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No wall chalking in Gojal, youth demand

by Farman Karim

Gulmit, October 8: “If the candidates want to share their election manifesto they shall meet the community and youth in public gatherings. The candidates shall avoid wall chalking in the region, disturbing the natural environment”.

These views were expressed and agreed on during a meeting between a group of youth of Gulmit and some election candidates. It was also agreed that the parties thatavoid this code of conduct would lose votes and support of the youth, by default. 

The group of youth also demanded a separate seat for Gojal valley in the Gilgit – Baltistan Legislatitve Assembly, on the basis of Tehsil division. They said that the demand for a single additional seat for Hunza is unrealistic, so the campaign shall be to increase repreentation of Hunza in the assembly to at least three seats, one each for Gojal, Kunjud and Shinaki. 

They argued that with an unofficial population of over 100,000 people Hunza’s needs would not be fulfilled by a single additional seat.

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  1. Thanks Farman for such important massage from the youth of Gojal, indeed the environment of Gojal is much greater then the political Drams.

  2. I pray that the youth of Kanjud and Shinaki replicate this great initiative. We should not plague our environment with the political material.

  3. Yeah!Mr. Farman has nicely suggested the candidates,if they will
    do so only then people of respective regions vl be able 2 km 2 know abt thier talent of leadership…………………

  4. What a magnificent idea that is; the same thing should be replicated all over Hunza and the Gilgit Baltistan as a whole. A defined strategy can be put in place by the youth of Gojal for its effective implementation. This would be a message for the country from the mountainous area, which sounds really sweet.
    Those who violate such noble cause should need to pay the price in terms of their electoral results. The people of Gojal should join hands with the youth for the success of this environmental campaign. I would also urge not only the youth of Hunza but also the youth of GB to show the power of youth by effectively implementing this initiation in the whole region. Media can be involved to aware the masses of the area and to project it in the whole country.
    I would urge the readers of PT to kindly be generous and post as many comments as we can, to encourage such initiatives.

    May Allah bless youth of GB

  5. That is great step and fasten to their promise
    The youth should take step ahead to gathered public and invite political leadership of Hunza to present their political manifesto and public should be provide a chance to ask them their queries. There should be debate on issues of Gojal and Hunza and let Politician chance to try their luck.

  6. I would suggest our youth to enforce it through the proper legal authority, Tehseel. It will give their effort a legal status and they can ask any candidate who goes against this rule. It is very important other wise our environment will be distorted by the so called supporters of various candidates. Candidates can display banners and other promotional materials instead. Thanks our youth.

  7. Another point i forgot to mention earlier, I am sure that the inside candidates of a particular village or area may abide by this rule, but the outside ones will attempt to break it. so it is also important to send this message across-the-board……

  8. I appreciate the initiative of banning wall chalking in Gojal by the youth of Gojal. This shows increasing awareness among our youth about environmental issues. However, I am really disappointed to see the demand of seats on the bases of administrative division of linguistic regions. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan do not enjoy basic political rights precisely because we failed to produce a leader who can transcend the linguistic, regional and sectarian boundaries and become acceptable to everyone. Dividing seats along ethnic lines will further deteriorate the existing situation in Hunza as its society is already depoliticized and fragmented. Introduction of another fissure will ultimately lead to the creation of an isolated society with problems of national and global level but mentality of local level.
    The proposed division will not lead society towards pluralism, rather is will lead to monolithic identities/societies without a common interest among multiple groups. Common interest is the locus for interaction among heterogeneous groups to negotiate their demands and interest. This helps forming a civil society in particular social setting. Alas! Our youth is forming not civil society but a parochial society which will not tolerate difference.
    The yawning gap between different groups or segments of Hunza from Klick to Mayoon can only be narrowed if we are able to engage people with real issues and provide a platform of converging interests. One will be a greater leader if a person is able to convince people in Aliabad to cast vote in his favor despite the fact that he belongs to Shinaki or Gojal or vice versa. In contrary situation we will produce cocks who are valiant on their own dunghills of central Hunza, Gojal and Shinaki.
    In order to fight against the suzerainty of royal family we need a leader who can garner vote from every nook and cranny of Hunza. Despite his failure we have to accept the fact that Ghazanfar is getting vote from every village of Hunza. I have read comments regarding the demand of seats for Gojal, Kunjud and Shinaki. It is unfortunate that the youth of Gojal termed demand for additional seat unrealistic. I think demand for additional seat is realistic and demand for seats on the bases of ethnicity is unrealistic. Although, I hail from Hunza Shinaki, I will be the first to oppose a person who wants to create additional seat just on the basis of language and ethnicity. If language is very important then central Hunza should be merged with central Nager, Shinaki with Chalt and Wakhis with Wakhan. It might help people who are facing identity crisis and searching for roots in Macedonia, Hungry, and Tajikistan etc. This issue needs thorough analysis but it is outside the purview of the topic under discussion.
    I request the youth of our region to build courage to accept alterity or otherness in our society. Closing our self within the cocoon of language, race and religion will make our vision parochial and more vulnerable to divisive forces. A society becomes conservative when it closes itself within for the fear of others. To establish an open society we need to open our arms at least to our brothers. Closing ourselves will only pave the way for close society.

