“No immediate food scarcity in Gojal valley”, Usman Younis

by Noor and Ghulam Nasir

Gulmit, January 8: “The biggest challenge in front of the disaster management authority is opening of the Karakuram Highway and mitigation of the danger posed by the lake formed on Hunza river”, the director general of Gilgit – Baltistan Disaster Management Authority told Pamir Times on phone. He was visiting an operation base established in Gulmit.

Responding to a question he said that there is no immediate food scarcity in Gojal Valley. He said that food items are being shifted to the valley through helicopters on daily basis. He also said that the wheat present in government depots has been taken under state protection. While the DG informed us about presence of over two thousand sacks of wheat in government depots located in Gojal valley, independent sources said that the number of wheat sacks in the government depots is not more than a few hundreds.

When asked if the government of China would be contacted to supply food items to Gojal valley, Usman Younis, also the home secretary, said that there was need to import wheat from China. “Pakistan is a self sufficient country and we would fulfill all needs from local resources”, he said.

He also said that the government is conducting a needs assessment survey in the valley to ascertain the food security situation. “We are in the process of preempting the ensuing food insecurity threat posed by the lake formation and blockade of Karakuram Highway, but I can assure you that there is no immediate need to worry”, he said.

Responding to questions about a news item reported on Pamir Times regarding a volley ball tournament that he, reportedly, suggested to the youth of Gojal, Usman said that the volley ball tournament was not my idea but a suggestion given by someone from the youth”.

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