Mon. Oct 21st, 2019

GOJAL (UPPER-HUNZA) DESERVES INTERNET

By Sharif Khan (PDCN – GILGIT) 

Internet, a discovery of modern science and technology, has revolutionized the world like never before. Today internet has made shrunk the scattered world into a global village. Students, businessman, engineers, doctors, journalist and even a lay man cannot survive without browsing it for research, inquiry, knowledge and wisdom either in the educational institutions or the developmental organizations, or just for personal purposes. This worthy facility is yet out of access for the people of upper-Hunza, Gojal, which is geographically the largest tehsil In Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) of Pakistan. 

Tehsil Gojal is strategically important because of its location and sharing borders with China and Afghanistan through international passes and routes. It is also a gateway to international trade and commerce via the Khunjrab pass and custom check post Sost-Gojal upper -Hunza. On yearly basis Pakistan Customs and CBR earn billions of rupees and ad to the economy of the country. On the other hand the area is famous for its huge glaciers (Batura glaicer, Passu glacier, Ghulkin glacier etc) and snow covered peaks (Shisper Peak, Pasu Peak, Mom Hill Sar etc) and serene valleys.  

The area is also fertile for Wild Life such as flora and fauna. The strong sociological and anthropological background the area is famous for peace and harmony and many tourists declare it the heaven on the earth and feel essence of humanity on the mountainous region by calling it Bom-i-Danyo in Persian and the English translation Roof of the world. 

The people are descent and well educated and spread to the globe and serving in various public and private services, businesses and studying in well reputed national and international institutions. 

The community has established English medium schools to ensure quality education along with the presence of government and AKES, P school systems. ICT lab and centers has been established in many schools and villages.  

Despite of all these positive characteristics, the Gojal tehsil has constantly been ignored by the government and non-governmental organizations, alike, when it comes to provision of cheap communication facilities. Although landline and mobile companies have been introduced in the region they still don’t cover all of Gojal. This is true especially for valleys like Shimshal, Chipursan, Misgar and others.  

On the other hand Civil Society Organizations, NGOs and other internet provider companies like Comsats also kept their eyes close and have not diverted any attention to offer internet facilities to the area. KADO is one of the internet provider organizations in few villages of central-Hunza and lower-Hunza, but did not pay any attention to the upper-Hunza.  

Thus the area is deprived of internet facilities in the era of modern science and technology.  It is strongly requested to the public sector and private sectors like SCO, Comsats, AKDN and KADO to look on the above facts regarding the importance of the Gojal Tehsil -Upper Hunza and consider it for internet facilities on priority basis. 

I do hope the public representatives and officials and civil society organizations will take the issue seriously and take immediate initiatives to give the area due importance through provision of E-services.

11 thoughts on “GOJAL (UPPER-HUNZA) DESERVES INTERNET

  1. i m completly backng Mr Shareef Khan on his views to connect our home land GOJAL to the shirrinking world through the thread of internet. i think internet has same importance as mobile phone system hav.
    mobile phone sys helpling little bit to get an awareness of internet i heared abt(not confrm) that some mobi compines hav GPRS facility in our regionso its gud newz..
    n lets hop for da best

  2. Sir, Yes indeed! you have focused on basic need of every walk of life which you mentioned in a sweet way. Internet providers should do their best to facilitate the Upper- Hunza as they did in other localities; like Proper and some villages of Lower-Hunza as well. Keeping in mind the rich educational ratio and boom trade at Sost Dry Port it is very important to provide the internet services priority basis. I do hope this stong message will be able to guide towards the emerging issue.

  3. who can deny the fact but the Intrest of ISP and the net users must join hands together to meet this specific task for Gojal.The Dry port and the Govt personnel may need this facility or they just relying on the obsolete Pakistan Post.

