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.