Photos by Zafar & Qurban Bari
Karachi, February 21: Hundreds of men, women and children participated in the Save Gojal – Hunza Rally held today in Karachi. The rally started from Lasbella and passed through the M.A. Jinnah Road, converging near Zainab Market, in the vicinity of Karachi Press Club. The protesters walked to the Karachi press club carrying banners, placards. They chanted slogans against the government of GB and the federal government for not taking release of water from the lake very seriously.
A protest demonstration was held in front of the Karachi Press Club, addressed by speakers belonging to different parts of Gilgit – Baltistan.
Speaking at the occasion Advocate Noor Khan blasted the government for inaction. He said that the 25, 000 people of Gojal valley have been left alone in the times of disaster. He demanded of the government to shun its negligent attitude and employ more men and machinery at the lake barrier to speed up the excavation work. He also deplored the condition of boats being used by NDMA for transporting the people of Gojal valley.
Activists of various political and student organizations also spoke at the occasion. Activists of KNM, BNF, BNSO, KSO, Nagar Students Federation, Ghizar Students Federation, Diamir Youth Movement and other organizations expressed solidarity with the people of Gojal – Hunza. They demanded quick action regarding the release of water. The speakers also demanded of the government to declare Gojal as calamity hit area and extend relief operations to the region accordingly.
The speakers also said that the only relief the government has provided to the displaced people of Ayeenabad is that they were declared IDPs. No relief was provided to the IDPs, the speakers said.
The rally was successful because it attracted around fifteen hundred people from all parts of Gilgit – Baltistan.
Moiz Karim adds from Karachi: The president of the Save Gojal Committee Adv. Noor Khan said while addressing to the media and the procession that the people of GB have an important role in stability of Pakistan. “As Pakistan came into existence by the name of Islam and by the slogan of ‘Lailla Ha Illah’ our forefathers dedicated our region to Pakistan, but Pakistan has never accepted us as a Pakistani. We have our own culture, dignity and history we are like the Kashmiries who want them self in a cage, and want the others to impose their ideology on them.”
A press conference was also addressed by Advocate Noor Khan, Alam Jan, Didar Karim, Aziz Karim, Fazal ur Rehman. The speakers said that the Govt has sent boats for the people to play with lives of people. The government should provide helicopter services until the KKH is opened.
The speakers demanded of the government to make sure 24 hours of operations to release the water. Javeed Iqbal, Alam Jan, Kiramat Ali, Sher Karim (KSO), Manzoor Shenaki, Nadeem Posh, Moulana Sajjad (NSF) and others addressed the gathering.
They said that it’s the failure of the government of Pakistan and the local administration that after 46 days they have not done any remarkable job.