Archive | Hunza Nagar

Two truck drivers killed in Chalt Hunza Nagar

Two truck drivers were killed in  Chalt, Hunza Nagar in reaction to attack and killed 19 Shia in Babusar.

Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has started to operate C-130 flights to Gilgit and Skardu to help transport passengers stranded in Islamabad and Rawalpindi, enabling them to celebrate Eidul Fitr with their families.

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Nagar hostage:34 people handed over to government officials

 Thirty-four people kidnapped from Hunza on April 3 in the wake of violence and bloodshed in Gilgit and Chilas were released on Tuesday as a result of successful talks between kidnappers and cleric Aga Rahat ul Hussain, police said.

Member of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly Deedar Ali Shah said the 34 hostages had been released unconditionally.

The kidnapped men — the district health officer, a civil judge, truck drivers, cleaners and labourers working in flour mills — had been taken to Nagar valley.

On Tuesday, they were brought to Gilgit where they were received by the deputy speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, home secretary, finance secretary and the DIG.

[Video Source:Pamir Times]

Police said Aga Rahat, accompanied by Sheikh Mirza Ali and a number of other religious scholars, went to Nagar valley after the kidnappers had said that they would hand over the hostages only to him.

A team earlier constituted by the Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister had failed to persuade the kidnappers to free the hostages.

The hostages were first taken to the Chief Minister’s House where they met the CM and later transferred to a hotel. They are expected to go to their homes on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a curfew imposed eight days ago remained in force on Tuesday, without any relaxation.

Since the outbreak of violence, Gilgit has remained cut off from the rest of the country with no vehicle plying on the Karakoram Highway and PIA not operating its flights.

When contacted, SP Diamer district Bashir Ahmed said road traffic would not resume without improvement in the security situation. He said about 27 trucks loaded with foodstuff had left for Gilgit, but they were not allowed to enter the city because all entry points were closed.

People in Skardu, Ghizer, Astore, Ghanche and Hunza Nagar are facing a shortage of food and medicines. Tens of thousands people held a sit-in in Skardu and called for arrest of the killers of bus passengers in Bonar Das near Chilas.

Published in Dawn News

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Negotiation continues for release of hostages in Nagar Hunza

A team comprising ministers and members of the Gilgit-Baltistan Council, headed by Law Minister Wazir Shakil, arrived in Nagir valley to negotiate the release of 32 people who were taken hostage by a mob in protest against those killed in Chilas earlier this week, police officials said on Saturday.

A civil judge and a district health officer are among the hostages.

Police said they were hopeful of a positive outcome of the talks between the team formed by the Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister and the community leaders.

A senior police official said that as soon as the hostages were released a massive crackdown would be launched to clean the region of extremists and miscreants who created a law and order problem.

Some people lodged a complaint at the city police station, saying that at least five shepherds were missing in Haraly pasture near Gilgit and a police team, headed by SHO Sher Khan, left for the area to look into the matter.

Traffic on the Karakoram Highway could not resume on Saturday and Ghizer, Hunza, Astor and Skardu remained cut off from the rest of the country, creating a shortage of food and medicines.

The PIA has suspended its flights because of the curfew imposed since the violence erupted in the region on Tuesday after a grenade attack on the protesting workers of a sectarian party.

Authorities did not relax the curfew on the fifth day on Saturday. Cellphone services remained disrupted and crackdown on miscreants and saboteurs continued.

Police said tension was mounting in Astore district because the district health officer abducted in Hunza belonged to Astore.

MEETING: Gilgit-Baltistan Governor Pir Karam Ali Shah met on Saturday Allama Shaikh Mohammad Hassan Jaffery, the Friday prayer leader of Imamia Jamia mosque in Skardu, and held talks with other ulema.

Allama Jafferi told the governor that the ulema of Skardu had played their role in maintaining law and order in Gilgit-Baltistan and now it was time that the governor played his role and took action against the culprits involved in the Chilas killing.

Talking to reporters after the meeting, the governor said army personnel would be deployed on the Karakoram Highway to make it safe for journey. He said action would be taken against those police officers who had done nothing to stop the Chilas killings. The victims of the Chilas incident would be given compensation, he added. Allama Jaffery announced calling off the ongoing strike and sit-ins in Skardu.

PROTEST: Hundreds of women held a demonstration in Skardu in protest against the non-recovery of 50 passengers who went missing during the Chilas incident. They demanded early recovery of the missing passengers, provision of an alternative route and deployment of troops on the Karakoram Highway.

