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Hunza landslide death toll rises to 13

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on January 5, 2010

By Zulfiqar Ali Khan

HUNZA, Jan 5: Death toll in the Monday’s disaster at Atabad rose to 13.

About 30 people are still missing. Rescue work was resumed early in the morning on Tuesday.

National Disaster management Chairman Gen (retd) Farooq Ahmed, Force Commander Gilgit-Baltistan Maj Gen Bajwa, Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly Speaker Wazir Baig and member Mutabiat Shah, Chief Secretary Babaer Yaqoob Fateh Mohammad and other officials reached the affected area.

Thirteen bodies mostly women and children were laid to rest at Aliabad, main town of Huinza on Tuesday amid tears. The bodies were recovered from the rubble and efforts are on to rescue other people still under the rubble, by the local volunteers and rescue workers who are racing against time to rescue others.

The massive landslide, caused by shearing off a portion of the mountain, hit Atabad, a small hamlet, about twenty kilometres from main Hunza, damaging over 40 houses, a community centre, a school, cattle pens, trees and orchards, causing panic in Hunza-Nagar.

The boulders and debris rolling down the slope blocked the water flow in Hunza River, forming a lake that would threaten the low-lying villages and submerge many villages in Gojal, upper Hunza.

The landslide has damaged over two kilometres stretch of the Karakuram Highway, disrupting all kinds of communication links and traffic between Gojal and Hunza. About 170 families have been evacuated from the village to safer places.

A thick cloud of dust blanketed the whole Hunza, Nagar and Gojal valleys.

People of Atabad village had noticed shearing off the rocks, with cracks developing fast on it in 1994 when a high magnitude of earthquake jolted the village.  Later the local authorities declared the area dangerous without making any alternative arrangement of relocation and rehabilitation of the inhabitants. The continuous geological movement had developed huge gullies in the village and surrounding mountains. The people from the dangerous zone of the village were evacuated some days ago.

The residents had conveyed to the authorities concerned about the danger.

Experts had suggested rehabilitation of the residents to some alternative area, as living in such a hazard-prone environment could result in disaster anytime.

But the local administration not responded to the concerns of the people. Had they taken the issue seriously the loss of life could have been avoided, a volunteer working with a civil society organisation said requesting not to be named.

The residents had boycotted November 2009 elections for Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly as no candidate – either ruling party or from other parties – had taken their problem seriously.

A delegation from the village had met Governor Qamar Zaman Kaira at Karimabad Hunza to inform him about the danger. He had assured them of help but no concrete steps were taken.

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Posted in Economy, Environment, GECA, Gilgit-Baltistan, Government, Hunza-Gojal, Natural Resources, Society, Water | 1 Comment »

Landslide hits Hunza village; 10 killed

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on January 5, 2010

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By Zulfiqar Ali Khan
Tuesday, 05 Jan, 2010

UNZA, Jan 4: At least 10 people, mostly women and children, were killed and a number of others injured when a massive

landslide caused by shearing off a portion of mountain devastated a village here on Monday.

According to rescue workers and witnesses, about 40 people were still trapped in the rubble of mud and rocks. Ten bodies have been found and rescue workers are facing difficulties in rescuing others because of lack of equipment.

The landslide hit the village of Atabad, about 20km from Hunza. It destroyed over 40 houses, a community centre, a school and a number of cattle pens, trees and orchards.

Boulders and debris rolling down the slope blocked the water flow in Hunza river and formed a lake threatening a number of low-lying villages in Gojal, upper Hunza.

The landslide damaged a two-kilometre stretch of the Karakoram Highway, disrupting traffic between Gojal and Hunza. About 170 families were evacuated. A thick cloud of dust engulfed Hunza, Nagar and Gojal valleys.

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has expressed sorrow and grief over the loss of lives. He asked the authorities concerned to provide best medical facilities to the injured.

Teams of doctors and rescue workers have been dispatched to Hunza.

