Reposted from Radio Pakistan website
FM-93 station of Radio Pakistan has been launched at Skardu to meet entertainment and information needs of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Minister for Information and Broadcasting Qamar Zaman Kaira inaugurated the station at a ceremony held at PBC Skardu on Tuesday. Its launch would help further promote local culture and talent.
In his speech‚ the Minister for Information urged people of Gilgit-Baltistan to get united to foil designs of those who want to destroy peace of the region.
He said those disrupting peace of the region are enemies of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan and it is duty of every one of us to identify those elements and foil their attempts.
The Information Minister said the Government would not allow anyone to play with the future of our generations and create hurdles in the way of development of the region.
He said the recent trouble is not due to sectarian reasons but it is terrorism aimed at destabilizing the area.2
He said the present Government has empowered people of Gilgit-Baltistan. They have their own Government and if peace prevails then projects like Diamer-Bhasha Dam‚ Bunji Dams as well as tourism potential and exploitation of natural resources of the area would bring prosperity and create employment opportunities for local people.
The Minister for Information said the present Government was trying its best to resolve problems of the people.
He‚ however‚ acknowledged that expectations of the people might not have been fulfilled in some respects. He said this was not because of weakness of the Government or failure of its policies but legacy of the past.
The Minister pointed out that the problem of load-shedding was because of the neglect of the past as the previous governments failed to initiate vital projects like Diamer-Bhasha Dam‚ Bunji Dam and Thar Coal. He said these dams were initiated timely we would not have faced the problem of load-shedding and people of Gilgit-Baltistan would have sufficient resources at their disposal.
He said the credit also goes to the PPP Government for restoring the 1973 Constitution as a result of which resources and powers have been transferred to the provinces.
Mr. Kaira said the PPP believes that there should not be concentration of powers and that is why it empowered the provinces as well as Gilgit-Baltistan.
He said the Government would spare no effort in resolving problems of the masses.
Qamar Zaman Kaira said there will be no compromise on peace in Gilgit Baltistan. He said Federal government will extend full cooperation to the GB government in this regard.
He said number of flights will be increased to this area to bring back the stranded people. He said government is also ready to provide protection to passengers travelling by road.
The Information Minister said the government does not believe in confrontation among institutions rather it believes in restoration and stability of the institutions.
He said we respect the courts and want to see the judiciary independent. He said democracy cannot be strengthened without an independent judiciary. However‚ he said powers of elected representatives should also be recognized. He said if the institutions work within their ambit‚ there will be no confrontation among them.
The Minister said there is no danger to the system as every PPP worker is its guard.
He said the PPP government has adopted the policy of reconciliation to strengthen democracy in the country and take the country forward. He said in Gilgit Baltistan we have to take along all the groups to maintain peace in this area.
The Minister asked the DG PBC to give preference to local people for employment in Radio Pakistan. He announced five hundred thousand rupees for Skardu Press Club.
He also announced that bureau offices of PTV will be established in Skardu.
Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khurshid Shah said the Government would consider demand of the people of GB for introducing Hajj flights from Skardu from next year.
He held out an assurance that the issue of regularization of services of contract employees of Radio Pakistan in GB would be resolved at the earliest.
Referring to the allegations leveled by leader of the opposition that President Asif Ali Zardari has bought media for 3/4 billion rupees to level allegations against the judiciary‚ the Minister said it is for the media to respond to it.
He said the PPP does not believe in such tactics.
Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo said the present Government gave identity and empowerment to people of Gilgit-Baltistan as per vision of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.
He said on Tuesday people of the region have their own government and administration and the role of the Ministry of Gilgit-Baltistan is confined to supporting the efforts of the GB Government. He said the Ministry would provide all possible assistance in resolving problems of the people of the area.
The Minister said there are resource constraints and with this in view he offered to put his discretion funds at the disposal of the Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan.
He said at the instance of Syed Mehdi Shah‚ he has sanctioned ten million rupees for establishment of Benazir Education College in the region.
He said he was impressed by the spirit of the PPP workers in GB and Kashmir who are very active.
The Minister said every effort would be made to evacuate the stranded people in Gilgit Baltistan.
Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah demanded that number of flights of C-130 should be increased for the next ten to twenty days to Gilgit Baltistan to bring back the stranded three to four thousand students there.
He demanded that Haj flights should also be started from Skardu to facilitate the people of the area. He asked the Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah to play his role in this regard.
He endorsed the demand of the DG PBC for regularization of the daily wage employees of Radio Pakistan at Skardu.
Syed Mehdi Shah said credit goes to PPP government for establishment of FM-93 station at Skardu.
In his address of welcome‚ Director-General Radio Pakistan Murtaza Solangi said launch of the FM-93 station in Skardu is part of the efforts to reach out to the people of the region to fulfill their information and entertainment needs.
He‚ however‚ drew attention of the authorities concerned towards the necessity to install power transmitters in the area to meet communication needs of the local people. He hoped that necessary funds for the purpose would be allocated under Public Sector Development Programme.
The Director-General expressed gratitude of the Federal Ministers Syed Khurshid Shah and Qamar Zaman Kaira for their keen interest for regularization of contract and daily wage employees of Radio Pakistan. He said there are a few daily wage employees at Skardu and asked the Ministers to help in regularization of their services as well.
Mr. Murtaza Solangi held out an assurance that Radio Pakistan would do its best to improve programmes being broadcast from Skardu station.
On this occasion‚ the Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan also laid foundation stone of Benazir Bhutto Shaheed Auditorium at PBC Skardu.