Hunza, September 25: Hundreds participated in a scheduled rally called by the All Hunza Action Committe, as part of the movement for obtaining additional seat for Hunza in the Gilgit – Baltistan Legislative Assembly.
Participants of the rally marched through Karimabad and Ganish, finally assembling into a process in front of the F.G.Boys Model School, in the historical polo ground. A large number of local leaders, as well as leaders of the AHAC, addressed the gathering, demanding additioanl constituency for Hunza valley, on the basis of population.
This was the third major public protests after the successful rallies in Aliabad and Nasirabad Hunza. The speakers condemned discriminatory attitude of successive Governments towards Hunza and resolved to boycott the election under the present arrangements. They said the movement is to safeguard the interest of Hunza rather than strengthening political interest groups. They also rejected the establishment of Hunza-Nagar district without an additional seat for Hunza in GBLA.
Hunza was given the status of Additional district in 1974 due to its geo-strategic importance which was later abolished in Zia regime and now Hunza has a single seat despite the population has crossed 60,000, they added. They said the educated youth of Hunza face discrimination in public sector jobs.
Addressing the gathering, Sheikh Abid Hussain, Chairman AHAC reiterated his commitment to continue the struggle till the government announces additional seat. He requested the political parties to forge unity in their ranks in order to intensify the movement.
Noor Muhammad, general Secretary of AHAC said that the people of Hunza have always fought and sacrificed for the stability of Pakistan and the committee has no other agenda than an additional seat for Hunza in the GLBA.
Advocate Ehsan Ali, Chief of Labour Party Boloristan blamed the former representatives for not projecting the interests of the people of Hunza. He said he was struggling since 1994 for this seat which the other parties have always ignored.
Brig. (Rtd) Hissamullah Baig, while stressing the need to use civilized and educated ways in this struggle, said the sacrifices of the people of Hunza for the country forced him to join the protest for the legitimate rights.
Baba Jan, Chief of Progressive Youth Front Hunza warned elements that “are trying to politicize the issue”. He stressed the need to intensify the struggle at village levels.
Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan, former Chief Executive of Gilgit-Baltistan, assured to extend all support to the committee for the common cause. He however stressed to have meetings with high government officials in this regards.
Fida Karim, president of the local chapter of PPP said they are still in hope that Hunza would get the seat as the party has always considered the rights of the marginalised people.
Other speakers included Mirbaz Khan, Sultan Madad, Amanullah Khan, Ikram Najmi, Irfan Ali Irfan, Ghulam Murtaza, Alamgir Hussain, Sher Khan, Karim Khan, Gul Baz, Nambardar Shanawar and Hoor Shah.
In the end, the gathering marched from Karimabad to Ganish and chanted slogans for their legitimate rights. The committee announced to organize the next public protest in Gojal. [updated]