Speaker Wazir Baig and member Mutabiat Shah of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly rushed to Hunza to oversee the rescue and search operation.

The speaker told Dawn that the affected people would be given compensation after an assessment of the damage. Villagers would be evacuated to a safe place, he added.

The people of Atabad had noticed shearing off rocks, with cracks developing fast on it when a high magnitude earthquake jolted the village in 1994.

Our Correspondent adds from Gilgit: Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah has announced Rs2 million for the families of those killed in the landslide. A spokesman said that compensation for the losses of properties would be announced after an assessment

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Indigenous languages, cultures face danger from globalization: scholar

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on December 16, 2009

ISLAMABAD: Noted linguist, Prof Dr Tariq Rahman, has endorsed the aspiration of Pamiri people for saving the 3,000 years old Wakhi language and culture. As he put it, languages endow prestige, pride and power to a people who speak it.

He was speaking as the chief guest at a seminar on “Wakhi language” on the third day of the Wakhi Cultural Festival at the Heritage Museum here on Friday.

“Your people are giving a call for the right to educate children in your Wakhi mother tongue from becoming obsolete, and it is a cause we support,” he said.

Prof Rahman recalled UNESCO concern about the danger confronting indigenous cultures and languages. Among the 6,000 languages in the world, 2,500 are about to disappear or have already ceased to exist. According to UNESCO about 3,000 languages lose their carriers every year. Smaller community languages face danger from globalisation that wanted to impose a monolithic world culture across the globe.

“This in turn provokes reaction of the kind that we find reflected in religious extremism and terrorism,” Dr Rahman said.

He suggested a three-tier scheme for education in the mother tongue, with a bridge opening to a more appealing language, such as Urdu, and also rounded off with education in English. But the system must be applied uniformly throughout the country, including in the schools in which the children of the elite receive education.

He said that economic and cultural trends influence attitudes of people towards their language. No language is superior or inferior intrinsically. It was the political and economic power of a nation that determines the position of a language.

He said that due to globalization the powerful economies were influencing minority cultures and resist their promotion.

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He emphasised pluralism in the globalised world with space for all cultures.

The seminar was addressed by a number of experts including, Asmatullah Mushfiq, Nazir Ahmad Bulbul, Fazal Amin Beg, Azam Beg and Shambi Khan. They expressed the fear that the Wakhi language will die unless it received proper attention for its conservation and preservation as was being done in Xinjiang, China and Tajikistan. There the Wakhi language was being used and researched extensively.

Nazir Ahmad Bulbul lamented that the younger generation was prone to developing feelings of inferiority when they come to the cities in search of work or education and stop using their language with which the culture also suffers. Once a small community language goes into disuse among the young, it dies with the death of the elderly speakers. Once that happens, the nation loses its individuality and in course of time it also dies with its peculiar culture, character and moral attributes.

The speakers highlighted the history, rich cultural heritage and traditions and evolution of Wakhi language over the centuries. They also presented recommendations for promotion of Wakhi and other local languages of Giglit-Baltistan as all the dialects spoken in the region were in danger of extinction.

The speakers lauded efforts of Lok Virsa and GECA for their combined efforts for promotion of Wakhi culture and language.

Director of Lok Virsa Khalid Javaid vowed to play his role to promote the Wakhi language and culture.

In his presentation Fazal Amin Beg traced the history of the language and said the Wakhi language belonged to the Iranian group of languages, assimilating a number of Persian and Arabic words, but recently it had been overwhelmed by the spread of modern information technology. He also complimented those women of letters who had contributed to the richness of these languages with their literary and poetical work.

Azam Beg Tajik also paid tributes to Wakhi scholar Haqiqat Ali for his pioneering work on the script of the Wakhi language. The assembly resolved unanimously that all Gojali should speak their own language and disseminate it through publications and propagation on electronic media.

Tayib Jan,Vice-Chairman Education com mittee of the Gojal Educational and Cultural Association thanked the chief guest and other guest speakers for the valuable contribution for the promotion of Wakhi language.

