Voice of the Mountain People

Archive for November 22nd, 2009

Mehdi for promotion of peace, education and health

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on November 22, 2009

GT Report

Islamabad, Nov 22: President  PPP Gilgit-Baltistan chapter and a for-runner for the position of the first ever Chief Minister of the region Sayed Mehdi Shah has said promotion of peace, education, and health and poverty alleviation would be priorities of his government and vowed to utilize all its energies for the betterment of the area and its people.

“I am determined to take steps for promotion of mining sector, create investment friendly atmosphere and eradicate poverty from the area so that people could live a prosperous and decent life,” state owned news agency APP quoted him as saying.

He said his party has won the election on the basis of its performance and services delivered by the party leadership including the introduction of Self-governance Order-2009, and economic package for the welfare of the people.

“PPP had also won eight seats in 2004 elections and PML-Q secured only five seats and PPP was not allowed to form a government and PML-Q which was in power at the federal level formed its government in GB with minority seats” he said.

He said prior to the elections, he toured seven districts as President of the PPP where the people warmly welcomed him and added PPP has won 12 seats and enjoys majority with a position to form its government in the GB. “However, PPP would take along its partners and other political parties for the promotion of peace, harmony and development in the area” he added.

Responding to a query he said the elections were held in a free, fair and transparent manner and rigging charges are baseless. He said people of the area could be better served through investment in social and infrastructure sectors with ultimate purpose of creating job opportunities and raising their living standard.

He accused the MQM for creating law and order situation in his constituency during the polling process.

He said efforts would also be made for the promotion of tourism sector and in this regard he particularly mentioned announcement made by Prime Minister for awarding international standard to airports at Gilgit and Skardu. “The Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly is likely to hold its first session after Eid ul Azha to complete the entire process including election of Chief Minister, Speaker and Deputy Speaker” he added.

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100 more licenses to be issued for ‘exploration’ of minerals in GB

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on November 22, 2009

Gilgit, November 22: The Tourism and Mineral Department of Gilgit-Baltistan will issue more than 100 licenses to local and foreign firms for exploration of precious minerals in the region while 70 licenses have so far been issued to various national and international firms, the state owned news agency, Secretary Tourism and Minerals Department, Naib Khan has said while talking to a news agency.

He said that gemstones of Rs. 500 million values are extracted annually from Gilgit-Baltistan and more measures were being adopted to explore other precious minerals.

“It has been confirmed that nearly all valleys in GB are shedding gold and base metals but the need is investment to explore them in order to change fate of the area” he added.

He said the area is also rich with white color Marble and the deposits of Shigar (Skardu), Nasirabad (Hunza) and Gupis (Ghizer) which are considered to be of international standard.

Responding to a query he said more than 11 sites of gold mines had already been identified in various parts of the GB and that around 15 firms including local and foreign are already busy in mining gold and copper in various areas which have been allocated to them for this purpose.

At present, about 50 types of different minerals are extracted from the region that include gold, copper, lead and coal besides precious stones topaz, marble and granite which are not only valued in the country but their demand is rising all over the world.

He said the natural resources if exploited properly cannot only fulfill the requirements of the region but would also bring handsome foreign earnings to the country through exports.

Meanwhile, officials of the Northern Areas Gems Stone and Mineral Association said every year traders and stone specialists come to the region to buy stones worth millions of rupees but unfortunately a pittance is paid to the locals as compared to the values of the minerals at the international market.-APP

Posted in Gilgit-Baltistan, Natural Resources | Leave a Comment »