Students our future, they must follow philosophy of poet of East;

prove your self as assets of Islamic society, Teachers more respected than any other relation, their priority must be character building of their students says Wazir Baig
Readers Time Report
HUNZA, December: Young generation especially youth are our future strength, they must devote themselves for curricular and co-curricular activities, teachers are more respected and relation with their student was much honorable than any other; learners ought to work hard to keep the pace with dynamic world. These views were stated by Interim governor and speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly in a speech and kalam-e-Iqbal recitation competition among colleges to commemorate doctor Allama Iqbal's literary serivices organized by Literary cirles e government girls inter college,Karimabad,Hunza. The theme of programme was 'Hayat Zoque safar k siva kutch oar Nahi'comprised of first session with speech competition on the theme followed by Kalam-e-Iqbal recitation. Speakers shed light on literary work of poet of Eeast doctor Allama Iqbal, qouted his ideas and kept emphasis on young sould to adopt the in their practical life to avail a satisfied life.
Speaking to the occasion, chief guest Mr.Wazir Baig said that it was human intellect that enabled him to get out of stone age and enter into modern era.He said that it was time of competition and adoption of ideas of Iqbal lead us a sucessful life saying continuous effort and self accountability and conscience was pre-requisite to be successful in all wakes of life. He said that biggest differece between human being and other creatures was learnign and reasoning power, adviced them to work hard to discover miracles of nature. He said mere a little portion of God's creation discover and much more was still unknown yet.
He said that running of half a dozen private and government colleges was a tangible proof that our youth was following the message of Iqbal.

Hunza: Students listening to the interim governor Wazir Baig, carefully. VoH Photo

He emphasized teachers to make efforts to build character of youngsters. He further said that Gilgit-Baltistan government is doing according its capacity to ensure quality education and health facilities. He said that an ing (MoU) for a mega projet has been signed between Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) and an Australian donner agency to upgrade quality of education and other facilities saying the project would bring academic revolution. He said he has discussed with a educational NGO named Mountain Institute for Educational Development, working in different districts of Gilgit-Baltistan. " An official of this revolutionary institute has expressed willingness to work in Hunza-Nagar too," he added.

View- A looming disaster

By: Shamsuddin Muhammad
Inhabitants of Gilgit-Baltistan are living currently in a volatile times straddling with the natural catastrophes and dilemmas making them more alert to nurtured potential to survive in this comparatively backward region bordering China on the extreme North of the country. How do well these communities affected by such natural disasters either directly or indirectly do transform challenges into opportunities depends on better mutual understanding, unity, fraternity, patience, tolerance, forgiveness for mistakes,respecting cultural, ethnic and religious diversity, ensuring equity, eradicating communication gaps, bridging the gap not only among the indigenous communities but also with those affected across the country and any where on the planet of earth. In this connection, such a situation demands largely for petential capacity to take right decisions on right time and ensure their implementation on time in Public sector and to bolster development initiatives to increase standard of living of poor mountain communities of Gilgit-Baltistan. HUSANI, Gojal: A file photo taken in end of September, 2010. Blockade water under the soft terraces a offers a huge threat to settlement above.

Given the current deplomatic war, a new form of cold war, between rapidly growing Chinese economy and India under the aeges of USA to check the former's possible overtaking as the only super power has also affected the inteligentsia of the Gilgit-Baltistan region. US and Indian media circles and prominent writers have focused their attention on an expected new great game to be played in this region that borders Pakistan not only three strategic states: India, China and Afghanistan but also a corridor to the Central Asian states namely Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and so on. Keeping in view, future possible commercial hub at the junction of three great mountain ranges, the tug of war among these powers did little good for the interest of local population. The regional diaspora through regional media and especially bloggers continue to inform masses about the developments on global front has shifted their focus largely from the local issues rose gradually.
Husani Astana: Internal picture of Husani Astana (Shrine) built centuries ago is situated above the stalled Hunza river. Photo by Shams

Such a case is with Husani, a town around three kilometers away from tehsil headquarter with everlasting beauty, spiritual reverence and its strategic location. The town that is home to one of the popular shrine with a population more than one thousand is at the foot hills of Husani Glacier and Boreth lake in Gojal, Upper Hunza. The population of this area like other vicinities of Gojal are known for their hospitality; land is fertile for potato crops and fresh fruits and summer season remains pleasant almost for five months.
Husani, Gojal: The community in Husani village lives in hard times as it has been remained cut- off from Gulmit, the tehsil headquarter and Central Hunza. Yet where the community faces difficulties due to blockade, the small settlement embraces the benefit of land port to facilitate China-Pakistan trade via boats. Shaheen Scouts of Shia Imami Ismaili Boys scouts of the locality poses for Readers Time after their training titled Parvaz three camping.

This areas is facing currently threat of land failure due to blockade of water that stretches more than 23 kilometers turned Husani village into another peninsula. Moisture land base at the lower parts especially along the river side reveals impending peril if the concerned authorities of Pakistan with the help of China does not manage to avert the land failure by using advance technology to ensure more out flow from the barrier. According to locals, the crop production this year is around 30 percent lower than the last month while the quality of fresh fruit too affected due to change in climatic conditions in the area.
Where the inhabitants faces challenges in terms of troubles in traveling due to suspension of land link with the rest of the area towards Gulmit and Central Hunza, the small settlement has been turned into a major port to facilitate Sino-Pakistan trade via small boats to Attaabad spill way. Such a development is expected to create economic opportunities to local population to earn from. Government can work in this sector to develop warehouses and forwarding companies and help create a trade friendly conducive environment for traders from Pakistan and China.
This area that once greeting to tourists and the visitors to Shrine portrays a mix feelings of beauty and harrow-an agent to enable indigenous population to retain sustainability even in critical times.