    1. Dear Aziz Bhai
      Your thoughts are really appreciate able that political steps should be dealt politically. Additional seat for Hunza or Gojal is a political demand it is not on the basis of ethnic or else. Gojal is the largest tehsil in Gilgit-Baltistan and there are two tehsils in Hunza or in other words Hunza is divided into two tehsils administratively. Thus any administrative decisions would be based on these existing set-ups and violating these would create many other problems. I remember and am aware of the plan for two constituencies in Hunza just to strengthen the Mir family. That would not be acceptable to the people of Gojal. Secondly Gojal has population of 60% Wakhis and 40% Brushaski speaking.

      You are quite emotional in saying i would be the first one in opposing seat for Gojal, that could be your personal feelings but the ground situation does not accept this….. any how the more feasible way of seat distribution would be based on the existing administrative distribution.

      One more thing you might be aware of it that Tehsil Gojal was not given as gift to the people it was a result of a very long struggle and sacrifices

      Your further comments would be welcomed

  9. It was discussed before about the wall chalking!
    A marvellous dicision has taken by the youth and the condidates participating in the up coming election should use banners instead of wall chalking!
    As far as the demand for the seats are concern there must be a separate seat for the gojal on the tehsil basis!

  10. Laudable steps and thoughtful demands!

    Youth make up more than 50% of our population and behind this big number there lies a lot of power, influence and persuasion that can determine the political directions in our areas. The demands forwarded by the youth of Gojal apparently seem an optimistic use of this youth power, influence and persuasion, which, if enforced properly, can positively steer the political, economic, social and civil processes.

    High spirits!


  11. Thanks Farman Karim for informing us, Please convey my heartiest congratulations to the youth of Gojal specially those who were involved thoughout the whole process.

    This seems nothing but it is indeed a huge step, Our next generation will surely be proud of this.

    Join gands against VISIBILITY POLUTION.

    As our population is increasing so is the waste, so we have to plan for that as well.

    We are proud of you.

    Cheena, Buner

  12. Demand of seat for Gojal is not on the base of ethnicity, three ethnic groups of people are living together for a long period of time in Gojal and they have good understand on their common issues. As the valley is scattered and people of Gojal suffer a lot due to centralizing institution in one place, this become their true demand. Any demand begins with discrimination and ignorance and it is there and the people of Gojal feel it, any other person cannot feel pain of some one else.

  13. Thank you all for commenting and appreciating for the steps which we have taken prior the start of campaign of election.

  14. My Dear Karim,
    Nothing gives me more pleasure than a response that critically challenges my assumptions and opinion. We tend to get personal when we oppose each other. Since there is not personal enmity between both of us we can have a fruitful discourse on the issue.
    To build a proper political culture we need to have issues that can prove instrumental in combining multiple interests of diverse social and cultural groups under the banner of civil society. I do not think that constitutes are divided according to the size of land of a particular area. If that was the case then Balochistan would have maximum seats in the assembly. In reality it is vice versa.
    Second, you have not buttressed your claim of ‘the plan for two constituencies in Hunza just to strengthen the Mir family’ with examples or cogent reasons, but relied on memory. I see it otherwise. An additional seat in Hunza will make a dent to Mir’s power. That is why he did not create additional seat. It seems unconsciously you are on the same wave length with Mir for opposing additional seat in Hunza and favoring only a seat for Gojal. According to existing rearrangement of constituencies Baltit, Altit and Gojal will form one seat, and rest of central Hunza and Shinaki will make second seat. It is great opportunity for youth of the region to create a new society where they could be able to create a political culture by engaging with real issues not with a fear of majority at the back of mind.
    Please do not cherry pick Gojal in reproducing my emotional statement that ‘I will be the first to oppose a constituency created on the basis of ethnicity.’ This observation is also applicable to Shinaki or central Hunza.
    I partially agree your statement ‘Tehsil Gojal was not given as gift to the people it was a result of a very long struggle and sacrifices.’ Partially agreed because it was result of struggle but I do not remember if any person sacrificed his life in the struggle for tehsil. Life is the most precious thing in the world. So better commit it for the noblest cause. Squandering or sacrificing life for tehsil is like firing cannon to kill a partridge.

