway stations and bus stands.
HYDERABAD: Internally Displaced Children show hands decorated with Mehindi on the occasion of Eid day

Directives have also been issued to ensure that cars, bikes and other vehicles are parked at a distance from the congregation places. These police personnel are in addition to police commandos who have been deployed at sensitive areas in the city. Moreover, the Pakistan Rangers and Special Branch of Sindh Police are closely coordinating the security measures. A Central Control Room has been setup at the office of Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) to continuously monitor the situation. The Control room, which can be reached at 021 99213081, receives all the latest reports from the police stations of the city.

Security plan for Lahore:-
In Lahore, the police have finalised a security plan for Eid and over 13,000 policemen are set to remain alert at 2,500 mosques and Imambargahs. A spokesman for DIG Operations Lahore told express 24/7 that around 64 mosques and Imambargahs have been declared sensitive. He added that under the plan, snipers will also be deployed on roof tops and Elite police and rangers will provide them security cover. Speaking to Express News, SP Civil Lines Haider Ashraf said the police have taken all out measures in mobilizing all resources available to avoid any unpleasant incident.
LAHORE: Paramilitary and military forces are high alert during Eid celebrations. Image by: Reuters

Over 3,000 personnel of Islamabad police and Rangers will ensure the security of mosques and other sensitive installations during Eid holidays.
More than 1500 police personnel have been deputed to patrol residential areas since most people travel to their native towns on Eid, leaving their houses empty. On the other hand, On the eve of Eidul Fitr, a fresh rain spell lashed the southern parts of the country, particularly Sindh, where hundreds of makeshift relief camps have been set up, exacerbating an already difficult situation for those displaced by the floods. Those who just returned to their homes will have more problems to deal with, as the rains have, hampered relief efforts. Those who just returned to their homes will have more problems to deal with, as the rains have, hampered relief efforts. “Our life is worse than death. Eid is for the living, but we are neither alive nor dead,” said a solemn 15-year-old Rukhsana in sadness. “We have no clothes, no food, no shoes and no home. My brother is small, he can’t fight the looters who snatch all the food from the aid trucks,” she said.Abandoned by her father after her mother died, the teenage refugee will spend Eid with her grandmother and 10-year-old brother in a makeshift camp, 450 kilometres south of her hometown of Garhi Khairo. For the poor and hungry flood survivors, this year’s holiday offers more rain and little joy. Courtesy: Express Tribune, PPI

Govt to introduce Acid Control and Burn Crime Prevention Bill 2010 soon
VoH News Watch
ISLAMABAD, September 11: The Government is going to introduce an Acid Control and Burn Crime Prevention Bill 2010. Through the Bill, National Acid Control Council would be established to formulate policies of treatment, rehabilitation and to provide legal aid to the acid and burn victims and take necessary steps to implement and monitor these policies. The draft of the Bill has almost been finalised which will soon be forwarded to the Law Ministry and then be presented in the Parliament. The purpose of the Bill is to control the import, production, transportation, boarding, sale and use of acid to prevent the misuse of acid and provide legal support to acid and burn victims. The draft has been prepared by making consultations with all the stakeholders including members of Acid Survivors Foundation (ASF), National Commission on Status of Women, UNIFEM and MoWD. All crimes under this Act will be cognisable, non-compound-able and non-bailable. The National Acid Control Council will be established to implement the Act in every province. Moreover, the emphasis was laid upon the fact that there is a dire need to make the provincial Acid Control Committees more effective so as to ensure prevention of sale of acids in their relevant areas of jurisdiction. According to legal experts, there are many provisions in the Pakistan Penal Code, which may address this crime to some extent but the enormity of the consequences faced by the victims needs much more severe penalties than presently available in the law. Moreover, since acid is so readily available in medical and other stores, acid attacks become a relatively cheap and effective way of committing acts of violence against women. So it is necessary to specifically term acid and burn related violence as crime by providing tougher and stricter penalties. According to the proposed draft, the victims of acid attack or burn attack shall be deemed to be person with disability and entitled to benefits and all measures under The Disabled Person (Employment and Rehabilitation) Ordinance, 1981, The Nation reports.

Kotli: 20 killed as bus falls into ravine
Monitoring Report
KOTLI, Azad Kahmir, September 10: At least twenty people were killed and 50 injured when a passenger bus plunged into a deep ravine in Kotli district of Azad Kashmir, Geo News reported on Friday.
The bus was traveling to Dhanwan Goi from Kotli via Tatta Pani, when it fell into ravine. Dead and injured were being shifted to the District Headquarter Hospital Kotli, hildren and women were among the victims. Source:

Happy 'Eid Day' to you all,
Heartiest wishes from VoH
The country has divided into two halves on the question of Eid-ul-Fitr consequently, Eid was observed on 10 th September, 2010. While a major portion of country's population is observing Eid celebrations today on Saturday 11 September, 2010. Muslims observe this mega event at the end of thirty day's fasting, an imprtant factor of Islamic faith right from its rise.
We, the team of Voice of Hunza would like to extend our heartiest wishes to all our valuable readers and saying you all " Happy Eid day" amidst fear, uncertainitites and apprehensions due to constantly deteriorating law and order situation in almost every province of the country. We have not forgotton those all who are in troubles in the wake of floods and land slidings and pray " May lord bring every human being out of poverty, oppression and misery.

Quetta: Minister’s house targeted; three killed
Monitoring Desk

QUETTA,Sep. 09: An explosion took place at the house of the Provincial Minister in Railway Housing Society on Thursday.

Three people have been killed and three others injured in the blast. The blast occurred in the compound of Baluchistan Finance Minister Asim Kurd Gilo's house.
Bodies and injured have been taken to Quetta Civil Hospital. Law enforcement agencies have cordoned off the area.

Government bans five Baloch groups;Police powers for FC in Balochistan; Interior minister says bank accounts of banned groups seized, action to be taken against their members; FC to carry out intelligence-guided operations where state writ challenged
Monitoring Desk
QUETTA, Sep.08: In an explicit assertive move, the federal government has transferred police powers to the Frontier Corps (FC) and banned five Baloch militant groups. The FC’s new powers, extended for a period of three months, will enable it to search and detain people. Talking to reporters in Quetta on Wednesday, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said that the
decisions had been taken during a high-level meeting held at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat to review the law and order situation in Balochistan.
The banned groups are: the Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), the Baloch Republican Army (BRA), the Baloch Liberation United Front (BLUF), the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and the Baloch Mussalah Diffah Tanzim(BMDT). “They (banned groups) will not be allowed to undertake any activity, their offices will be closed and action will be taken against their office bearers,” Malik said, adding that their bank accounts hadalso been seized.He said that any group whose name includedwords such as liberation, army and lashkarwould be banned. “It has been decided to act in order to restore the declining writ of the governmentin certain districts of Balochistan,” the minister said. However, he did not provide the names of the districts.
The interior minister said that the government was not going to launch a crackdown or full-fledged military operation in Balochistan, similar to the one launched in Swat. “The circumstances are different in Balochistan,” Malik said, adding that a small percentage of Baloch outlaws were involved in terrorist activities. Intelligence-guided operation: “It will be a targeted action that will be taken against the outlaws on the basis of real intelligence reports,” he said, adding that police would lead the action and FC would assist it in any district where the writ of the state is challenged. He said that the Balochistan chief minister would have the authority to decide in which area to use the FC. “The force will work under his directives for three months,” he said. He stressed that no steps would be taken without first consulting the Balochistan government.Source: Daily Times

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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.