Raja Muhammad Sakhi
As we know, Hunza is one of the most beautiful areas of the world with fertile land, orchards, forests and livestock and a great culture. Apart from that, Hunza is also important due to its proximity with China, Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. People in Hunza are hard working, sincere towards their duties, with progressive attitude.
In 1974 royal state of Hunza had ended and democratic transition took place, with the new system promising an era of unprecedented development. A major political party emerged with the slogan of Roti, Kapra and Makan. The promise echoed in the pristine vale, to no avail, for decades. However, even today, the promise of providing the three essential of life is a distant dream.
An average Hunzukutz, whether he works or earns from any other source, is rich because of the value of his property like house, orchard and livestock. If calculated, the average worth of such commodities reaches the million figure.
For this reason alone. the people of Hunza needs more than Roti, Kapada and Makhan. People of Hunza required educational institutions, Hospitals, infrastructural development, electricity, communication, clean drinking, more economical opportunities and settlement of Attaabad IDPs.
Population of Hunza is increasing rapidly and also the literacy rate of Hunza is higher in Pakistan as compare to other parts of the Pakistan. 100 out of 95 people in Hunza are literate while 100 out of 60 people in Hunza attending higher education. But there is only one for boys and one for girl’s Government Degree College in Hunza with limited subjective selection and faculty. Therefore many students are travelling various cities of Pakistan to get higher education. Political parties are not serious to promote educational institutions in Hunza especially for the higher education. If any university campus is build in Hunza than those students who travel down to get higher education are not leaving Hunza and taking admission in their native land. This also saves the extra expenditures which they spend down to get their higher education and also helping to avoiding unethical activities which our youth learn from down cities. This step also improves the economical condition of Hunza for example building hostels, cyber centers, pick &drop services and etc. The money which is spending in down cities are saving and spending in Hunza. This economical activity not only benefits the students and parents but also benefits whole society and improves their living standards.
Population of Hunza is above 20 thousand but there is only one 20 beds hospital in Aliabad Hunza, rest are small size dispensaries where only providing basic health facilities. If we talk about the 20 beds hospital in Aliabad, there is no any large operation theater where major operations are conducted but there is small operation theater where only small operations are conducting. The biggest problem is lack of paramedic staff and especially doctors. There is no any gynecologist in the hospital so women in Hunza facing many problems. Private hospitals are working in various areas of Hunza but these small health units are not enough to meet the health requirements of the people. If any person is badly injured than the patient is rushed to down cities for further treatment or procedures. Secondly the medicines which they prescribe are much more expensive and also not available in the local markets. Third problem is the unavailable of laboratories in the Hunza. Doctors cannot detect the proper diseases so they cannot diagnose the proper diseases. This is most important problem of health sector because the large diseases like cancer cannot be detected.
Clean drinking water is also the biggest problem in Hunza. There are no any big projects for clean drinking water in upper, central and lower Hunza. We take example from Aliabad which is the emerging area of the Hunza. In Aliabad there is only one water pipe line and single water tank for the whole population. If Hunza is fully infrastructure developed then various industries like juice, jams and other dry fruit processing industries can be setup which increase the income of individual and also increase the living standard of the local population. These industries provide job opportunities for the local population which ultimately decreasing the poverty from the Hunza.
Today all the economists believe that without infrastructural development economic growth cannot be achieving. It is therefore economic development is base on the infrastructural development. But in the case of Hunza infrastructural development is just as dream. Both the political parties Pakistan Muslim league and Pakistan people party try to develop the area but at the end both the parties fail to develop the area. Both the parties just allocate limit funds for the infrastructural development in Hunza. Road from khizerabad to Nasirabad had been approved in 1990s but work was start on 2010 after a decade. Attaabad Lake also locked 27 km road from Gulmit to Attaabad. Due to this nature disaster communication between Upper Hunza and Lower Hunza has been cut down. This natural disaster also effect socio-economic condition of Hunza. Government of Pakistan and Local Government of Gilgit-Baltistan are not serious to resolve this issue and open the Lake. Local government also fails to introduce systematic water channels in various area of the Hunza. Area like Nasirabad, khanabad, Hussianabad and Aliabad water channels are the biggest problems for the local people in the summer season because people have not enough water for the irrigation to their orchards and fields.
Electricity is an important factor for development. All the industries, factories and mills are run by the electricity. Electricity is also essential part of individual household, educational institutions and hospitals. Hunza is rich in water resources which are the primary sources of hydro power generation but unfortunately Hunza cannot use its water resources to generate electricity. Hunza geographical comprised on the three parts lower, central and upper Hunza. Upper Hunza has two power houses to fulfill their needs but lower and central Hunza have only one major power house. In 1992 local government of Hunza lead by Mir Ghazanfer Ali Khan established power house at Hassanabad 1.2 kV. After that local governments cannot take any major steps to establishing any power house to meet the increasing needs of electricity of Lower and Central Hunza. Since 1992 the population of Hunza increased by three times therefore their needs for electricity consumption is also increased. Today Hunza is developing rapidly and all the electronic appliances in industries, factories, schools, colleges, homes and hospitals are running by electricity. Therefore electricity is an important factory of development in the society. For the social and economical development of Hunza, it is necessary to increase the productivity of electricity. In Hunza industries and factories are only installed when electricity, water and roads are developed. These industries and factories provide economic opportunities in Hunza and living standard are also developed.
Local government in Hunza must improves educational institutions, Hospitals, infrastructural development, electricity, communication and more economical opportunities then Hunza developing more rapidly. Last but not the least Government of Gilgit-Baltistan must settle the IDPs of Attaabad Lake. Beside all these above factors local government of Hunza must needs more strong micro and macro development policies. Local government must use their educated youth for developmental plains and also involve them to execute these developmental plains. At the end my massage for the youth of Hunza is that they must play there vital role for the development of Hunza. Long Live Hunza.
The contributor is a student of M.Sc Economics at NUML, Islamabad. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org