The writer is a freelance researcher, writer and editor of Weekly VoH, GB Echo, Al-Shams bimonthly and Readers Time blogs. He can be contacted

CBRC's unsatisfactory performance in construction of KKH

Reduces transport moment across the region
Readers Time Report
HUNZA-NAGAR, November: Chinese Bridge and Road construction firm's slow pace of devlopmental work has served to decrease moment of transport across Gilgit-Baltistan region.

According to a reliable source, width of the road is even less than the previous one with frequent cross sections. Traveling on KKH especially between Hunza and Nagar has become bit advanturous. On the other hand, experts say that inadequate number of workers and equiptments was one of major reason for delay in construction and repairing work for half an year.

Comment-Reducing the risk of landslides,flash floods and soil erosion in mountainous Gilgit – Baltistan

By Syed Tajdar Hussain
The unprotected hilly barren slopes of dry temperate eco region in Gilgit – Baltistan (GB) are major sites and source of soil erosion, landslides, flash flood and rock fall which causes flow of sediment, mud flow, clay, sand and gravel to lower catchments. The poor communities of the area are directly affected when it merges with water and contaminates the rivers, streams springs and lakes, which are starting place of disaster and posing serious threats to the natural resources on one hand and on the other damage
infrastructure and also cause loss of life. These processes are emerging as issues in the entire mountainous regions of GB.Attaabad disaster on January 04, 2010 is the most recent, unbelievable and unforgettable, example in history of Gilgit-Baltistan. Similar issues may also emerge in the times ahead if proper risk reduction and management plan are not put in place for the vulnerable slopes of areas like Miachar in Nagar valley.
The hazards including hydro and metrological due to climate changes increases heavy rains, untimed heavy snow fall, flash floods, droughts, clouds bursts and avalanches, ultimately increase the geological hazards which are means for land slide, increase turbidity in water sources, cause loss of agriculture land, destruction of shelters, water channels, water and sanitation systems. It also effects soil fertility, water quality in both surface and subsurface runoff and diminishes the social and economical benefits by increasing hardships for the communities living on the mountainous slopes . Landslides mostly on susceptible slopes can occur due to gravity, moisture, earth failures can triggered by heavy rain, flood, earthquakes and other natural hazards and human induced hazards such as deforestation, overgrazing and ill managed mining etc. Most of the remotest villages of the region are not easily accessible and people usually use to go through pony tracks and small jeep able roads along the hilly terrains needed for disaster resilience. The barren slopes along these tracks are highly vulnerable to natural hazard risks. So far, no serious attempts have been undertaken to harness the livelihoods and precious resources for the economic well being of the local communities. Due to limited knowledge, the local people have been also benefits by haphazard using of existing limited natural resources on risky slope meadow to meet their needs of routine life.
Eventually slopes will get barren and cause more dangerous situation to hazards. These barren slopes can be again stabilized to prevent hazards risk, particularly landslides, surface runoff and gully formation through planting and sowing fast growing multipurpose native plants species like sea buckthorn, willow, popular, alfalfa, curl sock, wormseed and wormwood. This would control land slide and soil erosion on the vulnerable slopes and make to establish sod and stabilize slopes and will be productive indeed to lower scrub and examine vulnerability of the local people. To minimize the high hazards risk, an integrated approach and true partnership among local community and concerned departments required. In this way life of local people’s can be enhanced by putting small work at the present for the future well being. Planting of indigenous plants specie in the land sliding areas which can possibly reduced the flood hazards and perhaps establishes communities to live in a safe and healthy environment. Awareness about surrounding landscape is required to learn when and whether landslides and soil erosion occurred to take in time necessary action.
Construction of protective walls and developed enforce lands and community motivation to build their infrastructure away form the mouth of mountainous slopes can also safeguard from misfortune. The custodian departments can take lead role through support of the local community in mitigation measure and planting indigenous tree species to control hazards on vulnerable slopes.

Special Report:Prices of cash crops getting stable; poor formers take sign of relief

Readers Time
Giglit, November: Prices of indeginous cash crops have been gaining since last two weeks following intervention of local administration in artificially imposed prices by local and non-local agents across Gilgit-Baltistan. Local media sources raised the issue to urge local administration to ensure stability of prices of indegenous crops especially vegitables like Potato, Tomoto, carrots and fresh fruits namely Pear and apples to facilitate the only earning source of majority of disaster hit mountain communities in the region. Constant rise in essentials from down against lowering prices of indegnous products had annoyed local population that seem to transform since the begging of current month. According to regional analysts, extrapolation of data availble from statistics department idicates that local market forces must attain an equilibrium to a certain selling price that must ensure a reward of twelve months in hard climatic conditions.
HUNZA, Ganish: Beautiful terraces are known for good potatoes and vegetables in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). Image by:Shams

Prices of Potato have been fluctuated by 100 percent from PKR 1000 to 2000 and Potatoes from 30 to 55 -pushing the transactions to the peak thereof. On the other hand, hike in petroleum products and LPG has intensify essential being brought from down cities to cater indigenous needs served to sky rocket prices locally. Constant rise in expenditures against decline in already meager income sources of majority of local population is making life for poor a hard job to cater their daily needs.