Published in Dawn News

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FWO confirms opening of Attabad spillway on Monday

The temporary embankment of the new spill-way of Attabad Lake will be destroyed on Monday.

A high alert has been declared in Hunza and people in nearby villages are being evacuated.

According to the Commissioner Hazara Division, the water level in the Sindh River can rise due to the opening of the spill-way.

Official sources state that with the opening of the spill-way, 50,000 cusecs of water will be released which may lead to floods.

Section 144 has been imposed in the district, educational institutions have been closed and holidays have been declared in government offices as precautionary measures.

News published in thenews

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Second Anniversary of Stumbled Hunza Valley

Year 2010 brought a mourn with it for the people of Hunza. Cold was on its peak, dawn of the January 4 came up with harsh cold, and the day proved coldest day of the days and cold month of the months, proved very unfortunate for the people of Hunza in their entire history. Nature loving people every body of Attabad, Hunza were busy in their routine life, farmers were tiring in their routine cattle’s affairs, female in household affairs and children with their schools. The day treated as savage as it was cold, as harsh it scrutinized the people of Hunza is unforgettable.

Hunza valley, one of the valuable parts of Pakistan ruined by the murderous land sliding and a natural catastrophe. Although casualties were less but its magnitude was grim for the people of Hunza. The catastrophe took 13 precious lives 6 severely injured and about hundreds Kanals of land and millions of property smashed and more than 30,000 residents of Upper Hunza Gojal is still isolated from the Pakistan. Other than there are almost more than 2500 students suffer due IDPs and blockage of karakrarm high way (KKH) which links Pakistan and china.
The unpredictable future of thousand of students and survival problem of thousands of general masses of upper Hunza Gojal valley, which is really intimidating and disastrous.

Two years later of the disaster, still there is a chaos; it doesn’t seem predictable to think about the long term strategy for rebuilding effected area and rehabilitation of victims. After long period of convulse beneath, victims of Attabad Valley are still plumbing for justice, rights and basic necessities of the life.

Rotten rulers and politicians betrayed the people of Hunza Via fake promises. On 21 may 2010 Prime Minister of Pakistan Yousuf Raza Gilani visited Hunza and ensured assistance in his extensive speech, but his speech gave no more than a betray. Local rural promised victims to compensate but it could not minimize the despair and distress of the sufferers.

Furthermore, the Pakistani forces who have been working over the spillway, they were not well equipped for the vital task setting up a supply chain aid and breach the stored water/dam. This is what they are doing under a sensible division of labors certainly most ordinary general masses seem please to see the government measures.

17 June 2010 local people started widening the spillway, the police stopped them by assuring them as government is a doer.

“All the government promises proved wrong and no more then a political statement. Promises of local and national leaders Governor Gilgit-Baltistan, speaker GB and Chief Minister GB have been encouraging the people and victims but in vain”.Baba Jan said. Further he said “we will continue the struggle and protest unless governments fulfill our demands”.

He added “If government cannot handle the problems of lack widening and victims then they should surrender and we the local people will do by self help”.

The story does not end here, the event led to take two innocent lives more, father and son on August 2011 when the victims protested in Aliabad for their demands, and hundreds of youth including many graduates students of Hunza victimized of police FIRs, the story of injustice reached to its climax and Government custody and jailed many political and social leader including Baba Jan.

Further Delay and disarray will cost many lives and the longer it lasts, the more likely that depression and despair will turn into violence and situation will be worst to bad. I think enough is enough now the need of hour is to provide justice, whosoever is responsible for not clearing the spill way, not compensating the victims should soon bring under the law and accept the demands and free the political prisons and say bye to FWO and deliver the contract to any international origination to avoid further any repulsive event.

Contributor, Ejaz Karim a student of FC College, Lahore. He can be reached at k4karimformanite@gmail.com

 

 


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G-B court takes suo motu notice of Hunza killings

Chairman of the Supreme Appellate Court of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) has taken suo motu notice of the killing of a father and son protesting against delay in payment of compensation to Gojal residents from firing by the police.

The court issued notices to the G-B chief secretary and police chief to submit their reports to the court on the action taken against police officials responsible for the tragedy.

Advocate Ehsan Ali had moved an application to Justice Nawaz Abbasi contending that the government had not taken any action against police officials involved in the firing incident.

On August 12, DSP Hunza-Nagar Babar and his guard opened fire on a group of disaster-affected people from Shishkat killing Sherullah Baig and his son Sher Afzal who were.

The incident sparked violent protest in the peaceful valley. A judicial inquiry held the police official responsible for excessive use of force and the killing of the two men.