Neelum Nigar, secretary of the education committee in her introductory remarks explained about the Wakhi language in -historical perspective.–Coutesy Dawn

Posted in 5584, Culture, Education, GECA, Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza-Gojal, Society | Leave a Comment »

Peace a must for development: Mutabiat

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on December 12, 2009

By Our Correspondent

HUNZA, Dec 12: Peace, harmony is prerequisite for sustainable development in Gilgit-Baltistan, said Mutabiat Shah, the newly-elected technocrat member of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly.

Talking to mediapersons in Gilgit, he stressed the need for promoting interfaith and cultural harmony in Gilgit-Baltistan.

“The PPP-led Government has empowered the people of Gilgit-Baltistan through the recently announced self-governance Order and it is now our responsibility to implement it and strive for the basic rights of the people and seek more steps from the federal government,” he said.

While stressing the need for a coordinated and team work, he said focus should be laid on uplift projects targetting the marginalised and left-out segments of the society. The region has great potential of power generation which needs to be exploited to augment the development process in the region, he added.

He said the students of GB need to be given education according to the region’s specificities which would further help in developing relevant human resources in the region.

Mr Mutabiat, a well reputed experienced professional with over three decades experience in development sector said he will work for introduce reforms in the prevailing outdated system and promote merit and transparency in governance the region. There is a need to enhance the capacity of local media as a watchdog on legislators and bureaucracy.

He will encourage civil society initiatives and implement projects at grassroots level institutions while utilising the experiences learnt during the engagement of Aga Khan Rural Support Programme.

He said the local support organisations (LSOs) have the capacity to increase the effectiveness in service delivery and receiving mechanisms.

He will develop a consultation body of educated youth and professionals to multiply the benefits of development and prepare youth for the future leadership positions, he added.  Mr Mutabiat wants to identify and implement projects after consultations and according to the aspirations of the local communities.

He said he will build a strong team work with Wazir Baig to implement the 19 portfolio projects which were announced during the election campaigns in Hunza. He said they will ensure to secure additional seats for Hunza in the GBLA which was the main demand during the election.

Gojal well deserves the status of sub-division after the formation of the new Hunza-Nagar district, he said.

Efforts will be made to convince NHA to take over the roads of the far-flung Shimshal, Chipurson and Misgar valleys, he added. The approval of PC-IV of different projects in health and education sectors will ensure effective service delivery to the local communities, he said. Efforts will be made to develop sense of belonging among the youth and restoration of common image and prestige of Hunza valley.

He thanked the PPP leadership for entrusting him with the position. He said the people of Gojal are committed to the PPP manifesto and will never forget the services rendered by PPP since the time of late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Meanwhile, the PPP Hunza chapter also thanked President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, Governor Qamar Zaman Kaira and other party high-ups for nominating Mutabiat Shah as member of GBLA on technocrat seat.

They expressed hope that he will utilise all his capabilities for the development of GB.

Posted in 5584, GECA, Gilgit-Baltistan, Government, Hunza-Gojal, Political Parties | Leave a Comment »

Wakhi artists enthrall audience

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on December 11, 2009

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 5584, Art, Culture, Education, GECA, Gilgit-Baltistan, Hunza-Gojal, Pamir, Society, Tourism | 1 Comment »

International Day for Eradication of Violence against Women celebrated in GB

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on November 25, 2009

By Our Correspondent

GILGIT, Nov 24: International Day for the Eradication of Violence against Women was celebrated in Gilgit Press Club in collaboration with various civil society organizations. Banners inscribed with demand for ending violence against women were displayed and speakers belonging to various civil society organisations, trade unions, market committees and boy scouts stressed upon the need to initiate a mass awareness program for eradication of violence against women.

Assistant Commissioner Gilgit, Momin Jan urged upon the civil society organisations to take steps for the Eradication of violence against women. He said violence against women can be significantly reduced by Education, Forums and Seminar and urged upon the Print and Electronic media to play their role in community awareness campaign on the issue of domestic violence.