G-B has potential to power Pakistan

Monitoring Desk
GILGIT: Over 40,000 megawatts of electricity can be produced in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) if the available water resources are used properly, officials said on Thursday.
“The region is full of water reservoirs and is best suited for the production of power. If these resources are used in a suitable manner, more than 40,000 megawatts of power can be generated in these areas,” a senior official in the Water and Power department said. With the financial support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other donors, a number of projects are in progress in this region. Shagar-thang Power project is one of them, 80 per cent of the total expenditure is being paid for by the ADB.The dam is the largest project that is being funded by foreign donors. The Diamer-Bhasha Dam will be the highest dam in the world with a 272 metres high spillway and with 14 gates, each 11.5 m x 16.24 m. Critics of the project have raised objections to the project as it will cause the inundation of over 50,000 ancient rock carvings and will destroy archaeological evidence in the region.- The Express Tribune



Readers Time
By: Afia Nisar
In the name of all the most beneficent and the most merciful. Distinguished chief guest, worthy judges honorable principal respected teachers and my dear fellows the topic which I am going to throw light on is a very strong and effectual issue that is global warming. As we all are well aware of the term global warming it is increase in the average temp of the earth’s atmosphere...The co2 is being emitted and NOT being absorbed by the green plants for photosynthesis THEN the amount of co2 in air is increasing forming a layer adjacent the earths surface traps unwanted rays inside it. It causes the air temp to rise. Now the question arising is “IS GLOBAL WARMING REALLY A MENACE TO OUR LIVES” global warming is really a threat to us it is a critical issue and it should be solved as soon as possible because the longer it goes on the more we will feel insecure living on our very own mother land. Don’t you want your children and their children and their children to live a better life than you or a life at least like you? of course you do they’ll suffer more if things will go on like this so together we have to hold our hands for the better future of our next generation now a question may come into your mind that what are the causes of global warming what makes Global warming the causes include pollution , smoke coming out of the vehicles, industries and debris use of AC in homes ,operating refrigerators and use of aerosols sprays emit cfc later as the cfc goes up into the air it helps the ozone layer to deplete which lets the UV ray s inside earth and spread diseases like skin and eye cancer. Much use of sulphur dioxide I power stations and burning of fossil fuels cause acid rain so2 mixes with water vapors to make acid rain it can case damage to many plants ripen fruits on trees starts rot it can also cause iron to rust and many buildings will be destroyed. all the causes are due to our idleness .they r irreversible so we should try to stop them before it gets too late all the cause leave a major effects on the worlds environment foe instance.
Rising of sea of sea level are an easily measurable effect of global warming as he ice melts it joins the huge pool of oceans. Sea levels are currently on apace to rise at about 1 inch every 10 years .this might seem a small change but this is the first step which can make our future disastrous. Beach erosion is a major effect of rise in sea levels, beach vacationers may find nothing like they used to find before a ht sandy beach in winters. Tourist base has really been a catastrophe isn’t it Tourism pumps our 50 billion dollars into Florida economy and its neibouring nation earn 15 billion dollars each. in fact every US state and some nations depend on tourism to sustain their economy .what will happen to them if the beaches will erode what will happen to the people and the nations future the answer is simple and clear that if we don’t stop it the beaches will ruin . Despite its economy beach erosion also harms the marine life and the plants and the animal inside it. One of the most pervasive effects of global warming is frequent changes in weather raging floods hurricanes and dozens of tornadoes sweeping the landscapes .since the dawn of industrial revolution the frequency of hurricanes have risen by40%

Hunza: Afia Nisar, receiving first price in competition from Deputy commissioner Hunza-Nagar Zafar Waqar Taj. Photo by: Shams

If we increase the tem the air will absorb more moisture in forms of water vapors. by definition evaporation is a cooling process so why is this increase d evaporation not helping global warming. Because the water vapors counter the cooling process while acting as a green house. The overall destabilization of local climates is also a major effect of global warming. All the effects have been discussed but there should be ways to stop them. Global warming can be prevented because where there’s a will then there’s a way. Making little differences in how we do thin in our daily lives can help us a lot. Am I right we can help it by switching off the light when not in use? minimizing the usage of fossil fuel and gasoline less use of aerosol sprays air conditioners and refrigerators ,as the technology has been advanced we can use water or battery generated vehicles but instead we can walk if we are going on a short distance.All these were the policies to prevent global warming. We should try to stop it because there is still time to stop it. LIFE is thee most precious and the dearest things near a person. So what if we don’t live because we also face dangers from it. So, for the sake of our lives let’s take an oath today that from now onwards we will work together on the issue.

The above text is speech delivered by first price winner in competition by Affifa Nisar. She is a brilliant student of AHSSH. she secured first Position in Inter School Speech Competition at Central Hunza level held in F.G.Boys Model School, Karimabad

Feature: Lowering price level of indeginous cash crops, fresh fruits against constant increase price increase in incoming commodity prices irk fomers

Readers Time
By: Shamsuddin Muhammad
GILGIT, October:There constant decline in prices of indigenous cash crops like that of Potatoes, pumpkins, tomatoes, carrot and fresh fruits: apple, pear and grape has obscured any good hope to earn even the same price on which these salable items were sold last year. According to statistics available from different commercial points, prices of cash crops especially Potatoes and carrots, the main crops that majority of population of Gilgit Baltistan rely as the second main source of their very survival have been declined for last two months. In the month of July this year,when indigenous agri production starts; the price of Potato and tomato in the local veritable markets in Gilgit-Baltistan could stabilize at the highest level, former at PRK 16 per kilogram (660 per 40 kg) and later at 35 per kilograme in whole sale till the end of August. While the retail prices of the two were recorded as potato Rs.18 per kilogram and tomato 38 to 40 respectively. Similarly, the price of potato and tomato during this tenure in down city markets, Lahore and Rawalpindi on whole sale were: Rs.35 per kg (1400 per 40 Kg) and Rs.52 per kilogram respectively.
GILGIT: Potatoes via a small vehicles were being shifted from Nalter, one of the most beautiful place in GB to main vegitable market and then to down cities. Unstable prices of cash crops have further reduced the standard of living of the poor farmer class. Image by Shams

