by Zulfiqar Ali Khan
HUNZA, Sept 4: The all party conference, organised in Aliabad, called for an additional seat for Hunza in the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GB-LA) before the coming election.
The one-agenda conference, participated by representatives of major political parties, civil society organisations and notables from all over Hunza, also agreed for election boycott if their demand was not met. A committee, comprised of all major political parties, was formed in order to exert pressure on government machineries and devise future strategies in this regard.
Addressing to the conference, the leaders blamed successive governments for ignoring this legitimate demand of the people since 1994. They said false promises had created frustration among the people.
Talking about the geo-strategic importance of Hunza, they said that “important geographical links with China, Afghanistan and the corridor to Central Asian states lies in Hunza and the government generates billions of revenue from its border”.
“Hunza with a population of more than 60,000 has only one seat in the assembly, whereas other regions with less than 10,000 have seats in the assembly, which adversely affects allocation of development funds,” a participant said, adding that such a gap was not only hampering development activities in the region but also resulted in regional disparity.
The representatives of the nationalist and progressive parties also condemned the ineffective role played by the elected representative of Hunza, Ghazanfar Ali Khan, who also enjoyed the thrown of the Chief Executive of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Chief of Gilgit chapter of the Labour Party said that the present and former representatives from Hunza were responsible for the miseries of the people of Hunza. Gen Zia abolished the additional district status of Hunza but the opportunist leaders remained silent, he said and added that their party would soon announce its strategy to agitate and mobilise people to boycott the election.
Talking to Dawn, Karimullah Baig, general-secretary Hunza chapter of PPP, said the party high-ups had already announced an additional seat in public gatherings, which was creating further frustration. He said their cabinet would struggle to ensure the notification otherwise would resign before the election.