Friday, December 10, 2010

Wazir emphasize on integrity, struggle for change for a better society;

emphasizes for adoption of philosophy of Dr.Allama Iqbal a key towards progress and glory; Interim governor says he has expectations with talented youth of GB
GBE Report
HUNZA, Karimabad, December: Interim Governor and Speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) Wazir Baig has said that nation has greater expectations with youth of Gilgit-Baltistan in general and the new district Hunza-Nagar. Talking with the students at the science exhibition Mr. Baig kept emphasis on young souls to devote for studies and co-curricular activities.
He applauded students' work on display in the F.G. Girls Inter College premises during his visit to commemorate Iqbal day. Students displayed their model projects of physics, chemistry,and ecology. Talking to teachers and participating students, he said that the nations which excelled in science and technology were world leaders and rest of the world looks towards their development and prosperity. " Our accomplishments in the field of science and technology was the only way for a sustainable society,' he added.

PPP govt aware of the loop holes in BISP, learning from the mistake; inclusion in National Economic Council (NEC) a worthy accomplishment : F.M

Gilgit Baltistan Echo
HUNZA, Aliabad, November: Finance Minister Gilgit-Baltistan council and member Gilgit Baltistan Legislatve Assembly (GBLA) has said that Pakistan People's Party (PPP) was aware of hardships being faced by the inhibitants of Gilgit-Baltistan. On the occasion of innugural session of Wattan card initiative, here at Aliabad, he said that contemporary regime will strive to fulfill its promises made with people during last poles.
HUNZA: Finance Minister GB Cabinet speaking at the innuguration ceremony of Wattan cards in Aliabad, says that it was the PPP's led government that give importance to people and contemporary government has potential to facilitate working class though effective packages aims to stabilize prices of their crops. Photo by Shams

Answering to a question of GB Echo that in Banazir Income Support Programme (BISP) the benifit of initiative was passed on non-deserving people instead of those who deserved most and with such a recent experience how both political and civil administration would ensure to give benifit to those who lost their properties in floods or deserve most , finance minister said that he was informed of some flaws in BISP saying necessary arrangements were made to ensure to give benefit from the programme through a comprehensive survey being done through Aga Khan Rural Support Programme (AKRSP). Replying to another question, what was gaurantee that the new survey would indicate the real picture as in past few NGOs manuplated data to bestow certain sellective people in respective areas, he said that due to lack of any other transparent public organization and constant demand of public to undertake an impartial survey cum sensus drive to determine actual need of the assistance to poor families. " We were in air and now came on grounds following critic and willing to listen legitimate criticise from intellectuals," he added.

Relief from Punjab govt distributed among non-deserving people

GBE Report
HUNZA, Aliabad November: The relief package that was reached in a vehicle carrying mixed food items for the flood affectees during summer torrential rains under the directives of Chief minister Punjab Mian Shehbaz Sharif was distributed among non deserving poeple in Aliabad. According to the some of residents of Aliabad, the relief sent by Punjab government could not be reached to affected families who lost their properties during rains in Central and Lower Hunza-Nagar district.An affected person from Shishkat whose every thing submerged in the Attaabad lake on condition of anonymity said he and other affected families got nothing from the same relief. Affected families of the district has demanded of the party authorities to ensure efficient and honest procedure in distribution.

Relief Package from Govt of Punjab for flood affectees reachs Hunza-Nagar;

Arrangements made to dispatch proportional share to respective areas: Kalb Ali
GB Echo Report
Hunza-Nagar, November: A vehicle carrying mixed food items for the flood affectees during summer torrential rains reached Aliabad, Hunza on Saturday.According to the details, as per directives of Chief Minister secretariat, three trucks: GLT-2354, GLT-5248, PKJ-662 carrying mixed food items including floor baigs, cooking oil and pulses were sent under a revenue official to the affectees of Ghizar, Gilgit and Hunza-Nagar district reached Gilgit, a day earlier.

Party leadership of Pakistan Muslim League (N) received one of them at Hunza Aliabad. Kalb Ali, president PML(N) while talking to media persons here at Aliabad said that the proportional quantity would be dispatched to the respective areas where floods inflicted devastation during recent rains. He said that the package in hand will first distributed among deserving families of central Hunza-Nagar district. " The party will ensure availability to every affectees irrespective of affiliation of party," he added.

