[News] Gojal Rabtaa Committee (GRC) Staged Demonstration Demaning Immediate Relief

Aliabad-Hunza (Karim Salman Jerovf): At Aliabad, people belonging to Gojal -Hunza under the banner of Gojal Rabtaa Committee (GRC) staged a demonstration regarding the government’s ineffective role during the troubled times caused by the disastrous land sliding of Attabad, Hunza. Because of the Attabad’s land sliding and resultant debris which is stretched over 1.5 kilometers the Hunza river is blocked that has built up a monstrous lake and submerged the villages of Ayeenabad, Low lying lands and homes of Shishkst , and stretching towards Gulmit. It has also blocked KKH which was the only source of linkage of Gojal-Hunza with the rest of the world.

During the demonstration representatives stated that the disastrous event has occurred on January 1, 2010, since than 25,000 people (including children and women) of Gojal are suffering because of un-availability of medicines, doctors, food and fuel and requesting government to fasten the spillage of water from the dame but the government has adopted a policy of making people the fools.   Nothing concrete and substantial has been done to provide relief for the people of the area. The helicopter service which has been operated is serving only VIP and there is no source of transportation for the common people. There are almost 250 students locked up who could not reach to their schools and colleges where they were studying in other parts of the Gilgit-Baltistan and down country in Pakistan.  It is demanded to take immediate step to provide means of transportation to the common people and students.

Second, the government has involved FWO to work on the opening the dame but its performance till now is very pathetic; neither has it had enough human resources nor the required technical capacity and machinery. Due to the lack of the capacity of FWO there is no significant progress on the opening of the dam for the spillage of water. International organization are ready to help but government of Pakistan has not provided permission to these organization to support people of Hunza, so it is demanded that government should immediately allow international organizations and agencies to work on the spillage of water from the dam.

Third, along with Attabad and Sarat other villages such as Salmanabad and many low lying villages of central and lower Hunza may be in danger so experts should be invited to have a reliable survey of Hunza.

Fourth, Gojal-Hunza should be declared calamity hit area and immediate action be taken to provide relief in terms of financial, economic and at social level.

Many people have shown their concerns regarding the capacity of the government of Pakistan to handle any massive calamity in Hunza or in Gilgit-Baltistan due the possible outburst of the dam which may result huge devastation in the area. Because in the current situation government has not been able to properly handled only 140 IDP families from Attabad, and feverous cases of corruption, misappropriation, mismanagement and fraud have been recorded at government level in the storage and distribution relief goods.

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