Hunger stalking Gilgit – Baltistan

Shortage of fuel has crippled the transportation system in Gilgit city

PT Report | Images: Ali Rehmat Musofir

Gilgit, August 16: Closure of land and air routes due to blockades and bad weather has ruined the lifelines of Gilgit – Baltistan, pushing thousands of people towards starvation.

The vulnerable – to – weather air supply system has failed to provide relief to far flung villages of the region which are worst hit due to flash floods and landslides. Prolonged disruption of the supply routes has the potential to make hundreds of families face starvation in different remote parts of Gilgit – Baltistan.

A completely dried water supply tank in Gilgit city

Thousands of people loiter around Petrol Stations in Gilgit city in search of fuel. Yesterday armed citizens clashed with personnel of law enforcing agencies after the later tried to assert their ownership over limited fuel supplies brought in from Islamabad.

A widely read Urdu language newspaper reports that the city echoed with gun shots as armed civilians took positions on roof tops after an initial bullet fire from a Jawan of Rangers. The law enforcing agencies later agreed to distribute t the fuel among the public.

Peaceful protests have also been held across the seven districts against inability of the GB and federal government to provide immediate relief to the people. The GB government, resource less and dependent on the federation, has miserably

Capital city of the Gilgit - Baltistan region was without electricity for almost ten days

failed to  address grievances of the displaced and stranded people.

Electricity to Gilgit city was restored after ten days but water supply still remains disrupted. “You can imagine what the smaller villages in far flung valleys might be going through if such is the situation here”,  a Gilgit based journalist told Pamir Times on phone.

He also said that prices of the commodities have increased exponentially and items of daily essential needs are out of reach of the poor and middle class.

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