Sost situation worries PPP

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ISLAMABAD, June 28: Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has expressed concern over ‘deliberate attempts’ being made to create law and order problem in upper Hunza by remnants of the past regime and called for an immediate halt to such activities.

PPP spokesman and former senator Farhatullah Babar in a statement here on Saturday said that peace, development and empowerment of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan was a top priority of the government and any attempt to subvert that would not be allowed.

The plan to disrupt peace in the region came to light when several hundred people, including women and children, were forced to stage a protest demonstration leading to the blockade of Karakoram Highway (KKH) at the Sost border town against harassment and intimidation of people by the Chief Executive and local administration.

The demonstrators blocked the highway and chanted slogans against the Chief Executive of Northern Areas Ghazanfar Ali Khan for creating unrest in the peaceful area by bringing his henchmen to intimidate the people and take forcible possession of the Sost Dry Port following a local court decision setting aside a stay order of a lower court against the former management of the Silk Route Dry Port Trust.

Locals were taken aback when the court order came at a time when the chairman and other members of the Board of Trustees were in Kashgar, China, to attend the joint Board meeting of directors with the Chinese counterparts.

Within minutes of the court order, the local administration was geared up for the forceful occupation of the port even though the court order did not envisage it. Quite surprisingly and going out of the way the local administration braced itself to use brute force to take over the port offices while the management was out of the country.

Mr Babar said it was heartening that the Federal Minister of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas, Qamar Zaman Kaira, had already issued necessary instructions to restrain the elements in the local administration from provoking a clash.

The PPP spokesperson said a thorough probe into the affairs of the Silk Route Dry Port Trust (SRDT) was necessary to redress the grievance of stakeholders who had made huge financial contributions for the setting up of the dry port trust. He said the PPP had been demanding detailed audit of the accounts of the Trust.

Courtesy: Daily DAWN http://dawn.com/2008/06/29/top16.htm

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