Exclusion of GB for council sectratate vacancies against our expectations, actions to be taken behind the act: Amjad Hussain

GBEcho Report
GILGIT, November: Exclusion of GB for newly created council Secretariat positions was against our expectations and any such move would lead our resistance. These view were expressed by Amjad Hussain,chairman standing committee while talking to GB Echo via telephone on Saturday afternoon. He said that refusal to applicants and preference to those from other provinces like Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa, Punjab and Sindh would be a tangible proof to deprive people of GB from equal opportunity option. He said that it was right of the suitable candidates from the region to have a chance to serve for their own region. " Instead of procurement from other privinces, locals should be given priority for indigenous people have natural belongingness with the region while outsiders have only concern with their salaries alone," he added.
Tyranically, GB is being ignored in the recruitment processes and applications have been sought saying preference would be given to those belong to other provinces. This is an open example how the inhibitants were denied of their right to have job opportunities in thier own region. Candidates with potential of the region feel them between two fires: one either they have least career opportunities as such case vindicate and secondly, lack of transparency and irregularities make recruitment services a corrupt practice where high performer from poor families do not expect for any good as key posistions are sold against huge amounts in which beaurocracy and political administration has due share.

Contractors demand for equal treatment;

end of religo-political intervention, proper advertisement of tender notices demanded
GBE Report
GILGIT, November: (Samiullah Khan) A delegation of Contractors association Gilgit-Baltistan met Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah to discuss continuous intervention of religio-political pressure groups in development projects in the region. Delegation brought fore many such cases in which projects were left either due to obstacles to release escalation or other issues related to finance. They expressed their serious reservations over the way tenders were offered and approved. " Those contractors having a proven track record were neglected to bestow corrupt ones," said those accompanied delegation. Chief minister assured delegation of immediate action to be taken against those involved in corruption. He listened to their complaints of continuous intervention of reglio-political lobbies and pressure groups at different layers. He ordered secretary works to review all important projects to ensure their proper implementation and in time completion and in case of any irregularity on part of some one to be taken strictly.

[Opinion] No royalty, the bitter appetizer!

Quwwat Khan Sunny
GB Echo Monitor
The federal Minister for communication has given a fatwa that Gilgit-Baltistan does not qualify for Royalty on Bhasha Dam, for Royalty is paid to a province not a territory that lies outside of the jurisdiction of the constitution. The minister further has boasted that the fate of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan would radically change in the coming decades.
Like most of the grandpas who always have bucketful of jokes to please the innocent kids, the federal pundits have great constitutional explanations to legitimize their injustices and to turn down the rights of the people. They always have been hungry for power and resources and have never been ashamed of repressing the weak. This has been witnessed for decades in this relatively lawless country.
Gilgit-Baltistan is contextually a weak territory and the pundits at Islamabad have gauged the weak nerves of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in the last 63 years. They know about this blasé nation which has been leniently living in the fantasy of packages, executive orders and support programs. An excessively harmless nation that believes in the stroke of the pen rather than the smoke of guns has got nothing to prevent any external strategic and economic venture — they know it. They have found us trained subjects to their courts. They are aware of the comfort we have in their loyalty. They know the fact that we take pride in dusting the welcome mats of Wattos, Chaudries and Gojars of Lalamusa. So why should they hesitate to pass their time playing around us and leech the great strategic and economic gains from the soil that belongs to none but the people of the region.
So we do not qualify for the royalty? Bravo! Loot whatever you find in my house to feed your kids and pay me nothing, for your family rules does not allow to do so? Where did you get the sort of constitution that allows encroaching and confiscating somebody’s property and limits rewarding and compensating for what you exploit? You must be playing with the emotions of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan as usual.

