[author image=”http://hunzanews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/19.jpg” ]Fida Karim The writer is a freelance Columnist. He is interested in youth-centric issues, international development and political economy. He can be reached on his Blog or Facebook[/author]
On 14th August, 1947 Pakistan has come into being through a democratic process under the leadership of Quad-E-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. But the irony is that event after the lapse of more than six decades the democracy is still at its nascent stage in Pakistan. Due to which democratic norms and traditions have not been established and practising on sound footing in our country. Resultantly, we – the voters – are electing wrong leaders to represent us in our legislative bodies that have eventually disappointing us in coming up to our expectations in quality of service delivery and legislation in the wider interest of their constituents.
Now that when the 12th general elections of Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) are going to be held on June 8, 2015, our ex-representative from GBLA-6 Hunza Mr. Mutabiat Shah have issued a statement on social media wherein he have listed down 36 projects worth 1905.4 million which had been initiated or completed during last government tenure from the year 2009 to 2015 in Hunza. Whereas Mr. Wazir Baig the Speaker GBLA and PPP backed second representative from GBLA-6 Hunza, have openly accepted poor performance of PPP Government and their outright failure by saying that “it was a golden opportunity. We could have done so much, but we have failed our people as we have simply wasted four years in government” and predicted a “bleak future for PPP in Gilgit-Baltistan“. He further stated that ““We will forever repent for not being able to carve out new districts in our tenure,” This indicates an outright failures of PPP backed representatives from GBLA-6 Hunza in materializing their manifesto even after having their own President, Prime Minster, Chairman Senate and Chief Ministers in three provinces including Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Pakistan.
As far as Mr. Mutabiat Shah and his role in the development of GBLA-6 Hunza is concern, I have summarized data from his Facebook post of May 15 in the table below to easily assess his contribution with special focus on the ground realities.
Mr. Mutabiat Shah claimed that during their five years term at GBLA his Government had spent almost two Billion rupees on 36 developmental projects in all the three regions of Hunza. According to details, during his Government’s five years tenure they have started or completed 16 projects in Upper Hunza, only 3 projects in Lower Hunza and 17 projects in Central Hunza. That means 44% of total projects have been started or completed in Upper Hunza, 47% in Central Hunza and 8% in Lower Hunza.
The bitter fact is that many of above projects are on paper only. For instance, it has been claimed that 0.5 MW Hydro Project have been started or completed in Mayoon Nallah besides expansion of Khizerabad to Khanabd road in Lower Hunza. But the harsh reality is that we have never ever seen any power project in Mayoon. That’s why most of the time we don’t have electricity in Mayoon like other parts of Lower Hunza. Same is the case with this fictitious Khizerabad to Khanabd road. When I visited Lower Hunza on October 2012, there was not even a pavement, let alone road from Khizerabad to Khanabd due to land sliding in Mayoonwhich is situated between Khizerabad and Khanabd. And when I revisited this place on November 2014, this road was still blocked even after the lapse of two years. Because of this I had to spend 1700 rupees once to go to Hussaianabad from Mayoon in 2012. And in 2014 I had to spend 2200 rupees to return back to Mayoon from Hussaianabd in a private taxi. Otherwise both these places are hardly two to three kilo Metter away from each other. Similarly, the even after spending more than a decade on its construction is also a living example of bad governance and corruption of PPP and its legislators from GBLA-6 Hunza. Due to incompletion of these projects and blockade of road in Lower Hunza, every year hundred thousands of rupees are being lose on account of selling cash crops on lesser than market rate, let alone over transportation and communication charges on daily basis.
On the basis of aforementioned ground realities with respect to the statement of Mr. Mutabiat Shah regarding development projects in Hunza, one can easily infer that most of his so called development projects may exist only in files as nothing tangible is there to prove these claims on the ground in Hunza. Furthermore, these false claims raise serious questions on the authenticity of his claims regarding development projects claim to have been started or completed during their tenure in other parts of Hunza. On the basis of aforementioned claims and contradicting ground realities, it become very much necessary for the people of Hunza to neutrality assess contending candidates in upcoming election and select only those candidates who have any integrity, ability, guts, along with capacity and track record of serving all the three regions of Hunza as we have a lot on stake due to recently approved 46 Billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and evolving changes in our surrounding areas at this time around.
In this regard when we have a look on the profiles of contending members from GBLA-6 Hunza, it comes to know that we have Mr. Zafar Iqbal from PPP, Mir Ghazanfer from PML (N), Mr. Izhar Hunzai from PTI and Mr. Baba Jan from Labour Party who are on the ground for the only seat of GBLA-6 Hunza.
When we look on the performance of our past representatives from GBLA-6 Hunza, they themselves accept that they have been totally wasted their four years in the government byusing public offices for personal gains. This rampant corruption marred uplift projects in GB. Therefore, any an insane person or a corrupt Jiala will support PPP and its candidate from GBLA-6.
Same is the case with PMLN and its candidate Mir Ghazanfer Ali Khan. Out of last 40 years, Mir Ghazanfer remained in helm of affairs for 25 years. But unfortunately, he hasn’t done anything tangible which could give him an edge over other contestants from GBLA-6 Hunza. He does have power and good contacts along with the brand name of “Mir of Hunza” which have never ever been used for the benefit of the people of GB in general and Hunza in particular. A large number of highly educated people in general and youth in particulate from Hunza are roaming here and there in search of decent jobs but he didn’t provided even a single decent job or any kind of scholarship to anyone of our highly educated youth from Hunza. Similarly, he has never ever raised his voice for an additional seat in GBLA just to maintain his dominance in the political arena of Hunza; thus, deprived Hunza from a major chunk of potential share from the divisible pool of developmental funds in GB Government. During his tenure the Lower and Upper part of Hunza remained neglected and he only concentrated on the development of Karimabad Hunza – his hometown.
Out of aforementioned contestant Mr. Baba Jan is the best candidate because he is the one who have always been standing up with all the people of Hunza for their rights whether it is the matter of Attaabad IDPs and their miseries, brutal killing of Sherullah Baig and his son Sher Afzal during CM Mehdi Shah’s Visit to Hunza or floor crisis or protection of human rights and constitutional rights. He took stand on all principle matters for the protection of our rights but unfortunately our own representatives in GBLA labeled him “anti – state element” and play their role in sending him along with a number of other innocent youth from Hunza behind the bars.
Since a new and fast pace development is taking place in our region on account of game-changing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and evolving geopolitical scenario in our backyard. In this backdrop we needed someone who is highly educated, experienced and competent enough to make SMART programmes to address our local issues locally and well-represent Hunza at policy making forums to protect and promote our goals in the Great Game between China and West. In this regard, the forthcoming five years are very much crucial. Therefore, my conditional vote and support goes to comparatively less experienced but very competent Izhar Hunzai from GBLA-6 Hunza.
Now when it’s another chance to make our future generation proud of us, I urge our proud Hunzukutz to think wisely and think of the future and also have a look on past performance of our elected representatives and their parties. I am sure and confident that we opt for a future where every health unit is functional, every school and college is providing quality education; where every graduate gets job on merit, where every man and woman is respected because of just being humans, where we are not only strategically well placed but also are quoted for intellectual, moral and professional excellence, where the world looks at Hunza as a role model; we can make it happen and it’s in our hand!
Be the drivers of a better future and be proud of your conscious decision.
Hunza we will make you rise and shine, always!