Yet, the tendency of rapid decline in prices observed since the second week of August when cash crops from lower regions of Khyber Pakhtoon Khawa (KPK) i.e Abotabad, Mansehra and Central Punjab started to reach to veritable market on one hand and imports from India to fill the demand and supply equation, thus reducing the price in the region to a substantial lower price. Currently, the price of same crop in various parts of Gilgit-Baltistan region, popular for the production of potato and tomato vegetables like Naltar, Ishkoman, Yasin, Hunza, Nagar, Khapulo, Rundu, Danyore and outskirts and Jalalabad is declined by around 42 percent, even lower than at the rate on which former managed to get their reward of efforts throughout 12 months in 2009. Another one main factor known is excessive supply from Skardu and Astore region in markets of Lahore and Rawalpindi that drastically reduced the demand thus compelling producers to sell at lower prices.
The situation in case of fresh fruits: apple, pears and grape was also the same. Due to lack of indigenous packaging industry as well as any effective price regulation department in local government structure, local formers have been forced to sell their production according to the commission agents mostly non-locals. There has been a constant demand from social circles of regional governments to provide loans at affordable markup rate to the farmers to enable them establish jointly packaging and storage rooms to cater the demand from down cities in subsequent months of the year, an option to boost economic activities through small medium enterprise initiatives. Ultimately, recognition and addressing of such demands by current regime would save former class from exploitation at the hands of both local and non local commission agents and the move would serve to channelize a better dynamics of relations between producers, intermediaries and end consumers to absorb the positive trends in global economy. Gilgit-Baltistan is expected as the hub of commercial activities of few major rising economies that Pakistan borders in the East and North. For this empowerment of indigenous population of Gilgit-Baltistan on the pattern tested and getting success in Xinjiang province of China.

Aga Khan Girls Higher Secondary school wins inter-schools speech competition;

Speakers places emphasis over use of eco-friendly technology to reduce Co2 emission
Readers Time Report
HUNZA, Karimabad, October:Speakers at the inter schools speech competition emphasized on both the developed and developing nation to replace eco-friendly technology to reduce carbon dioxide gas in the atmosphere.

Students from eight different schools and the Brilliant English Language center, the organizer of the even participated. The theme of event was " Climate Change and its impact on earth planet' which served to gather a large number of audiences pertaining to different walks of life. Speakers in their speech maintained that human kind in a quest to seek more comfort endangering a balanced eco-system on the planet of earth. Speaker from Sedna School said that climate change has emerged as one of the most dangerous threat to the dwellers on earth." Rise in temperature and subsequent melting of glaciers continue to rise water level that may submerge low lying regions", she added.

HUNZA: Deputy Commissioner Hunza-Nagar and Principal F.G. Boys Model school Karimabad gives away trophies and prices to the winners and runner up participants. Words and photos by: Shams

The first prize winner Afifa Nisar of Aga Khan Girls Higher Secondary school, Karimabad,Hunza said that excessive emission of green house gases have caused to bring many negative developments including reducing agricultural yielding capacity in the land because of droughts and presence of salts. " Besides giving harm to agricultural processes it has had direct affect on human health by breaking out of fatal diseases," she added. A speaker from Brilliant Language centre established that usage of vehicles and machines that uses carbon products have disbalanced the ecological level. " Instead of using of heavy out dated vehicles that emit smoke and cause air pollution we should opt for bicycles, an economy itself, he suggested. He also placed emphasis to undertake efforts to keep their environment clean.
The chief guest Zafar Waqar Taj, deputy commissioner Hunza-Nagar in his concluding speech threw light upon neccessity of care towards our environment and emphasized to stop processes causing to increase either form ofpolution specially that of water and air. He gave away trophies and certificates among the winners and runner up participants.


An Interview with Dr. Iqbal, DHO Hunza-Nagar

Readers Time
Interviewed by: Shamsuddin Muhammad
Health, food supply, education and energy sector are some of crucial areas that governments in past have given least attention. And among them, the vulnerable condition of health and power facilities across Hunza has caused to increase miseries of locals who are currently in state of war with natural forces after Attaabad land slide.

HUNZA: Dr. Iqbal, giving interview to RDs Times. Readers' Time Photo

According to available statics, the nascent Hunza-Nagar district has total population of around 1,28,867 individuals with an area of around 14,560 square kilometer; it comprises two subdivisions, four tehsils, 15 union councils:8 in Hunza and 7 in Nagar. To a population more than 0.129 million, only five government run hospitals with total capacity of 55 bed strength along with 13, though many ghost dispensaries exists with only five family physicians. Similarly, contrary to the claims of current regime for having commitment to eliminate critical diseases, there are only 2 technicians for T.B control programme for the whole district.
Federal government through Self rule empowerment and reform package, 2009 has taken few initiatives in Gilgit-Baltistan around half an year ago. Civil hospital Aliabad, which has been the only one male family physician for scattered population. Doctor Iqbal is the head of district head quarter hospital and supposed to make efforts to cater the needs of population of both Hunza and Nagar was upgraded with the completion of PC-4, thirty bed hospital in its premises into District Head Quarter hospital. Gilgit-Baltistan government fulfilling its pledge of provision of health facilities appointed a district health officer in March 2010. Doctor Iqbal Haider is currently working as District Health officer (DHO). Readers Time has conducted an interview which is being published for readers.