May be Mr. Arbab is a candid gentleman, surprisingly upfront to call spade a spade that Gilgit-Baltistan is a deprived and politically orphan territory where neither the constitutional regulations can be imposed nor the residents can be expropriated from their own resources. But he seems to have no problem dynamiting somebody’s yards to feed his voters in Punjab and Khybar Pukhtoonkhwa. Thus his candidly posed personage is unverifiable.
A snagging question: why don’t they make Kalabagh Dam, a giant feasible project in their own province? It can irrigate their fields, quench their thirst and protect them from the devastating floods in much better way than Diamer Dam. Well, Raja Perveiz Ashraf has announced that “opposition from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and other stakeholders, the project was no longer feasible” There you go; they do not want to displease their voters. They instead would snatch from the weak. They would loot the unattended free stuff like Bhasha or Sadpara, pretty simple.
It is, however, ruthless to blame the constitution for everything that represents an ill intention. Gilgit-Baltistan has a great respect for the constitution of Pakistan not because it is their constitution but because they do not have one like that. There are people in Gilgit-Baltistan who read the constitution of Pakistan, despite the fact that it is not binding on them. About the matter under discussion, article 161. (1) of constitution of Pakistan says, “Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 78 the net proceeds of the Federal duty of excise on natural gas levied at well-head and collected by the Federal Government, and of the royalty collected by the Federal Government, shall not form part of the Federal Consolidated Fund and shall be paid to the Province in which the well-head of natural gas is situated.”
Sub Section (2) further states, “ The net profits earned by the Federal Government, or any undertaking established or administered by the Federal Government from the bulk generation of power at a hydro-electric station shall be paid to the Province in which the hydro-electric station is situated.”
This, perhaps, is being referred by Arab Alamgir. It appears the article does not prevent to give royalty to the people of any territory where the resource is extracted. It, rather urges on the correlation between the natural resource and the original ownership that would be entitled to the royalty. Disproportionably focusing on the word, “Province” in the constitution entails a greed, ill-intention and injustice. If constitutional experts take the province as it is, then the acquisition of land from a territory other than the province would be unconstitutional. It is the same constitution that stresses on the word “Province” when it allows acquisition of land for federal purposes. Article of 152, under the head “Acquisition of Land for Federal purposes” sets out that “The Federation may, if it deems necessary to acquire any land situate in a Province for any purpose connected with a matter with respect to which [Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)] has power to make laws, require the Province to acquire the land on behalf, and at the expense, of the Federation or, if the land belongs to the Province, to transfer it to the Federation on such terms as may be agreed or, in default of agreement, as may be determined by an arbitrator appointed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan“ Which article is being followed; the first one about royalty? Or the later about transferring the land on the terms agreed upon, determined by an arbitrator or Chief Justice of Pakistan?
Apparently no constitutional guidance is being followed but a word of choice (Province) that creates confusion and ambiguity paving the way to grab the free stuff, is being used to befool the innocent people of Gilgit-Baltistan. If a constitution deprives someone of his rights (as Mr. Arbab states, it does), it is a constitutional error. It should be fixed before someone starts digging around holes. The government of Pakistan got UK work permits to thousands of the people of Dadyal and Mangla to reciprocate their deprivation. As a result, most of the Pakistani community in UK belongs to Mirpur, Mangala or Dadyal who have a fair role in influencing the Kashmir cause internationally. One of them recently threw his shoe at the face of President of Pakistan in Birmingham. Is there any plan to accommodate any of the Chilasies or people of Diamer in the similar fashion? Who will guarantee to compensate adequately for the loss of businesses in the area of Bhasha Dam? Would the people of Gilgit-Baltistan be given free electricity forever?
Is there any plan to provide the best free water supply system in Gilgit-Baltistan and who will guarantee it? What employment (top to bottom) quota has been agreed upon in this project for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan? This is a right time for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan to thoroughly determine and address the core concerns related to the project. The royalty denial issue should be taken seriously and be addressed promptly. Can a country construct dams in an internationally disputed region, is a question of great concern too. All the modern economic deals and projects are undertaken by the parties with the simple WIIFM (what is in it for me?) premise. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan should be conscious of their rights and interests. They should maturely react to what is being said or done against their interests.Sitting cross-legged like very nice kids has so far earned us nothing but deprivation. We should at least nudge each other to save something for our future generations. The future of our generations wholly and solely depends on the energy resources and the strategic competitiveness.
There is a big talk about the new great game in the region. We have to decide whether we want to be a party to the deal or a sandwich. Remember; most of the external activities in the region would be undertaken in a camouflaged style. “The destiny of the people of GB would be radically changed” is a peace time card stalking propaganda. Whispering no royalty means to serve a bitter appetizer.