The celebration concluded with a candlelit vigil outside Gilgit Press Club to show men’s pledge to end violence against women. NGOs, Media, Bar Councils, Police, Local Administration, Students and Teachers, Trade Unions and Market committees, and Boys Scouts participated in this event.

The day was being celebrated to mark the White Ribbon Day in Pakistan since 2006.

The celebration was jointly organised by Publishing Extension Network (PEN), Himalayan Grassroots Women’s Natural Resource Management Association (HIMAQANTI) Aga Walidain Informed Parents and Rupani Foundation.

Posted in Gilgit-Baltistan, Society | 1 Comment »

GB again declared as part of Kashmir?

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on November 23, 2009

By Ali Ashraf Khan
The handling of the Gilgit-Baltistan election which came as a result of the much trumpeted Gilgit and Baltistan autonomy package announced on 29 August 2009, the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009, was passed by the Pakistani cabinet and later signed by the President. It gave self-rule to the people of the former Northern Areas, now renamed “Gilgit-Baltistan,” by creating, among other things, an elected legislative assembly, a Chief Minister, an acting Governor. This made the local population jubilant, while the PPP aim was to justify their victory. The Prime Minister further went on to say: “You are getting your identity today. It is your right and has been your demand, and today we are fulfilling it.”
Gilgit-Baltistan before known as this northern area of Pakistan is a self-liberated area which before 1936 was ruled by the Dogra Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir who then leased this area to British. When the partition plan of India approved by British parliament and the King was implemented Lord Mountbatten the new Governor General on 15th August 1947 returned this territory back to Dogra ruler, who appointed Brigadier Ghansara Sing as his Governor in Gilgit with the connivance of Col Beacon Methewson and Major Brown. The people of this strategically important region revolted against the autocratic Dogra ruler and carved out a “Republic of Gilgit”, on Nov 1, 1947. When Col. Hassan Khan and Capt Babar had captured the Gilgit Residency in which the Governor was killed, the warriors in Baltistan had by then taken full control over all the strategic passes on Kargil-Laddakh sector to cut the only Indian communication link with Kargil & Laddakh district till the time Pakistani army under command of Major General Jillani took over and advanced further deep into the Muslim area of Kargil. In 1951 Paddam Parri, Zojilla Pass and other areas were vacated by Pakistan Army on the coming into force of UN Ceasefire Resolutions on Kashmir, which were passed on the assurance of Pundit Nehru to withdraw troops and hold plebiscite in Kashmir. The local people of Gilgit & Baltistan have always contrary to this view that Northren Area is a disputed territory considered themselves a part of Pakistan as a result of Karachi Pact of 1951, not only the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, but also the international institutions such as the UN, EU, etc., have always upheld that the rule of Maharaja Harisingh over Gilgit & Baltistan as a colonial occupation had ended with the success of ‘Jang-i-Azadi Gilgit-Baltistan’ on November 1, 1947, when the last governor of the state of Kashmir Brigadier Ghansara Singh and his associates were killed in the war between Gilgit Scouts and Dogra forces.
This had ended the century long Kashmiri rule over the Gilgit-Baltistan region with hundreds of refugees from Kargil were repariated to Skardu as IDP’s, who have multiplied in number and are living in sub-human conditions in Rawal pindi, Lahore nd Karachi, the were given representation in AJK Legislative Council in K. H. Khurshid government in 60’s but have now been ignored in this empowerment plan. Then, a new independent state called ‘Islamic Republic of Gilgit’ was established with Shah Raees Khan as its President and after 14 days of its existence it had affiliated itself with Pakistan, which was given legal cover in 1951 under Karachi pact to merge with Pakistan as a separate entity, independent of Kashmir.
This should have settled the fate of this territory whose people had fought and died for the sake of joining Pakistan but given the situation that the Kashmir question was negotiated before the UNSC on the request of India Pakistan later on was hesitant to incorporate Gilgit & Baltistan fully into Pakistan to give constitutional rights to its population. In 1974 Z.A. Bhutto had been persuaded to cease this injustice to those people and to give Northern Areas the status of a province of Pakistan. He even had arrived in Gilgit with his entourage in order to announce this good news to the people, but then in the last moment he bogged down to the Foreign Office advise, which was afraid that such a step could endanger the status of the Kashmir dispute and again, the people were left in the lurch. The so-called autonomy package of 2009 did not change this situation any better except to distract public attention to win votes for PPP.
