I went through a letter of Mr. KHALID CHAUDHRY from Karachi published in DAWN on 8th July. The idea is pretty childish and a fancy dream which has no relation with reality.
I would like to share some ground realities here which is really necessary. Gojal is situated in most strategically important area which has close border connections with China, Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The people of Gojal are simple, peaceful and known for hospitality. The area is also well known for natural scenic views, lush green fields, rocky mountains and long glaciers.
It is also encouraging to see that literacy rate of the area is around 90%.
The main cash crop is Potato and the only major sector of investment is Education.
Attabad Hunza Natural disaster (occurred on 4th Jan, 2010) and the artificial lake has changed everything in the area. The disaster has traumatized the life of the local especially people living in Gojal. The disaster has destroyed thousand kanals of cultivated lands, thousands of trees, hundreds houses, hotels, shops, and flour mills submerged in the artificially formed lake. The region’s only economic life line, Karakuram Highway, has lost a stretch of almost 30 Km to the lake. The governments of Pakistan and China are in a big loss because of the blockade of KKH.
The locals are loosing hope and are dissatisfied with the Government’s fake promises and poor rehabilitation strategy. They are not sure that how they will earn their livelihood, and how they will pay their Children’s tuition and accommodation fee?
And if the situation remains the same the locals unwontedly will have to call back their children home who are studying in schools colleges, and universities in down cities. These social injustices, black politics, cruel military, civil bureaucracy and poor management might push the local people to a point of no return.
In this context, Mr. Khalid needs to be reminded about the flaws of his ‘business plan’. It’s really not suitable for now! I am sure you would not like to drink a bottle of ‘Mineral Water’ by taking lives of Gojalies. But if you do, then it’s just a matter of your faith.
Suppose if the Government or any private firm establishes their business in the area then who will guarantee the better life and profit share of the locals? Why do we want to add salt to the injury by coming up with naive business plans that are good for nothing. The local people are already deprived of their due shares in terms of royalties of Indus River, Tourism and Sost Dry Port.
Gulmit Gojal Hunza