Scores of people including political activists were arrested and subjected to third degree torture by a joint investigation team of security agencies.

Some of them are still languishing in jail but the accused officials are roaming free, an activist of Progressive Youth Front said.

In a related development, one of the displaced persons has moved the Gilgit-Baltistan’s (G-B) Supreme Appellate Court for expediting work on widening the lake’s spillway to drain out water. The court will take up a petition for hearing after winter holidays.

The petitioner, Hajat Muhammad has contended that the government has failed to drain out the lake. In the petition, the Pakistan government has been made a respondent, residents said on Wednesday. According to court sources, the respondents have been issued notices, directing them to appear before the court after vacation.

Protests

The disaster-hit people of Gojal have threatened to launch a nationwide protest for acceptance of their two-point agenda focused on draining the Attabad Lake and restoring the land route to Gojal, upper Hunza.

The residents of Gojal organised protests and a conference to mark the second anniversary of the Attabad landslide that hit the small hamlet on January 4, 2010, killing 19 people and severing land link between Gojal and the rest of the country by creating a 23-km lake that submerged four villages, Ayeenabad, Shishkat, lower parts of Gulmit and Ghulkin upstream.

Residents also organised a conference to discuss the environmental and social challenges and created by the lake and the economic impact of being cut off from the rest of the country for the past two years.

The submersion of 23km stretch of the Karakoram Highway has adversely affected the local economy and Pakistan’s trade with China.

Merchandise is ferried through boats across the lake. Boat travel has been banned since the lake is now frozen.

“Miseries brought upon us by the lake at Attabad continue to haunt us,” said a resident. Locals also complained of lack of health facilities. Ghulam Nasir, a resident of Gulmit, said, “Life is tough since we can’t reach Hunza in case of an emergency.”

The government evacuated nearly 10,000 people from 36 villages in June 2010. The displaced families have not yet forgotten their homes and fields.

However, the region’s government claims the assistance offered was unprecedented. “Each aggrieved family received Rs125,000 as compensation,” said a district administration official in Hunza. According to him, Rs100,000 was provided to 249 families who lost their property in four villages upstream.

The affected families in villages including Sarat and Attabad were provided Rs200,000 each. In addition, the official said that USAID provided Rs12.8 million to people whose businesses were submerged.

Published in The Express Tribune

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Hunza Attabad disaster anniversary

As the second anniversary of Attabad landslide approaches, Gojalis have come to believe that a nationwide agitation is the only way they will be able to get the authorities’ attention.

The Attabad Lake formed when a massive landslide on January 4, 2010 struck the small hamlet of Attabad, killing 19 people. The lake has consumed at least four villages upstream since then and has expanded. The dam still threatens three dozen villages downstream if it is breached.

The government promised to have the 23-km-long lake drained by the summer of 2010, but two years later the lake is still as it was, with more than 25,000 people living in Upper Hunza Valley, or Gojal, cut off and Pak-China trade badly affected.

Aziz Ahmed, a member of the anniversary organising committee, said, “It appears that there is no end in sight to our miseries, so we plan to knock the door of everyone we can for the resolution of this critical issue.”

He said that they want the task of draining the lake to be assigned to a company other than the Frontier Works Organisation (FWO).

Ahmed claimed that the lake could be drained within two months if the task was given to a Chinese firm, but accordingly to FWO, a team of World Bank experts, Dr Richard Hughes, Dr David Petlay and Allessandro Palinieri, visited the site on March 11, 2010 to conduct a technical evaluation and suggest modalities to tackle the catastrophe. The team fully endorsed the plan proposed by Pakistan Army and NESPAK experts to tackle the catastrophe.

But Ahmed is still apprehensive. “The lake has crushed the local economy.”

Following the submerging of a 25 km patch of the KKH, Pakistan’s trade with China suffered, and whatever volume of trade continues is only taking place using boats. Traders load goods on to boats in Gulmit and offload them in Attabad. The goods are then delivered to other parts of the country.

With trade disrupted, China has twice provided consignments of relief goods to the victims of Attabad Lake since the tragedy, Ahmed said.

However, the situation in Gojal valley has deteriorated further since the temperature plummeted and the water turned into ice, making the voyage near impossible. “Just imagine the condition of the passengers, especially women and children and the sick and elderly, who are forced to travel in open boats in this freezing weather,” a passenger said.

Earlier this week, the district government placed a ban on boat travel through Attabad Lake, but local boat owners defied the ban, despite the threat to life and limb.

The people believe that by highlighting the issue on the second anniversary of the catastrophe, they will be able to pressure the government into having the lake drained. Success, or lack thereof, could define the region’s future.