  15. Dear Aziz

    Thanks for your response… indeed it gives me pleasure too when some one response me…. Your have talked about society and that is where I fully agree with you….

    The second thing you are not accepting Gojal as largest tehsil in the area, sacrifices of the people against mirs, and the geo-political importance. Anyhow here is my response:

    1. You have confined yourself with the National Assembly and there is a upper house too.. Why this upper house as equal members from each province:
    2. Comparing NALA with NA is not justifiable, NA does legislation and NALA enjoys more of development funds and some of the seats in existing NALA is based on remoteness
    3. If distribution of seats in NALA were based on distribution of population then we would not have seat allocations for each districts based on tehsils and subdivisions
    4. Don’t you think Gojal up-till now have suffered a lot particularly in resources distribution,,,
    5. Don’t you think it is the right of a Wakhi speaking getting access to NALA
    6. Why you limit sacrifices to getting killed of killing someone…. don’t you think time, knowledge and devotion are the aspects of sacrifices and giving life is the extreme condition
    7. If your definition of sacrifices is right, then what do we call when people were jailed, compelled to leave the areas and there belongings were taken

    Your further comments would be appreciated

  16. The tehsil based constituencies could be justified on below grounds rather than just giving an ethnic flavour.

    1. Gojal is the largest tehsil in terms of its extensively-scattered territory in the GB (more than 95% of the total area of Hunza ). That is why the local administration has their setups both in Gulmit and Sost.

    2. The population of Gojal Tehsil is more than double of many of the constituencies in Gilgit-Baltistan.

    3. Out of the total 46 villages in Hunza about 30 are in Gojal Tehsil.

    4. The development needs of the people of different valleys within Gojal are different from each others and that of Centarl Hunza and Shinaki (although major parts of Shinaki also have different development needs but are more easily accesible to Central Hunza, Nagar and Gilgit). For example if you establish a hospital in Aliabad that is more easily accesible to all villages of Central Hunza, Shinaki and even major parts of Nagar. In case of Gojal the hospital established in Gulmit and or Sost are even not easily accessible to the people of the far-flung valleys of Shimshal, Chipurson, Misghar and others. It means that the development needs of people from Shishkat to Hussaini are different from that of Passu, Kyber to Sost, Shimshal, Chipurson and Misgar. This geographical fragility necessitates more attentions and development funds.

    5. The market based interventions are fast in Central Hunza which also provides opportunities for socio-economic developent for the people. This is very slow and even AKDN, and other NGOs lack or face difficulties in access in different parts of Gojal.

    6. Major parts of Gojal even lacks internet and even Chipurson and Shimshal lacks any of the telecommuncation facilities. Similar are the situation with other basic infrastructures.

    7. Gojal as the head of Hunza also holds a geo-strategic importance due to its internatinal borders.

    8. Gojal is the home of 3 different ethnic groups (Wakhies, Burushos and Domaaki). The population of Burushus in Gojal are 35% whereas the total population of Wakhies in Hunza are 22%.

    9. Representation is not only based on population density, it also considers all above socio-economic factors.

    Based on the facts the development needs and interests of the people of Gojal are totally diffferent from that of Karimabad and Altit whereas the later having more or less similar interests and needs. Giving Gojal tehsil a constituncy will ensure enough funds and leadership for the diverse needs of the scattered valleys. On the other side the geographical proximity of Karimabad and Altit with other parts of Hunza will give strength and unity among the people.

    Mr Aziz Ali Dad has missed the other side of the unrest among the people of Balochistan while relating its geographical similarities with Tehsil Gojal.

    Lets take it open heartedly and facts driven rather dividing Hunza on emotional grounds or ethnic basis. Accepting each others will further strengthen the unity and prosperity of the whole Hunza valley. Long Live the Unity among the People of Hunza.

  17. thats indeed a wonderful decison..wall chalking nd potraying are ostentacious moves to show rather fool the other..the energetic gulmit youth has certainly discouraged that nd above all have also preserved the NATRAL beauty of the region,,,,,,,,THUMBS UP

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