The contributor is based in Canada. He belongs to Yasin, Ghizar.
Courtesy: Pamir Times

All possible support to be extended to special people of the region: Wazir

GB Echo Report
GIGLIT: Speaker Gilgit-Baltisan Legislative Assembly and interim governor Wazir Baig has said that every possible support to be extended to the special people in our society. Addressing to the participants of white cane safety day, here at Gilgit he said that handicapped people were no more a burden, rather, he said can play their role in the transformation process towards a healthy and just society where individuals are respected for their talent, merit and skill not for physical features. He pledged to pay special attention to the improvement of special education department to facilitate handicapped people.
A special awareness walk was arranged on Thursday from Heli Chowk to Lalik Jan Shaheed footbal stadium to mark white can safety day. Dozens of government officials, handicaped students, social activists and common people participated the walk to show sympathies with impaired persons.

Winter at bay, a reciprocal impact

Decrease in temperature and increase in prices of fabrics, sweaters, coats,attracts public to Landa Bazar
Monitoring Report
GILGIT :Decrease in temperature and a reciprocal increase in prices of fabrics, sweaters, coats and socks attracting even those belonging to affluent families. The tendency is the result of multifaceted factors: low quality in first hand wear items due to increase in production costs, higher prices than lowering income brackets, dual brand items with the same label and least appeal to mountainous zest. While, public interest in second hand items, mostly imported from China can be traced in their durability, low prices and suitably designed for mountain communities.Chines products with lesser prices have dominated most of the markets from fabrics to general items, leaving products of foreign countries, and even Pakistan in hot waters.
On the other hand, influx of customers in such Landa markets have serve to made the venders increse in prices of such second hand products, slightly.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Governor Baig wants dams in Gilgit – Baltistan

Monitoring Report
ISLAMABAD, Oct 30 (APP): Acting Governor Gilgit-Baltistan Wazir Baig called on Federal Minister for Water and Power Raja Pervaiz Ashraf here on Friday and congratulated him on getting funds from America for Sadpara and Diamar Basha dams.Wazir Baig was accompanied by Deputy Speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Jameel Ahmad.
He also asked the minister to hold talks with China for completion of Bonji dam. He said the timely completion of those dams would not only facilitate the people of Gilgit-Baltistan but would also help meet power shortage in Pakistan. The Acting Governor said that efforts should also be made for getting funds from Asian Development Bank for Hassan Abad, Hunza Power House. He said the Power House besides providing electricity to the local population would be a source of facilitating tourists. The minister assured him that the Pakistan government would make all-out efforts to address the genuine demands of Gilgit-Baltistan people.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Retired officials at work against the interest of current regime;

Few elements want me to grapple with others; new governor neither Sunni, nor Shia not Ismaili rather ought to be a jiala: Mehdi Shah
GB Echo Bureau report
GILGIT, October 01: Being a politician, I do not follow any religion and every one has ventured to defame me by slinging mud over me saying I am incompetent; i accept I do but not like those who were involved in anti social activities like smuggling. These views were expressed by Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltisan Syed Mehdi Shah while talking to media persons after the convention of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Gilgit-Baltistan chapter. He claimed that retired government officials who got prosper with the support of Quid-e-Awam Z.A. Bhutto were working against the interest of current PP regime saying few elements want me to grapple with others unnecessarily. He said that the new governor of Gilgit Baltistan should neither be a follower of Sunni, nor Shia not Ismaili school of thought rather he ought to be a PPP jiala.
He said those who criticize on PPP led government both in center and Gilgit-Blatistan were the products of opportunism saying those who entered in government services as grade one retired as the head of their department due to patronization of Qaid-e-Awam Z.A.Bhutto who followed the poor friendly policies to manifest his 'Rotti, Karpra, Makaan' slogan. " Few people also want to get me involve into unnecessary mazes to prove me incompetent and create an excuse to redeem self governance package for the empowerment of the region. He criticized former regimes for neglecting of masses of across the region saying within a tenure of three years our party leadership including Prime Minister visited Gilgit-Baltistan thrice specially to Diamer where none of any former premiers ever been. He said that his party would support their dyehard workers in appointments keeping in view the requirements and skills. " Our dedicated Jialas or activists are enough to overcome any situation if needed," he added.