RDsTime: Would you please tell us about your education and work experience in your career?
Dr. Iqbal: Well, I did my graduation from Ayub medical college, Abbotabad in 1998. Then I opted for Family PlanningAssociatin for Pakistan in September and served by the ended of 2000. I joined World Health Organization in 2000 and worked there by the end of 2005. During this tenure, I completed Diploma in Health Care System Management from college of Physicians and Surgion, Karachi Pakistan. Then I was able to complete Master in Public Health (MSPH) within next two years from Qaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. In April 2005, I was sellected as Assistant district Health officer in Gilgit and worked till the mid of year 2009. Then I was appointed by Federal Service Commission Islamabad as District Health Officer (DHO) in April, 2010 and since am working in the same capacity here in Hunza-Nagar district.

RDs Time: Gilgit-Baltistan government created new district health office to upgrade and ensure health facilities inHunza-Nagar. But since its creation no change occurred, rather proved a nine days wonder during days of alert. what was reason behind that?
Dr. Iqbal: Actually, when I assumed responsibilities as District Health Officer of the nascent Hunza-Nagar district,I found multitude of problems ranging from lack of general medicines to round the clock medical staff to tackle emergency cases. Realizing the dire situation, I did my best to ensure possible medical facilities. You know, there was a hype of flesh floods in down stream ahead of spill in May, 2010. Besides fulfillment of my duties, I had to ensure my presence to answer any question by media persons in the head quarter hospital, my service station and accompanying VIPs visits, simultaneously. In this critical time, when I constantly faced shortage of resources, I utilized the experience, skills and knowledge retained during services with UN agencies.

RDs Time: You said that you faced both personnel and medicines even on the peak of possible disaster. While, according to independent resources, both of them influx in the region from doner agencies. Where they gone?
Dr. Iqbal: I agree that many Donner agencies provided both medicines and personnel as a contribution in relief operations. Yet, a large portion of them has been utilized by proper distribution among the major hospitals and supporting basic health units both in Up and down stream. Provincial, federal and regional government constantly provided with us required back up when needed. As for as the quantity of medicines and number of personnel are concerned, as per plan was allocated with respect of the population of zones in the district. Our staff remain vigilant 24/7 and our ambulance service provided maximum facility in hour of need.

RDs Time: It is said that there are insufficient staff to ensure smooth running of facilities. Similarly, few who exist have been entrusted work beyond their capacity. Local public circles blame GB bureaucracy for resorting to delaying tactics to employ non-local people. Do you feel comfortable enough to dispense duties in the existing situation?
Dr. Iqbal: As for as the creation of positions in the new set-up here in Hunza-Nagar district is concerned, that is actually job of Gilgit-Baltistan Planning and services department. I personally have forwarded request for provision of properpersonnel and infrastructure. Nevertheless, there is no any response from respective departments yet. The existing structure requires at least 52 staff compared to only eight staff working currently. I am actually driven by zeal for service of humanity; and being a son of the soil, I did not voice over even personal perks being provided to the same in other areas of the region.I still draw the pay lower than the scale of my appointment is an evidence of that

RDs Time: As you aforementioned that currently you do have very insufficient staff to deliver the work especially those who render medical services to the masses. What did you have done to overcome obstacle if the GB government remains ignorant to the demand of proper staff on pretext of scarcity of funds?
Dr. Iqbal: I explicitly mentioned here that we do have few staff compared to the current need. At the time of creation of the district health office, I managed to bring existing ones from different hospitals of Hunza and Nagar. Planning and services departments still silent over my proposal of additional staff for unknown reasons. I have clearly mentioned the supporting staff to DHO, establishment and recruitment of staff for Disaster Health management office, and Expanded Programme for Immunization (EPI) and allocation of fund for cold rooms. We have currently very few base line indicators to curve the infant mortality rates and our proposal also include a special allocation of funds in this regard in health sector in the budget.

RDs Time: We have had a single family physician (medical officer) to cater the needs of hundreds of thousands of indigenous masses having low income sources who rely on government run medical facilities. No additional medical staff especially the lady doctors have been appointed in the major hospitals. Why is this so?
Dr. Iqbal: Well, one major reason behind lack of appointment of additional is that the newly appointed medical doctors were reluctant to render their services in the valleys of the region that lack facilities ranging from communications to proper accommodation. Moreover, they argue that there exist very little avenues for private practice. That is why, medical professionals even those pertain to the GB region prefer to opt for cities instead of towns and villages. And the regulation and monitoring is the task of services department that can answer this question well.

RDs Time: There equipments outside the operation theater for more than a year. With the creation of district health office people cherished expectations for better facilities through immediate instalation. But nothing could get done and lyingvulnerably in open air? Why these could not be installed to reduce depreciation cost?
Dr. Iqbal: Basically, these equipments were purchased last year for ongoing PC-4 extension. We managed to keep them outside the operation theater to create space for minor surgical cases. Soon we hope to installed it as soon as the extension projectgets complete.

