Another seat for Hunza in GB Assembly sought

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.

Courtsy: DAWN

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  1. I would suggest and urge the people of hunza – Gojal to boycott the election, no party or individuals should contest the election to record the protest, Hunza used to be called mini Larkana, today the PPP govt ignored the demand of Hunza – Gojal.

  2. Well done! It is the first step towards warming up the public/community of the entire Hunza. There would be more challenges coming up on the way; but the community leaders need to be consistent in and devoted to their genuine and deserving demand.

    When the demand will be met, how the composition of the seat would be? It is a big question.

    One group is of the view that from Altit onward there should be the constituency. Another group advocates that even half of Baltit onward to Gojal should be the constituency. But the majority group, the people of Gojal, demand that it should be based on tehsil level. Yet, there is another group that is of the opinion that from Shishkat down to Shinaki (Lower Hunza), it should be one constituency and from Gulmit onward to other villages of Gojal should be another.

    However, after resolution of the seat issue, there would start the geographical, legal, and right-based composition of the constiuency. It is beign argued that Ghazanfar Ali Khan and his cronies may support either dividing half of Baltit onward or from Altit onward to Gojal constituency in order to have their grips on the vote intensifying the language as a tool for their malignant poltics. If it becomes true, then this could be a dangerous play. It therefore needs to be strongly avoided.

    In a rational manner, if the objective of the seat in GBLA is truly area development, then it is the right time to decide with open heart and objectivity that Gojal tehsil deserves this seat as after the abolition of the principality, no adequate focus has been made on development from the goverment side.

    Second, the whole of Hunza (Gojal, Kanjut and Shinaki) is geographically comprised on 10,700 sq km. Out of this territorial size, Aliabad tehsil including Kanjut (Central Hunza) and Shinaki do not make up evern 1,500 sq km; while Gojal tehsil is comprised on almost 10,500 sq km; and that is why Gojal tehsil is the largest tehsil in its territorial occupancy in the whole of Giglit-Baltistan.

    Although, the largest tehsil, but unfortunately, has been deprived of all its just rights historically during the princely state and now during the present day modern state [though we are on the way to become Pakistani now].

    Third, if we have a pride to say that Hunza is a most important region geostrategically, there is no doubt. But the strategic region within Hunza or Hunza valley or Gilgit-Baltistan is the Gojal tehsil that is a rendezvous between South and Central Asia and China that borders with China and Afghanistan through the Pamirs: Shingshal Pamir; Taghdumbash Pamir and Little Pamir or Pamir e Khurd. Development therefore must not be seen in population’s term, rather in terms of area develoment. Development in Baltit, Altit, Aliabad or few other villages of Kanjut (making up almost only 400 sq km) cannot neccessarily reflect or could not be generalized on the on the entire Hunza including Gojal and Shinaki.

    It’s hoped that the political leaders, rather I’d prefer to say the poltical representatives, would take the points cited above into serious considerations.

    God bless you all with success in your just mission, and confer honestiy and a real wit in poltical development of the region.

  3. According to a reliable source, verbal discussion, Nawaz Sharif and M. Fazul Rehman has put pressure on PM on not to increase the seats on request of Mr. Hafeez Ur Rehman PML N G-B Chapter’s President and some others. Rationale behind this is that Gilgit Town was suppose to have a separate seat, which would make it difficult for Mr. Hafiz to win, and besides No. of ismaili representatives would increase in GBLA, a personal perception.
    Well its no logic to deprive such a huge population with their rights, in this age of information. An Additional seat was also to be allocated to Ghizer, again an ismaili dominated region. well these are my personal thoughts, but in this case they seem to be logical. its enough, for how long we will just be idle and taking what so ever is given to us.
    We now have to take some practical steps, to at least record our reservations and protest. In some days i am up for organizing a protest where i expect every individual of GB in Islamabad, to participate….
    i hope we do get some people

  4. Adil, I completely agree with your analysis of the situation and would like to add some more points to it.

    Nothing else could have been expected from the centrist Nawaz League and the sectarian JUI (F). Their interests in the region are confined to sectarian priorities.

    The fact that Hafeez ur Rehman led PML (N) is forwarding a sectarian agenda in the region, was well known. It is now cemented with revelation of the fact that he contacted the higher ups to block allocation of six new seats for GB, feeling that this allocation might “skew the sectarian proportion” in GBLA.