    Saleem Khan Karachi

  4. Dear Sharif Khan Sahab,

    I strongly uplaud and support your efforts for highlighting such an important topic using the media of Pamir times. further i would like to suggest that before Internet facility is launched in the Gojal region, using different platform and forum, we must aware people, specially the youth about its pros and cons, teach the youth about its effective usage and application, setting rules & regulations for the owners of Internet Cafes, i am saying this referrence to social problems arised in the urban areas of pakistan due to its misuse and non-compliance with Cyber Crime Ordinance.

    Regards

    Shah Zaman
    Islamabad

  5. Yes, we need internet facility in our area, but we are unable to get proper telephone connectivity as yet, which needs to be solved first. At a distance of only 40 Km we have a different code, means while calling form Gulmit to Hunza we need to dial a code, whereas in other parts of the country there is usually a single code for entire district. While calling within District Gilgit it should be a local call.

    Having internet facility with the present setup of SCO, I wonder is going to be very expensive.

    Aziz

  6. I am glad that Sir Sharif brought this matter up. Gojal, arguably, has one of the best literacy rates throughout the country. The enthusiasm of the people for internet can be guaged by taking the example of readers of Gojal Net and Pamir Times – from Gojal. There are young people who are using their mobile phones to access internet and read news on Pamir Times. Some of them even post comments. However, it is very expensive.

    PC per household ratio has increased exponentially and there are thousands of homes across Gojal who want to get hooked to the WorldWideWeb.

    Internet has been available in Gilgit city, since 1999-2000 and in central Hunza since more or less the same time. And gradually these services have been spread to other parts of the region. But despite of being a major trade corridor Gojal has constantly been neglected. No doubt the short sightedness of the social and political elite is one of the major causes, apart from government’s inaction.

    SCO is no more the monopoly that it used to be. Worldcall, Cybernet and other major players have been allowed licenses by the government of Pakistan, very recently and these companies are likely to start internet services in the region, apart from the telecommunication services. In this scenario the internet usage rates more likely to go down. In the past we have seen that COMSTAS had to lower its rate when SNET was started by SCO and this trend would continue in the coming times as well.

    But…. electricity is the main hurdle. Let’s not forget it.

    Regards
    Noor

  7. i completly agree with my dear uncle.
    now adays one cannot afford to lack this facility in the global village. every new technology from tv, pcs,dishanteena, mobile phones are common in gojal but there is no any internet facilty there.
    i hope in near future we would be having this facility in our homes there.

  8. AGREED WITH MR. SHARIF, THROUGH NET WE CAN WORK FOR OUR RELATED DEPARTMENTS AND CO. DURING VACTION AS WELL. THAT LL CONTIBUTE OVERALL IN BETTERMENT OF THE COUNTRY——-

    THE MATTER HIGHLIGHTED BY MR. SHARIF IS A VOICE OF THE PEOPLE OF GOJAL-UPPER HUNZA, HOPE LL NOT GO WITH THE WIND OF GLASIERS OF GULKIN, PASSU etc.

    THIS LL BE A HUMANITY SERVICES FOR THE SERVICES COMPANY AND LL ENGRAVE ON THE HISTORY OF COMMUNICATION FOR THE COMMING GENERATION THAT BLABLA ———–CO————-WAS THE COMPANY WHOM FIRST PROVIDED THE MODERN TOOL OF COMMUNICATION TO THESE COMMUNITIES ON THE ROOF OF THE WORLD WELL KNOWN SHANGRILA OF THE WORLD——-

    DON’TWASTE TIME MAKE THE HISTORY FOR ——COMPANY

  9. Really ustad Sharif has observed very keen intreistly the society and the importance of net in general life of a humen being in this era of time. if i wish our political leaders and social activists would think the way Usatad sharif has feeling the geniune issues of our Mordern society, so the day would not be far to accomodate the net facility for the public of Gojal to GOP, and the related organizations. lets keep our hope for the devalapment of the society.

    Thanks

    Warm Regards,
    Rahmat Karim ICD,
    Dubai UAE.

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