Traders back from China, without fuel and flour

by Zulfiqar Ali Khan

HUNZA, Feb 05: The 26 member delegation of local traders and government officials retuned back to Sost from China on Friday without any success to bring along supplies of  essential food and non food items for the 25,000 people of Gojal land locked due to the blockade of KKH.

Talking to this scribe, a local trader said that the Chinese Government not allowed the export of petroleum items. He said there should be a prior ministerial level  negotiations to allow the supply on the base of humanitarian ground.

The traders  informed this scribe that the price of 25 bag flour in China is Rs. 832, excluding transportation cost. They said the local people don’t have the purchasing power and on the other side there was no assurance of subsidies from Government side.

The local traders have however purchased 100 tonnes of fertiliser, rice, sugar, vegetables, cooking oil, noodles and some other items which are not as important as flour and petroleum items.

This situation has further reduced the hope of local people to get supply of basic necessities from China on humanitarian basis.

Meanwhile, about 500 people mostly students and patients from Gojal are stranded in Gulmit and Aliabad due to suspension of the helicopter services for last many days due to movement of VIPs and bad weather conditions. The local community has demanded of the government to ensure the service of an Army helicopter as due to the regular suspension of the service the local communities are facing a lot of problems. Talking to this scribe, some community members said that the present helicopter has the capacity to carry only 12 people or 20 bags of flour which is not enough to satisfy transportation needs of the twenty five thousand stranded people.

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  1. Hard time for the people of upper hunza (gojal) and of course the next two months will be the real challenging moment for the whole population of gojal valley.

    chopper services will not be much reliable for the 25000 inhabitants, daily shortage of basic food items , remaining isolated from rest of the country could create some severe distress for them but this is the right time for the entire population to think about their representation and leadership gape among themselves even they dont have any elected political representation from the valley but they have 25000 population and now they should not much think and rely upon the lower Hunza representation.

    the Gojalians must make their own identity and choose their own leadership from its own valley that they could be able to meet such kind of challenges.

  2. I have been following the coverage of the Attaabad disaster by pamirtimes but I am getting the feeling that the situation is at time overly exaggerated.

    First I should mention that population of Gojal is not 25000 even if it is 25000 almost half of the population reside outside the region for the purpose of education and earning livelihood.

    Secondly majority of the people in gojal buy flour and other food items in autumn when they sell potato which is cultivated as cash crop in the area. Wheat grown in the area is usually stored by most households.

    Thirdly people should restrict the frequency of their movement as this is no ordinary times. I am sorry to say but a lot of people are taking the helicopter service a kin to a taxi ride and a lot of the movement is nothing but joy ride.

    1. @ Mr Baig
      I would directly point out your opinion regarding to the situation that has been faced by the distress and deprived people of upper Hunza and Attabad .

      it could be a moment of exaggeration of their pain and sufferings for you that you have put such kind of words in your comment that reflects your opinion.
      Dozens of lives have been lost, hundreds of houses have been vanished, thousands of cultivated land is destroyed this is a natural disaster that everyone has to face up, if we r not able to do anything for them then at least we should write few words of sympathy for them.
      Regarding to your words on the Helicopter services these are the people who travel are the patients, school, college and university student and their loved ones who r Down the country. this is their basic right and its the responsibility of the government to provide it for them.

  3. We as Hunzukuts, should not beg the Govt for anything! We have lived as proud people for centuries we are hardy people and live in this area we should live as honorale people

  4. @ Sajad bhai

    Population of Gojal is 25, 000 according to district administration. We are not exaggerating it. Agreed that a large chunk of this population resides outside Gojal, but people move to and from the valley for various reasons and their needs have to be looked after.

    If the situation of food security is as you say, then what’s the panic for? And we know that the stocks are not going to last long because a government that took 21 days to start working on the lake will take months to reestablish KKH and surely we don’t have that much in store.

    You are right that people should restrain their traveling desires but you will also be in light of the fact that VIPs are also misusing the chopper service to satisfy their flying desires.

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