RDs Time: Patients complaint that they were not provided medicines for even minor illnesses and used to ask to purchase them on high prices from markets. What is your approach to address it?
Dr. Iqbal: I agree that there is lack of medicines in most of hospitals. Truly speaking, we get a cerain share from regional quota semi annually. This small quantity from quota is distributed among different hospitals. Health sector is another main sector still ignored in fiscal budget. We try our best to deliver and provide what we posses to the patients. We are optimistic to get additional share from qouta in the near future and that would solve the issue of lack of medicines

RDs Time: What is response of public representatives over the constant hurdles in the way of provision of effective medical facilities. Did any one of our representative visit you to listen to you to resolve them?
Dr. Iqbal: Yes, recently finance minister Muhammad Ali Akhtar and Speaker Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) in the brief meeting has pledged to hand over PC-4 within in next two months and to provide required staff for. They are constantly in contact and listened to the problems with open heart. Lets hope for better.

RDs Time: Thanks for sparing few moments from your busy schedule!
Dr. Iqbal: Your are always welcome.

Manzoor Eleven red won defence day commemorating tournament;

Recreational activities a healthy trend for moderate societies: Rani Attiqa
RDs Times Report
HUNZA, September: Manzoor eleven won final match of defence day commemorating smash tournament held on September 14, 2010. In the best of five, Manzoor eleven entitled the victory by 3 sets after an exciting match. The smash event coupled with a marathon race of three four kilometers was started in afternoon. Winner and runner up teams' players presented with dance over local traditional tunes. Rani Attiqa Ghazanfar Ali Khan, contestant in the recent GBLA elections for GBLA and Mir of Hunza who was chief guest in the final event gave away medals and trophies to the prominent players and the teams on board.

Speaking at the moment, Rani Ghazanfar said that arrangement of recreational events are necessary to engage our educated youth in healthy activities. She praised the manner and the discipline maintained by amateurs and participants of the games. She called on the people present at the moment to help affectees saying rest of country suffered a huge disaster including various areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and this may divert attention of government towards Attaabad land slide affectees. She announced Rs. 10,000 cash as contribution for KCSC and Rs.1,000 for each team. "Arrangement of such an interesting event amidst disasters and uncertainities that hit people alike across the country was a remakable venture on part of KCSC," she added.

HUNZA, Karimabad: The guy here above in this picture is not on the run to save his life from any danger, rather he was the one who covered distance of 4.35 kilometer in 17.50 minutes securing first position in the merathon. VoH Photo

Other guests namely Iftikhar Hussein of Ganish Heritage trust, Shanawar Khan, and others gave away medals to the players of wining and runner up teams of the final event. According to the details of KCSC, following result was declared during price distribution ceremony.

Name of Event Winner Name Sets entitled
Smash Volleyball Manzoor Eleven Red 3
Man of the match Nisar of Manzoor 11
Man of the series Nasir of Aliabad S.Star -
4 Km Marathon Rahmet Karim of Karimabad - 1

While Aliabad Super Star remained as runner up team as it could not win even a single set against manzoor eleven. In five kilometer long marathon, Rehmet Karim of Karimabad, Sulaiman of Ahmedabad and Sartaj of Karimabad stood first, second and third,covering the distance with in 17 and 17.50 minutes respectively.

Gilgit-Baltistan Development Forum starts in Gilgit

Readers Time Monitor
By Asghar Khan
GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan Development Forum started at Serena Hotel in Gilgit yesterday. Held under the theme “Harnessing Potential”, the forum attracted artisans, traders, entrepreneurs and local NGOs who also showcased their products as part of an exhibition held alongside the forum.
The forum was attended by chief minister, members of the Gilgit – Baltistan Legislative Assembly, secretary tourism and other government officials besides officials of Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), sponsor of the forum.
Chief Minister, Mehdi Shah, in his speech said that around 50,000 MW of electricity can be generated using the water resources of Gilgit – Baltistan. He also said that more than 50 Gold mines are found in the region. The CM also said that rights of investors will be protected through legislation.
Speakers emphasized that investors can play an important role in economic uplift of the region by putting their money in energy, minerals and tourism industry. Courtesy:


Partcipants vows to initiate comprehensive collaborative efforts to eridicate Tiber Closis; 42 new cases identified during first two quarters in Hunza

RDs Time Report
HUNZA, Karimabad, September: Collaborative concious and comprehesive efforts are need of the hour to eridicate Tiber Closis, a silent killer in the region; Victims do not disclose the symptoms for T.B is considered as a mean and abominable disease in the society. These views were expressed by participants during a one day media adovacy session by T.B control unit under the banner of Advocacy Communication and Social Mobilization (ACSM) programme in collaboration with Aga Khan Health Services Pakistan (AKHSP) and few foreign NGOs here at a local hotle in Karimabad, Hunza on Wednesday. T.B control unit sought suggestions regarding new approaches, from media circles to implement initiative efficiently and effectively with in given periphery. Fida Nagri,social mobilizer T.B control unit shed light on efforts being done to keep the menace under control.Presenting his views, since last four years of its creation.Mr. Iftikhar Hussain said that those affected by this disease hardly disclose as it has had considered as abominable fatal disease. He emphasized to create more awarness through involving elders, scholars, writers, poets and other civil society members to educate general masses about the causes, affects and cure to disease.

Hunza:( Above to the left) Participants of one day media advocacy session listening attentively to the speakers. (Above to the right) Participants give feed back for friendly engagement in TB control initiative at various levels.

Hunza:(Below left ) Facilitators of the session elaborating objectives and the targets. (Below right) A group photo of participants of the session along the facilitators.