Violence revisits Gilgit- three persons critically injured in armed attack in Western limits;

Ongoing search operation under question!
Monitoring Report
GILGIT, September 29: At least three people are reportedly seriously injured following an armed attack on a public transport vehicle in Basin area police limits. According to the details, some unidentified assailants equipped with advanced automatic arms attacked a light vehicle carrying locals was on the way from Suzuki stand to Basin area in the West of Gilgit city.

GILGIT: Despite of vigilance on part of law enforcement agencies in the last week of current month, culprits inflicted wreck creating sense of insecurity in the city and outskirts. A police is parked to close the entrance to a local main mosque to avert possible terrorist attacks. Photo by VoH

Arm attack, it was said left at least three people seriously injured creating sense of insecurity among the residents of city of possibility of communal based conflict in the region. For more, please log on: Voice of Hunza

Wazir Baig takes oath as acting governor of Gilgit Baltistan

VoH News Watch dog
ISLAMABAD, September: (APP) Speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) Wazir Baig here on Monday took oath as the acting governor of Gilgit-Baltistan. Chief Justice of GB Supreme Appellate Court Justice Muhammad Nawaz Abbasi administered oath to the acting governor at a simple but an impressive ceremony held at the GB House.
The ceremony was also attended by Chief Minister of GB Syed Mehdi Shah, members of GBLA, ministers and other senior officials of the Gilgit-Baltistan administration.
The seat of governor had fallen vacant after the demise of Dr. Shama Khalid.After being sworn-in, Wazir Baig talking to media vowed to make all-out efforts for the socio-economic development of the area and welfare of its people.
He informed that GB has not only the potential to meet electricity requirement of the area but the entire country, stressing the need for exploiting the resources of hydel power generation to meet the energy shortages.
The acting governor said the GBLA has already taken special measures for maintaining peace, brotherhood and sectarian harmony in the area.In this regard, he said a committee has already been in place to achieve this objective as promotion of tourism and increased investment is very much inter-linked with improved law and order situation there.
He said the committee is interacting with Ulema and religious scholars belonging to different schools of thought to ensure harmony among various faiths and sects.Wazir Baig said the GB Legislative Assembly and its administration are in constant touch with the federal government for early rehabilitation of the flood-affected people of the area.
Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah in his brief remarks on the occasion welcomed the appointment of Wazir Baig as acting governor and said “Mr. Baig is a seasoned and visionary politician and capable enough of resolving the problems being faced by the area.”

Have we failed as a nation?

GBE Monitoring Desk
By Fizza Sangi
We, Pakistanis, always blame our politicians for being corrupt, when we, ourselves, are no better than them. Truth is, we might even be worse. They are not to be blamed for what the country is facing, well, they are not the ONLY ones to be blamed. We are part of it as well.
I never pondered over this until a couple of days back, I did not even ponder over those affected by the flood. Yes, it is true that when I enjoyed all my luxuries, I did not, even once, not that I remember, think of them. I did, however, think of all the people who conned money out of the Pakistani citizens by saying it would all be donated to the flood victims. What happened with the things that we donated, none of us know (not including those who went themselves).
The point is that this ‘crime’ or ‘sin’ was not only committed by adults, but young people as well. School going kids, in fact. Fourteen and fifteen year old Pakistani youths have conned their school mates. This happened at my own school, where those of the most wealthy families study. For practicing such an act, one must be truly heartless.
The reason they did this is because adults were doing it, they were only following their example. For those who sit back and are not doing a thing about it, I should only mention that you are as huge a part of this sin as the rest. To those youths who did this, you are not children anymore, you are mature, you know what is right and wrong, and this act does not make you ’smart’ for conning money out of those younger and older than you. You are only foolish, to be walking in the steps of your own enemies. For following the footsteps of those more foolish than yourself.
Furthermore, I would only like to add that you are no better than the politicians you pretend that you hate. Yes, you only pretend. You are no better than them.-Aaj Tv

Fizza Sangi is a young writer, currently doing her O Levels at Beaconhouse School System in Karachi.

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

Monitoring Report
SHISHKAT, September: 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 seismic expert to declare emergency. A public servant on condition of anonymity told an online weekly portal that local government is taking little interest to give any substantial 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.

Courtesy: VoH