    In the past, two areas, Tangir and Darel, were given additional seats in the NALA,[despite of the fact that their collective population is below 30, 000 people,] under the same philosophy of “maintaing the proportion”, which in reality is distorting the natural proportion in the region.

    What irked Hafeez and his dears in faith is the reality that five out of the six seats were in “shia” regions, including three in Ghizar/Hunza (Ismaili regions). What does mr Hafeez want to achieve through sectarian politics is not clear but it has certainly gotten clear that he represents a sect only, not a regional party. I don’t know what his priorities for the die hard Leaguies of Ghizar and Hunza and Baltistan are??


  5. My brothers,sisters and hardworking youth of Hunza


    Hunza seems today united on the seat issue.It is a just based demand on the basis of our population .
    We the people of Hunza need demonstrate and use our democratic right of registeration of our agitation.But boycot of election may produce very ugly look of the image ofour beautiful Hunza.I fear if could creat some very difficult situations ,might be like Swat.So lets go forward not back.We should pressure the government through a moderate approach.Because Hunza is the only educated area in rural Pakistan.Please for Gods sake dont take such a step which would result in frustration for the rural Pakistan and will be despappointed from us.As you know Hunza is replicated all over Pakistan and the world for an examplary rural society with a community based moderate and educated people in development.and politics.It is also in the history of Hunza that our Wazirs in the history always defended Hunza from neighbouring rulers by wisdom,dialogue,and peaceful approach.
    Indeed Hunza is the sambol of hope of Pakistanis, please dont disappoint the nation of 169 million people of Pakistanis who are looking at us .Lets take a moderate way to register our agitation.Inshallah the nation will do justioce with us.
    By the way conspiracy theories of involvement of Hafiz seems not that sound because it is the government of PPPP which can do if it has will as you can see how they took the bold step of making the provisional province like structure to Gilgit Baltistan.


    Pakistan Zindabad
    Hunza Paindabad
    Hunzukutz Tabinabad

  6. @ S B Khan

    Hunza must also be known as a vibrant civil society fully aware of its rights and full realization of its strength. i wonder how a genuine demand for additional seat and a peaceful agitation will tarnish the image of Hunza all over the word? or how will the situation become like Swat? This is educated and responsible Hunza. Trust your People!

  7. Lets not confuse the issue by bringing unfound sectarian pressures.

    The ‘another seat’ demand for Hunza is not new, and it was based on the rationale to have parity with Nagar which has got two seats just across the river, and many other sub-divisions in Gilgit-Baltistan having equal or less population have more representation.

    Now that Hunza-Nagar is a district (notified already), the people of Hunza and Nagar district should have by proportion of their joint population compared to other districts in Gilgit-Baltistan, get three additional seats; 2 in Hunza (3UCs in Gojal Tehsil and one in Murtazabad-shinaki belt) and 01 in Nagar(Shinbar) which will make it totaling as 3 in Hunza and 3 in Nagar.

    The political parties, media, civil society and youth organizations in Hunza-Nagar district should demand three seats for their new district collectively.

    Amin Beg

  8. The result of the two worst decade long spells of dictatorships of Zia ul Haq and Pervez Musharraf have infected every inch of the social fabric of Pakistan.

    The two so called muslim leagues which were actually created by each of these dictators, are actually hard core sectarian parties now claiming to be democratic powers of this country.

    Every aspect of the peoples life in Gilgit Baltistan in particular and Pakistan in general wether it is social, economic, political, sports, art, culture etc. are contaminated by sectarianism.

    It is really frustrating to see the future of Pakistani politics which is full of corruption, sectarianism, nepotism and people who are honest, educated and having vision for the uplift of the general population can not find any place while, thieves, smugglers, murderers, outlaws, money launderers, corrupts, terrorists, etc. etc have a very bright and successful future ahead of them.

    God, Save us, the poor Pakistanis.

    The roots of mistrust among the society have reached much deeper and I don’t see it can be eradicated easily. Sectarian

  9. I agree with Mr. Amin Beg’s rationale for demanding additional seats for Hunza/Nagar district. If this is not sorted-out this time then it means, in future, we are inviting confrontation; the demand must be on administrative feasibility.

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