The recent short visit of Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz to Gilgit Baltistan has left behind so many questions. People were expecting something big from the Prime Minister during his visit. However, it seemed to be nothing more than an election campaign for the candidates of PMLN GB.
The orphaned land, Gilgit-Baltistan, neglected by all the government actors, is still waiting for its constitutional right. Despite of the solid stand and demands by the people regarding the constitutional rights of GB, the PM decided to look away, giving the task to a committee, which, in other words, means delaying the demanded.
The recent announcement by PM Nawaz Sharif about dividing Hunza-Nagar into two districts was credited to the PMLN leader Mr. Ghazanfar Ali Khan. Little was said by anyone about the thousands of people who have been pushing this demand forward for the last many years. Nothing was mentioned to the GBLA unanimous resolution that called for a similar division of the district, along with creation of more districts.
Another question is, will the announcement of Hunza district remain a mere announcement, or will it officially be notified in the near future?
People are aware of the past announcements by PMLN bigwigs, which have not gone beyond announcements. One such example is the 100 million rupees (10 crore) grant announced by Nawaz Sharif for the Attabad disaster IDPs, when he was not the PM. The money has not been paid yet, despite of the lapse of five years.
Hunza being at the top in terms ofliteracy rate has no doubt educational institutes and awareness but still the area needs engineering and medical college. An area can’t be developed with building roads, bridges and making administrative divisions. Development comes through investment in education and development of manpower. The government needs to reform the field of education, and not just the infrastructures.
The educated youth need to be provided with employment opportunities not laptops. The bright students of Hunza and other parts of Gilgit-Baltistan need scholarships for higher education not loans. Energy crisis needs to put to an end on immediate basis to grab the confidence of the public for their vote.
Most of the announcements made by PM are similar to those made by Musharaf and PPP government in the past. The same have been re-announced by the present govt. Kharmang and Shigar were announced to be made separate districts by Yousuf Raza Gillani, the former PM of Pakistan. Diamer Basha dam is a project initiated by Pervaiz Musharaf, former president of Pakistan. The work on realignment of the KKH, of which the Attabad Tunnel is a small part, has been going on for the last four years.
We need to have a strong stance over the announcements made by PM. The demand that the notifications be issued for all the newly districts should be a point of unity, across regional and party lines. Otherwise, time will pass. The elections will be held and then we will be at the mercy of the new rulers.