[News] Hunza is Sinking but Govenment Of Pakistan is Ignorent

By: Abbas Ali

One of the most important bridges on Karakoram Highway (KKH) that links Pakistan with China, the Shishkat Bridge submerged into the Lake on Hunza River after two months of Attabad Disaster which has blocked the fast flowing Hunza River.  It was second longest bridge on Karakorum High Way and first is Danyour Bridge.  Because of submerging of the bridge the settlements of Shiskat and Ayeenabad have turned into Islands as they have lost any dry land connections with the rest of the world.

There are acute problems facing currently by the people of Upper-Hunza (Gojal) in general and people in Shishkat and Ayeenabad particularly as their lands, homes and all sort of property (Orchards, agricultural fields) which they have established over centuries in harsh condition have lost. It has destroyed their economy, health facilities, schools and trade opportunities consequently they are now completely dependent on outside help and support for survival. Unfortunately even though this heavy scale of disaster has occurred where 25000 people are locked in isolation due to the natural disaster of Attabad-Hunza the government of Pakistan has not declared the area as a calamity hit region.

Government of Pakistan has not resources nor has the capacity to release the water from the dam, which was formed because of the Attabad Land Sliding that has blocked the flow of Hunza River, which is one of the fastest and coldest flowing rivers in the world. Why government of Pakistan is not declaring the area as a calamity hit area? Why it doesn’t Pakistan is listening the protests of the people from Khunjarove-Hunza to Karachi? It is simply because of the reasons that people of the area have not representation in the power echelons of Islamabad to raise their voice neither the negligent and dysfunctional government of Pakistan is concerned and aware of the anger and dismay of the people of Hunza and Gilgit-Baltistan over its insensitive approach.  The second reason, if Pakistan will be declared the affected region as calamity hit area it will open the way for International Donors and Development Agencies to work directly in the area to support the victims, which government of Pakistan is reluctant to allow. Currently although international development agencies and donors are funding the projects through local representatives but they are not directly implementing programs in Gilglit-Baltistan.

Why government of Pakistan is reluctant to allow international donors and development agencies to work in the calamity hit area of Hunza-Gilgit-Baltistan. The reasons are that Government of Pakistan is afraid that the intervention of international agencies will expose the performance and attitude of government of Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan. The performance and attitude is more concerned with politics and human rights than economics. More than half of the century has passed since independence but the people of the Gilgit-Baltistan do not have even the basic fundamental rights and they have been continuously exploited by the successive government of Pakistan.  

Over the last decades the situation has somehow changing as the people of the area have become improvingly politically active and a significant portion of population is raising nationalist agendas which are a threat for Government of Pakistan in this sensitive and strategic geographical area, for which there is obviously as well as ambiguously international support.  Government of Pakistan does not want to strengthen the familiarity and linkages of foreign donors and agencies directly with the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and organization working there.  However, this approach of the government of Pakistan is highly defective and irrational.

Pakistani establishment and politicians need to open their eyes and use their brains. In an area where people are highly educated and where people know their rights, if they been treated the way it is currently going on in current situation it would have disastrous effects.  Gilgit-Baltistan which has a very lose kind of political affiliation with Pakistani political system could be lethal and pave way for justified nationalist or separatist movement. People are losing their every valued possession as they are suffering with lose of their lives, identity and homes but government of Pakistan literally doing nothing and is a silently observer while people are sinking.  If people are not physically bleeding they are bleeding by heart and soul over a long period since January 4, 2010 after the Attabad disaster, but government of Pakistan is giving an impression of a sleeping elephant. In the protest gathering people have already started of abandoning the national anthem of Pakistan and bringing down the flag of Pakistan in the affected area of Gilgit-Baltistan, so government of Pakistan need to declare the area as calamity hit region. Let the international donors and development agencies to come and resolve the problems faced by the people, international experts could help to release the water for the lake and save the rest of the area form submerging into the water. It would help government of Pakistan to sustain the trust of the people in one of highly important strategic region.

The writer could be reached at abbashnz@yahoo.com


3 Responses to [News] Hunza is Sinking but Govenment Of Pakistan is Ignorent

  1. taqdir ali khan says:

    Hi dear
    You have rightly point out the apathy of government, indeed the present govt do not want to help the people in trouble, they are just thinking how to extract money from the international donor by way of commisions, I think the government should openly announce how much they are in need of commision to give go ahead signal to start working of the NGOs.

  2. Hussain karim jafaq says:

    Hello Abbas Bai

    I am a regular reader of GB times, which is really a great effort to keep the insight,spirit and consciousness alive in people of GB, beside this your time to time approach and thought provoking writing skills on social attention issues inspires me a lot and hope the same with rest of the readers as well. let us put our heads together and come up with the conclusion to SAVE GOJAL, and SAVE HUNZA.

    May God Bless GB times and Your for your extra efforts.

    Hussain karim jafaq

  3. Reshma says:

    A very good analysis of the situation by Abbas bhayi. Infact people are suffering and awaiting for the govts’. attention but how long should it take. I heard that when Qamar Zaman Kaira (govt. minister) visited the area after the disauster, interestingly he assured the people to open it within five days and when a local person questioned him of how could it be within five days? he challenged the person saying ‘are you an engineer?’. And today after 3 months it is still in its position. I think Kaira counts days in months but for the common people a day is of 24 hours not of a month. Kaira should know that the people living there have hundrad years of experience which is not less than an engineer….because experience teaches a lot trough practical.

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