Published in The Express Tribune

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Anila Shafa: LUMS NOP Scholar from Gilgit Baltistan

Interview Published in Organization for Educational Change (OEC) Gilgit Baltistan

I was brought up and educated in Hunza, I have ended up in LUMS to pursue a degree in Economics.
I did my primary schooling from Hunza Model High School Aliabad. Followed by admission at AKHSS, Hunza to explore myself at secondary and higher secondary level.

 

I achieved my higher secondary school certificate for pre-engineering in 2009. In the last quarter of the same year I joined LUMS for my undergraduate study program.

Why this university?

I have always believed in exploring new areas and places of study. LUMS is one of such places which not only must be discovered rather it will assist me discover myself.

Moreover, this university was considered to be the ONLY one, which none of the GB female students could get into. This dilemma coaxed me to make it to it so that one day I would confidently say that nothing can be left unconquered, once one’s will is strong enough to vanquish every standards of difficulty. Also, I wanted to be an example for all those students who lost belief in themselves and their competent abilities. But, now am quite sure that more students especially females of GB are struggling their ways to be here someday.

Why Economics?

Preferring economics as my major was because, recently the changing world economic order has given a timely impetus to specialize in it. The unpredictable recession in the economies of developed countries worldwide has plunged my interest deeper into the vast waters of economics. I would like to contribute to the struggling societies through the implementation of innovative policies which will address the core issues that under-developed nations face today.

Ideal job/Dream job.

A job which involves the betterment of the deprived, my community and my nation has been always a dream. Considering this, my ideal job would be any development sector in Pakistan or abroad.

Inspiration

I have got bits of inspiration from many people whom I have encountered so far. This has lead to development of my inspiration from narrow horizons to broader ones at many points in time. And I consider myself on that path of growth which will never end as long as I am at a stage of learning every now and then.

However, I must mention those five GB, LUMS’ students who came to my college to give the career
counseling session focusing their university and its details. Since that day, I had dreamed of being in their position and delivering my speech to juniors one day. And through my writing today, I am fulfilling that silent longing.

Mentioning a few more people, who inspired me were all those successful students who made GB proud and their parents in particular. Also, my instructors in school, college, and university have contributed building me, by giving me inspiration in their own simple ways.

Define success? How successful do you’ve been so far?

For me, success is finding oneself at the right time for the right reasons of self obligation, leadership
and service. I am trying hard and giving my best to be able to achieve it one day. For now, I think I am heading in the right direction.

Interview Published in Organization for Educational Change (OEC) Gilgit Baltistan (The Educature)

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Sex Change Surgery-Female transform to Male Gender

A seventeen year old girl named Khanam, a resident of Sikandarabad village in the Hunza – Nagar district, has become a boy after going through surgery at a hospital in Danyore. His new name is Khadim Abbas. A student of class 9th, Khanam was the eldest daughter among her sister. She had no brothers. A couple of days back, Khanam was taken to the Sihat Foundation Hospital in Danyore due to some ailment. At the hospital Dr. Shirin and Dr. Firdous operated on her after which she transformed into a boy! Talking to Pamir Times, Khadim Abbas (the new name of Khanam) said that she is very happy at the transformation. “I will support my family now”, Khadim said. (Photo by Mon Digital)

He also said that due to his boyish voice the girls at her previous school used to avoid her. “I will take admission at a boys school and continue my education”, Abbas said. Speaking at the occasion, the mother of Khadim Abbas attributed the change to a miracle of God. “I always kept praying to God for granting me a son and today I have got a son”, she said. It is pertinent to note that this the fourth case of its kind in the Hunza – Nagar district.

Published in Pamir Times

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Three killed in glacier collapse in Hunza Gojal

Source (Tribune) The deceased were a part of a caravan which was headed towards Gojal Valley, when the incident happened.

The locals of the area tried to rescue them but failed to do so.

Three people also sustained injuries in the incident and were moved to a nearby hospital.

The locals said that the people who died were employees of a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).

Pakistan is at a greater risk of “massive floods” due to the melting of glaciers up north. The situation needs to be thoroughly assessed, before it gets too late.

Automatic monitoring stations have been set up at only two of the 5,320 glaciers in Gilgit-Baltistan, at least 10 stations are required to monitor the overall situation of the melting glaciers.

Experts believe that the fast melting of glaciers combined with the heavy monsoon rains caused last year’s massive floods that affected around 20 million people and destroyed 1.6 million homes.

The floods inundated up to one-fifth of the country over several weeks as the floodwater swept down Indus River.

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