by Akram Bari & Noor
Gulmit/Islamabad, February 10: Around two hundred stranded students and youth belonging to different villages of Gojal valley staged a protest demonstration against ‘government inaction’ and slow work pace on debris removal in the Tehsil headquarter today.
The protestors chanted slogans against the local administration and said that despite of being stranded in Gulmit for more than six days no concrete step has been taken by the government to provide them any sort of facilities, in terms of accomodation, food and transportation.
Late the relief commissioner Rashid talked to the protestors and said that the government is making all out efforts to help the local people but it is not easy to fight with nature. He said that only one helicopter is operational in the region and it is going throgh repairs. He further said that MI – 17 choppers have been requested from the Army for transportation purpose. He also said that ten boats sent by NDMA are stuck on the Karakuram Highway due to road blocakde at various placed as a result of the recent rains and snowfall. “The boats will resolve transporation issue of the people”, he said.
Rasheed also said that the task of debris removal is not like “opening up of a municipality drainage line and an entire mountain has fallen down parts of which are being removed”. He asked the youth to have patience and cooperate with the government. He also promised food and shelter for the stranded students and youth. He said that patients and students would be given priority when the heli sorties restart.
Zulfiqar Ali Khan adds from Hunza – Ten people including the injured Syed Ahmed Jan, his two attendants, an Italian doctor and some government officials were taken out of Gulmit earlier today by the government helicopter.