That is why PPP coalition partners in Pakistan have alleged massive rigging in these elections and called it “old wine in new bottles”. Now when elections are over let us not keep the people hostage to this 62-year-old idea it is high time now to give credit to ground realties and do justice to the region and the people. For the information of our Prime Minister and his government the people of Gilgit and Baltistan are not Kashmiris; they are a colourful mixture of many tribes and ethnicities speaking languages as different as Burushaski, Shina, Balti, Wakhi, Pashto and different dialects. They have ethnic relations to China, Ladakh, Tadshikistan, Afghanistan; others have lost their affiliations with their places of origin from where they had come along the silk route centuries ago. There is no reason why they should not be made a full part of Pakistan if they wish so. But that is a decision that would need a strong and democratically minded government in Islamabad, something which we definitely lack.
Nevertheless, after 62 years of a rather colonial attitude of Pakistan towards the people of Gilgit and Baltistan who were denied socio-economic development, roads, schools, health care and political rights by the country of their choice they still opted to take whatever little the Gilani package was offering to them and they enthusiastically participated in the election. This time also the political parties of Pakistan did not spare any effort during the election campaign to make their influence felt. One asks the question, what is actually the legal basis for Pakistani parties operating in a territory which does not officially belong to Pakistan? People here are already facing hard time under below freezing temperature that recently given PPP Empowerment and self governance carpet was quickly rolled back when Prime Minister Gillani loudly announced on the floor of National Assembly in response to MQM’s rightful protest on rigging in Gilgit Baltistan elections that this area is a part of Kashmir. Whatsoever will be the future out come of such a U-Turn, when PPP has engineered majority to form its government by publicly announcing a new development package to win votes, which is an act of breaking all rules of conduct in holding free and fair elections and which as a consequence has rendered the whole exercise questionable well before the first vote was cast. The rigging did not stop at that; it went on in all the constituencies were more-loyal-than-the king bureaucrats were stuffing polling boxes.
The electoral rolls were manipulated until the last moment and new names added for whom votes could be given and stuffed into the boxes. Since the day of the elections the people of Gilgit and Skardu are up in arms and the Pakistani parties who had been campaigning very hard and invested a lot of money are shouting ‘foul’. But actually this state of affairs should not surprise anybody; this is what is expected. The PPP is famous for rigging elections and its founding father Z.A. Bhutto lost his government because of rigging 1977 elections to muster three fourth majority to amend constitution into presidential form. Now the party under the leadership of his son-in-law is facing a similar situation with a status-quo cabinet. One wished the consequences would not follow suit in the same way as in 1977 to derail democracy as of now it looks that the War of Terror is being shifted into Pakistan under a changed geo-political environment due to short falls of our foreign policy during last decade. National unity is the only need of the hour, we need strongly committed sincere and honest leadership to steer the nation out of this Morass instead of stretching individual party power base and celebrating election victory.- source Pakistan Observer

Posted in Gilgit-Baltistan, Politics | Leave a Comment »

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

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GBLA likely to hold first session after Eid: Kaira

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on November 21, 2009

By Our Reporter

Rawalpindi, November 21: Governor Gilgit-Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira has said the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly is likely to hold its first session after Eid ul Azha.

