Wazir Baig demands “calamity hit” status for Gojal

by Kalb-e-Ali

ISLAMABAD: The people of Gilgit-Baltistan are true Pakistanis and they are in favour of getting the status of a province of Pakistan, said the speaker of the area’s legislative assembly Wazir Baig here on Saturday.

Addressing the media in the National Press Club along with Deputy Speaker Jamil Ahmed, Mr Baig said the residents of Gilgit-Baltistan had rendered sacrifices for more than six decades for resolution of Kashmir issue despite the fact that the region had never been a part of the Jammu Kashmir state even during Dogra rule.

“The region was a remote part of the Dogra rule, not a unit of the Kashmir state,” he said, adding granting the status of a province to the region would not have any negative impact on the Kashmir cause.

He also stressed the need for speeding up efforts to clear the artificial lake formed by a landslide on Hunza river at Atabad.

He warned that the flow of water in the Hunza river would increase manifolds when glaciers start melting in the coming days.

“Up to 15 large and small bridges between Atabad and Gilgit town could face collapse in case of the dam burst,” he said, adding the artificially created lake was 300 feet deep and covered an area of around 15 kilometres.

He said a large area had already submerged and the land was still posing a threat to the local population.

He said a local volunteer student lost his life and an FWO official was injured in a landsliding two days back.

“I do not say that nothing has been done but what we want is that the efforts should be enhanced to clear the area before high flow starts,” Mr Baig said.

In case of a dam burst, the rolling impact of flash floods would be felt even in Kohistan. “We are forewarning that there is a serious threat to life and property down stream and speedy solution is needed.”

Mr Baig said the situation was serious upstream Hunza river and 25,000 residents of the valley were facing serious problems due to isolation as almost all the routes have been cut off.

“The locals are not getting essential supplies of daily-use items. Besides, they cannot get fertilizer and potato seeds which is the main cash crop of the area,” he said. If the situation remains the same for another two months and residents of upstream Attabad are cut-off from the rest of country, the whole area should be declared ‘calamity hit’. Source: DAWN

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  1. Thanks God at last he speak the truth. Now please do something further using your power

  2. It is indeed a positive statement by Mr. Wazir Baig but after 2 months of long time, at least he has realized the situation.
    Mr Wazir baig you should have highlighted this issue early so huge damaged could be avoided and Pakistani government and officials need time to start work on a huge project lie this, as they are not so efficient and there is lack of strategic time management and willingness.

    Again, please kindly consider the Gesso Pump proposal suggested by the Japanese Professors who are more intelligent advanced in technology and research work as compare to over government organization and especially the NDMA Officials who are not ready to implement this proposal.

    I would like to request NDMA who have handed over this project to FWO to please revise your decision as FWO is no Capable to work on such huge project or at lease double the working hours and number of Excavator if you have some feelings about the people of Gojal valley who are losing their homeland ever hour for life time.

    If you (NDMA) are not ready to revise your decision and way of work on this disaster then you will be responsible for the life time loss to the people of Gojal valley and upcoming expected damage to all downstream villages of Hunza, Gilgit and upto Kohistan Dist.

  3. The demand by the Speaker is very legitimate and encouraging. So far the administration have failed to coup the challenges,the work at the site shows that the current working speed will not give any meaningfull results. Most of the houses at Gulmit and its surrounding will be submerge in the artificial lake in the near future.
    Instead of the holding the back of the administration, our representatives should go the locals and give them hope. Its very crucial time for the PPP administration to prove themselves. Our administration must plan for the aftermath of the disaster. Policies regarding the rehablitation and readjustment should be start from now so that in future the rehablitation should carried out swiftly.

  4. The last sentence is the punchline, and goes against what I was looking for.

    Quoting the one who quote Mr Baig,

    “If the situation remains the same for another two months and residents of upstream Attabad are cut-off from the rest of country, the whole area should be declared ‘calamity hit’ ”

    Now I am not completely sure if it’s exactly what Mr Baig intended to say or it’s an error in translating, but what i comprehend reading the quoted text is that We Will Have to Wait for ANOTHER 2 months to allow residents of Gojal to get cut-off with the rest of the country, and that is when you deserve to get the status of “Calamity Hit”

    Does that make us happy?

  5. Thanks GOD at least the speaker realized to speak the truth after two months. Mr. Speaker do you have any disaster management plan in mind for upstream as well as down stream? Please share it with the public before everything is lost or washed away. It was indeed the people living upstream gave you the chance to hold this office and if you leave them helpless that would be shameless.

  6. “Dil kay Behlanay ko Ghalib Ya Khayal Acha Haay”

    We are in crucial situation and no one knows untill never visits that particular place and we are used to read and listen these statments from politicians and these are called political statments no benefit out of that it need practical work and sinserity if some one do so 4th january,2010 was the first day of that land sliding what have been done the pace of work is still as usaul what can be done further we are hope less and other villages are sinking with time passage lets again hope for the best…

    Didar Karim Bari
    Professional Development Facilitator

  7. Mr. Baig is in power, he is the speaker of the GBLA, What does “Demanding” really mean???. They are supposed to act, and declare the area clamity hit, rather demanding.

    Is he playing some new trick to fool the people who voted for him??? or they do not have the powers?????? If they have no powers, he should simple quit and resign, which will ultimately put the central government under pressure,

    Mr. Baig you have very little time to do something, and frankly speaking you are loosing your popularity very quickly.

  8. Thanks God, at last the speaker had to speak the truth that the people of Upper Hunza have been striving to convey, and convince the government from immediate after the eve of disaster.

    the administration and the political representatives should revise the plan immediately and engage other well equipped organizations to break the lake so the losses can be mitigated.

  9. Thanks Wazir Baig sahib. I guess you did speak your mind and heart. The deomstration in various locations in the country were complimenting what you have said and we all are at the same wavelength on the issue.

  10. I appreciate the statement by Mr. Wazir Baig on the issues of Atabad disaster, danger the dam poses to the infrastructure downstream and declaring Gojal a calamity hit area, but it should be declared now.

    Secondly I do not agree that the people of GB are in favour of the area becoming a province of Pakistan.

  11. Mr Wazir Baig,

    Thanks God at last You bothered to raise voice, that’s great and expect to utilize all your means and power to convince the high officials to create a way to release the water from artificial lake as there,s still time to save the homeland submerging day by day.

  12. Mr. Speaker what is hurdle in the way of Administration to declare Gojal and Sarat as Calamity hit area? Is there any justification? Plz remove “If” from your concern it will be much better. please speed up the work and bring in use all available resources of the state.

  13. Thank you Speaker Sahib for the demand. good job. I hope other legelislative members will also raise their voice to press for deleclaring the areas diseaster hit area.

    Aafiyat Nazar

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