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.