Climate change, ‘progressive politics in Gilgit-Baltistan’ discussed during seminar
KARACHI: (Special Report) A seminar on the topics ‘Climate Change’ and ‘Youth in Progressive politics in the context of Gilgit-Baltistan was held under the banner of the National Student Federation and National Workers Front, GB at Irtiqa Center, Karachi.
The seminar was addressed by Basharat Issa, a young academician, and lecturer, Habib University, Karachi, and Asif Sakhi, a young politician and Ex Candidate GBLA Hunza-6.
Before the formal start of the seminar, a documentary made on the lives of flood affectees of glacial outbursts in Darkut and Badsawat valleys of Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan was shown to the audience.
Moderated by the NSF, GB activist, Habib Mazahir, the seminar formally started with the speech of Basharat Issa on challenges faced by communities in Gilgit-Baltistan.
While speaking on the topic, Basharat Issa said that climate-induced disasters are fast becoming a reality in the context of Gilgit-Baltistan which needs to be consciously realized by the local people.
He further said though GB had little role in the creation of climate change it is facing the worst-hit regions in the world. Displacement of families from their homes, loss of livelihood along short and long-term related mental and psychological impacts depending upon the severity of the disasters.
He was of the view that the so-called rehabilitation measures taken by NGOs and government have badly failed rather than being of any genuine help. The lives of disaster-affected families give a picture of real human misery said Issa.
With clarity on climate change as a real issue and a belief in their own real-life experience, the indigenous people should be confident of their own understanding of the issue rather than borrowing false ideas pushed into the minds of people from outside in form of appealing and attractive jargons.
He emphasized the indigenous communities to stress upon the concerned authorities to play their role in addressing the climate-induced problems rather than suspecting them as terrorists and anti-state elements.
The seminar was also addressed by young politician and Ex-candidate Asif Sakhi. While addressing the seminar, Sakhi said that a major problem in GB is the apolitical approach of the local people. Those in power do not want the youth of GB in particular and the public, in general, to think on political lines. Consequently, political consciousness does not prevail the way it should have existed.
Referring to his participation in GBLA Elections, he said that his participation has given confidence to the young people across GB to come forward to challenge the current political culture monopolized by traditional powerful families and cronies of power corridors.
He urged upon building a united front of progressives and nationalist groups and parties as an alternative to the populist mainstream political parties. He also appealed to the youth and people of GB to support and strengthen the real voices of GB rather than supporting outside populist parties as GB is never on their agenda.
The seminar was attended by a number of students, professionals, and representatives of a number of student organizations of GB and Kashmir i.e. Nagar Students Federation, Jammu Kashmir Students Liberation Front, GB Awareness Forum, Baltistan Students Federation.
The speeches of the key speakers were followed by an interactive discussion and question-answer session. The participants shared their thoughts and comments making the session more interactive and productive.