Speaking at a reception held in honor of the elected members of the GB Legislative Assembly Mr. Kaira, said it was the credit of the PPP to introduce Gilgit-Baltistan Self-governance Reforms Package-2009, which was another step towards political and socio-economic development of the area. He said although the election process has been completed, but the election on the reserved seats for women and technocrats was yet to take place. “The government formation would start once this process is completed” he added.

Rawalpindi: Governor Gilgit-Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira in a group photograph with the members elect of GBLA during a breakfast hosted by MD Pakistan Baitul Maal Zamrud Khan

He recalled that Benazir Bhutto visited the residence of Zamurd Khan on November 30, 2007 and offered special prayers for the departed soul and said Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) has always strived to serve the people across the country and the people of GBLA have a lot of expectations from the PPP. Mr. Kaira said the results of GB elections have once again proved that the PPP is the political force of the country and it enjoys support of the masses. He said that whenever free and fair elections would be held in any part of the country, the PPP would return victorious.

The minister said PPP has given lot of sacrifices for democracy and it would not give anyone any excuse to derail the system. He said that victory in the Gilgit-Baltistan elections was an achievement, but coming up to the expectations of the people of the area was the bigger challenge ahead. Mr. Kaira congratulated all the elected members and urged them to resolve the problems being faced by the people of Gilgit-Baltistan on priority.

Recounting the services of the PPP leadership for the people of the area, he said it was the government of Shaheed Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto which brought far-reaching reforms in the area.  He further said that during Shaheed Benazir Bhutto’s second term as Prime Minister, Northern Areas Legal Framework Order was introduced.

The reception was hosted by Managing Director, Bait-ul-Mal, Zamurd Khan here at his residence. It was also attended by Mehdi Shah, the nominated Chief Minister of the GBLA.

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Mehdi set to become GB’s first chief minister

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on November 20, 2009

Islamabad, November 20: Syed Mehdi Shah, chief of the Gilgit-Baltistan chapter of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), is set to become the first chief minister of the region after his nomination as the party’s parliamentary leader in the Legislative Assembly here on Thursday.

Islamabad: PPP information secretary Fauzia Wahab addresses a news conference. Syed Mehdi Shah, chief of the Gilgit-Baltistan chapter of PPP is also present.

Mehdi Shah was nominated parliamentary leader at a meeting of the members-elect of the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly.

The decision was announced by PPP information secretary Fauzia Wahab at a news conference.

The PPP won 11 out of 23 seats for which polling was held on Nov 12. Later, an independent member-elect, Abdul Hameed Khan, joined the party.

Mehdi Shah said the PPP was engaged in negotiations with other parties and independents for forming the government.

He said although the PPP was in a position to form government on its own, the party’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari had directed them to form a coalition government.

He said the party would call for appointment of a local figure as the governor. He was of the view that the governor should preferably be from the PPP.

However, he said, any decision of the party co-chairman would be acceptable to him and his colleagues.

APP adds: Acting Governor of Gilgit-Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira hosted a reception for the PPP members-elect of the legislative assembly on Wednesday night.

Speaking at the reception, Mr Kaira said the PPP had given a lot of sacrifices for democracy and it would not give anyone any excuse to derail the system.

He said the co-chairman had the party’s leaders and workers to remain cool despite a vilification campaign launched by opponents.

Mr Kaira said victory in the elections was an achievement, but coming up to the expectations of the people of the area was a bigger challenge. He said the PPP had a history of serving the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and it had made efforts for providing them political rights.

He said the PPP had introduced the Gilgit-Baltistan self-governance reform package which was another step towards political and socio-economic development of the area.

Mehdi Shah vowed to take steps for eradicating poverty from the region and to implement the Self-Rule Ordinance.

He said the people of the region could be better served through investment in the social and infrastructure sectors with the ultimate purpose of creating job opportunities and raising the living standard of the poor.

The members-elect pledged to work jointly for promotion of peace and sectarian harmony and for socio-economic prosperity of the region and welfare of its people.-Dawn

Posted in Election2009, Gilgit-Baltistan, Government | Leave a Comment »