Salman Khan and Sherbaz Kalim of Devako production vowed to support the cause through specific programmes, plays and drammas to highlight the disease and its in time cure especially through local cable net works in Hunza-Nager district. Amjad Hussain emphasized on a new approach- awareness at school level: children easily get the point and discuss that with their parents and there is larger chance of awareness than any other mean. Participants agreed to play their role through writings, presentations and debates in public in order to convince if any affected for cure.
Later Basharat Hussain delievered a detailed presentation on the current situation in Hunza-Nagar. According to the statistics shared here, following cases were identified in the district:

Month Year Cases Types
June 2007 18 *P.T.B; E.P.T.B
June 2008 Do Do
June 2009 60 Do
June 2010 92 Do

*Palmonery Tiber Closis, Exra-Palmonery Tiber Closis

According to the medical experts on Tiber Closis, a German scientist Robert Koch discovered T.B virus for the first time in 1882. According to the WHO's findings, those with 1 lakh viruses containging within one milimiter level is said to be affected by the disease.

Region divides over Eid celebrations, Shia community announces Eid on Friday;

Security beefed up in Gilgit , Skardu city; Heartiest wishes on the occasion of Eid to readers from Readers' Time
GILGIT, BALTISTAN, September 10: Like the rest of the country, Gilgit-Baltistan region too experiencing division on the question of Eid. According to available information, Agh Rahat-ul-Husseini, Imam-e-Juma, Shia Muslims declared on Thursday night lately that after acquiring numerous moon sighting evidences, after a detailed meeting, Eid would be observed on Friday,September 10, 2010. Similarly, religious authorities in Baltistan too announced Eid as par in Gilgit and outskirts.
Followers of the faith offered Eid prayers amidst tight security arrangements as law enforcement agencies took control of prayer halls and Eidgahs from early morning in Gilgit, Skardu and Ghanche and allowed participants only after passing through explusive detecting devices installed at different entry points. On the other hand, other reliegious authorities of Islam like Ahl-e-Sunnat Wal Jamat, Tanzeem-E-ahle Sunnat and rest of communities have announced the Eid would be celebrated on Saturday, Septeber 11, 2010. The whole Nagar too celebrated Eid on Friday while most of the region in Hunza which comprises Ismaili community in majority observed Eid on Saturday because uncertainty and late announcement regarding sighting of the moon left people in bewilderment.
The whole country has also divided into two halves on the question of Eid-ul-Fitr consequently, Eid was observed on 10 th September, 2010. While a major portion of ountry's population is observing Eid celebrations today on Saturday 11 September, 2010. Muslims observe this mega event at the end of thirty day's fasting, an important factor of Islamic faith right from its rise.
We, the team of Readers time like to extend our heartiest wishes to all our valuable readers and saying you all " Happy Eid day" amidst fear, uncertainty and apprehensions due to constantly deteriorating law and order situation in almost every province of the country. We have not forgotten those all irrespective of their faith, as the Eid actually means to celebrate and forget griefs pray for those in troubles in the wake of floods and land sidings " May lord bring every human being out of poverty, oppression and misery.

[Featured Report] Devastation and responses to havoc inflicted by floods

RDs Time Flood special
By: Shamsuddin Muhammad
HUNZA, August: Torrential rains followed by flesh floods wreck havoc and inflicted property loss in different localities in Hunza subdivision. Nevertheless, except Guro, Joghlot in Nagar sub-division remained safe from any destruction in the wake of flooding during moon soon cycle that hit the whole country simultaneously. The floods not only cut off supply line from Gilgit and down cities but also reduced inter vicinity movement of public. Elders, employees, business men, students all affected by the continuous as scarcity of petroleum products coupled with ruined roads made hampered transportation. According to the details retained recently, floods have destroyed residential houses as well as cattle huts in Khanaabad and Hussainabad in Lower, orchards around Hyderabad nallahs, Giram area in Altit in Central and Khyber, Qalamdarchi and Chiperson in Upper HUNZA.
Local volunteers continued to facilitate public through self based efforts to get them out of troubles and help in moment by constructing makeshift bridges for temporary use.
Fortunately, devastation remained comparatively low as the locals on self help basis made disaster prevention measures. Yet, the situation in some of the areas of Ghizer and Baltistan went from bad to worse as regional disaster management authority despite being in its mandate could hardly response to such disaster.
The situation in down cities of Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa, Punjab, Balochistan and Sindh remained disappointing. That scenario posed country to a new kind of crisis for politically fragile democratic government with having little expreriance to deal with such natural disaster in its 62 years history invited army to help manage the situation. Following pictures portrays the situation prevailed during recent flooding with heavy rain pour.

HUNZA: [Left] Students use a small wooden block to cross the flooding water at Hyderabad huge moment of masses Nallah (Locally called Herr). [ Right] A single wooden block only sustaining the load of mass moment across

Hunza: [Left] Flood wrecked havoc in various areas and inundated roads. [Right]
A school going student struggles to come out of debris of flood during 3 -week heavy monsoon rains. RDs Time Photo

HUNZA: (Left) Local volunteers trying to clear the flooded only link road used albeit to KKH connecting Aliabad, Karimabad, Altit and Ganish; (Middle) Vehicls stuck into mud; (Right) Locals daring to cross flood water at Hyderabad Nallah (Har). RDsT Photo


