Sost is one of the most important towns of Gilgit – Baltistan being the regional hub of Sino – Pak trade. Unfortunately the government has not paid any attention to development of the town. Basic facilities are still lacking in the area, affecting lives of the local community and the traders coming from all parts of Gilgit – Baltistan and rest of Pakistan.
People had high hopes that the establishment of Silk Route Dry Port will help to improve the quality of life of the local people. However, due to uncertainity, corruption and political feuds the interests of the local community, so far, have remained ignored.
The change in cabinet of the dry port trust is a positive development but it is not culmination of the hopes of the local community. The new cabinet needs to develop a comprehensive development plan for the town, concentrating on improvement of health facilities, water supply system, waste management system and provision of other civic necessaties.
This port has the potential to play a very important role in development of the entire region but the challenge is to use the resources where they are meant to be used. It wasn’t necessary for the new management to print huge advertisements, worth thousands of rupees, in the local papers of Gilgit – Baltistan, praising and thanking the politicians and rest of the supoorters, heralding the ‘victory’ of the new cabinet. This is tantanmount to resource wastage. The same money could have been put for other strategic causes.
The real victory for the port trust and the cabinet in charge would come when they are able to effectively play a role in improvement of the lives of the local community.