Gilgit - Baltistan

Senate Committee on Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir discusses Attabad disaster and other issues

Meeting of the Standing Committee underway at the Senate on 15th April 2013
Meeting of the Standing Committee underway at the Senate on 15th April 2013

Our Correspondent

Islamabad, April 15: The Senat of Pakistan’s Standing Committee on Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan met today in the federal capital. The meeting was attended by Senator Jahangir Badar, Senator Farhatullah Babar, Senator Mustafa Kamal and Committee Chairman, Senator Haji Adeel, among others. Gilgit-Baltistan was represented by Chief Secretary Sajad Saleem Hottiana.

The Standing Committee discussed issues related to the Attabad disaster and the rehabilitation effort, or the lack of it. Reports were also sought about the condition of the affected people, especially who had come on the roads and against whom several cases were registered on political grounds. The committee has, reportedly, asked the Chief Secretary to share details about the fate of the IDPs and the victims of political cases. The committee has also reportedly expressed displeasure at the slow pace of work related to rehabilitation of the area affected by the Attabad Landslide disaster.

The GB Chief Secretary told the committee that absence of a “Power Grid” in the region is important for transfer of electricity to other parts of the country in the future. The power generation capacity of the region was also discussed.

The GB Chief Secretary also discussed different issues being faced by the regional government, which is highly dependent on Islamabad for finances. The committee was also updated about the PSDP and ADP projects currently underway in the region.

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  1. Good to know IDP issues have been discussed at this level after the long wait.I wonder if the senators have ever visited GB!

  2. Thanks chief secretary sab for sensitizing the highest forum regarding GB issues. We would expect with CM, Governor and speaker as well to be with you on same page and line to support you fully to address the issues on priority bases. You are absolutely right that often GB management as well as leadership had to rely on Islam abad for grants and finance. I am a little bit confused that once I had read in news paper that GB pays to Islam abad in billions and gets in millions if it is true than why the finance ministry is reluctant to release the grants or our own fund. If GB is burden on any province or area than GB leadership and management should sit together in consultation with local professionals to develop strategy for making GB a sustainable model. Here I observe a huge gap amongst leadership, management and all key stake holders of GB. Just an example Fee was charged in hospitals to generate income, if this was collective decision of leadership and management than all should support this decision but it seems that this was not collective decision as Health minister is saying that he is not involved in this decision. It means institutions are not strengthened by some leaders and individual’s decisions are imposed that is why such decisions are not durable. My question with decision maker is that whether health ministry had only this option or solution or were there some other options as well. The Health minister is denying the fee charges from patients. How much home work was done to final this decision. How much the available resources (Human & material) are fully utilized. What strategies have been developed to reduce the expenses? For example my colleague is an equal to grade 19 and if he had to go some where for personal purpose per kilometer he had to pay 20 rupees to afford fuel and other expenses. Is it happening in Govt. departments or all officials are free to utilize the resources abruptly as and when they wanted because these are resources of serkar and no check & balance is there. If any body of our colleague had to go bank to draw his salary he makes it personal travel and amount is charged according to consumption of mileage. It means that we are not claiming of our honesty the system is in place and system does not allow anybody to use the resources for personal purpose. While in Govt I donot know how the resources are used and utilized. The management and leadership need to be sit together to stop and avoid the usage of Govt resources for personal purpose. The amount involve in govt. resources is not for personal purpose it is for public service delivery and raising voice against it is our obligation as financially our area GB suffers. We expect with respected chief secretary to develop a mechanism to ensure proper utilization of resources at all level whether it relate to management or leadership. As a case study I refer it towards the request of a disaster hit person of Ghizer Ishkomen that is heart touching, thought provoking and pathetic.
    My colleague was telling me that we were flood hit people and had lost all property and we were keen to request with chief secretary about concerns but we were not allowed to meet with him in recent visit of Ghizer as our leadership wanted to conceal the corruption and irregularities in watan card and in compensation. He revealed the following points.

    • 20 % none deserving people were granted watan card and ration. Such none deserving people were affiliated with certain parties and thus nepotism and favoritism was observed and real deserving were kept deprived.
    • The revenue staff dishonored the merit and bogus figures were recorded consequently the whole people loss their credibility and now we have not been paid the remaining amount of watan card. This shows to what extent we have been polluted, or morally inclined. this also shows weakness in system and avoiding golden principles of Islam equity, justice, equality and accountability.
    • I told my colleague to follow it with present DC Subtain Ahmed a committed and honest officer of the region to address the issue if he guides than you should approach with chief secretary.

    The ultimate purposes of sharing these stories are to stream line the systems. Every department head needs to play his or her role as chief secretary or IGP play or some committed officers play to assume their tasks.

    It has also witnessed that there are some political leaders who are always supporting merit and GB betterment; such leaders need to work more to support management in implementing development plans of GB and discourage merit Detroiters.

  3. Hope to see a tangible outcome of this meeting. The trauma of the direct and indirect affectees still continues to persist with the same magnitude as it was in January 2010. They need to see a ray of hope for themselves and for their children’s future.

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