Vulnerable patients in Gilgit-Baltistan

BY: Dr.Emma Varley
Monitoring Report
GILGIT, August 28: In the early afternoon of August 11 in the Labour Room at the Family wing of Gilgit Town’s District Headquarters Hospital (DHQ), Gilgit-Baltistan’s only tertiary-level referral hospital, a Lady Health Visitor (LHV) doubled-up in pain from stomach cramps while waiting to help deliver ‘Shaista’. The frightened young mother, expecting her first child, had been brought by her family to deliver at the DHQ from Shikyot, a 35-minute drive from Gilgit Town. Following the birth of a healthy baby girl, a Senior LHV stitched ‘Shaista’s’ episiotomy wound under the weak light of a cell phone held by a trainee midwife. Without electricity or overhead fans, the room was darkened and stifling; two small curtained windows were open to catch what was only a light summer breeze.
Many of the DHQ’s Family Wing staff complained that, due to contaminated drinking water, they are falling ill with dysentery. They added that, as a result of a total lack of in-town electricity and running water, they are also unable to clean the Labour Room or adequately sterilize surgical instruments. The Labour Room’s one small autoclave is now non-operational so, between patients, the DHQ’s Lady Health Visitors resort to bathing instruments in a sterilising solution of Biodine. Attending staff attempt to offset the potential for postpartum infections by living prescriptions for antibiotics to every patient. However, in light of high regional rates of Hepatitis, the risks facing delivering mothers and attending staff at the under-equipped DHQ are now significantly amplified. Because no generator is available to supply power to the Family Wing’s Operation Theater, delivery patients are being shifted by the hospital’s one working ambulance to the DHQ’s primary Operation Theater, a short drive down the road from the Family Wing. Women arriving at the hospital during the overnight shift are being delivered by candle-light.
In the ante-natal and postpartum suites adjacent to the Labour Room, flies circled over beds covered by soiled and wrinkled sheets. Without water or power, the beds had not been changed in over a week. In between patients on what turned out to be an unusually busy day, the Labour Room staff spoke emotionally about the challenges they face while handling numerous complicated delivery cases over extended shifts in the total absence of basic necessities. Given nearly non-existent supplies of diesel and petrol and a shortage of public transportation, they also shared the difficulties they experience trying to reach the DHQ from in-town mohallas and the villages surrounding Gilgit’s outskirts. Some also personally recounted the troubles posed by the recent crisis. Speaking to me from a patient’s bedside in the postpartum recovery room, a dayah (midwife), her eyes red from exhaustion, recounted how her family has recently lost most of their agricultural fields to a surge of floodwater in Nomal, a village above the Hunza River a short drive to the north of Gilgit.
Following the start of rains yet again today, the situation at the DHQ continues to deteriorate. With Gilgit-Baltistan’s maternal Mortality ratio (MMR) already hovering somewhere between 250 and 600 per 100,000 live births – among the highest in Pakistan – one can only imagine how many women will lose their life to pregnancy or childbirth complications during these trying days. In the meantime, with the Karakoram Highway still blocked, the supplies necessary to ensure safe deliveries at the DHQ are quickly disappearing. The pressures placed on this hospital by the needs of an estimated 1.5 million residents – especially at a time when floods and landslides are directly and indirectly affecting hundreds of thousands throughout Gilgit-Baltistan – are profound. As of August 13, methergine (to prevent postpartum hemorrhage), ldomet (to treat hypertensive patients), buscopan (an antispasmodic), socigone (a painkiller), dextrose IVs and injectible antibiotics are not currently available and are urgently needed. Rahnuma-Family Planning Association of Pakistan’s Family Health Hospital which, after the DHQ, boasts the highest regional OB-GYN outpatient attendance rates, has closed as a result of acute supply shortages. And the Aga Khan Health Service’s Gilgit Medical Center, which had shifted from its original riverside location to the Family Health Hospital building in May due to the
impending threat posed by the Attabad dam, has also shut down. The only remaining maternity hospitals are the DHQ, which continues to suffer from no power and water, and the fully-operational Combined Military Hospital (CMH), where patient access is limited due to the comparatively high cost of its services. On a day ordinarily marked by festivities, and with streets free of traffic, this increasingly silent city demonstrated no signs of Jashn-e-Azadi celebrations. The flags and banners characteristic of previous years’ events were not to be seen.
Dr.Emma Varley is a Killam Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Bioethics (Dalhousie University) and a visiting professor, Dept of Humanities & Social Sciences (LUMS).
Source: Dawn

When technology ceased to function!

RDs Monitoring Desk
By:Shamsuddin Muhammad
Electricity has the same role for the functioning of technology as the blood in human body. This came quite true when majority of areas of Hunza, Ghizer, Diamer, Baltistan, Ghanche and some of Gilgit district following heavy rain pour hopelessly plunged into darkness for more than three weeks. Flood water has reportedly destroyed all water channels including main water channels responsible for both irrigation and drinkable water purposes as in some places to help plants to generate hydro power in the above said areas, leaving population in anxiety and clouds of darkness . Main irrigation channels and the channel for only hydro power generation plant Hasanabad in central Hunza, for instance ruined for more than 200 meter long from the opening at nalah following a monsoon cycle hit the region since the beginning of August. Two kilo wat power generated plant at Guro, Lower Nagar and Naltar hydro power plant has also paritally washed away by flood water during heavy rains. Cell phones went silent,Internet connections disconnected soon, leaving no option to keep connect with out side world. Similarly, Silli-Haring water channel in Yasin of Ghizer district has also reported damaged badly. In Ishkoman, floods have inflicted indescribable devastation as cultivated land and orchards have leveled to the ground within few moments. Rumors of suspension of food supply, petroleum products created havoc among masses. Absence of electricity, LPG and Kerosene oil triggered sufferings of a common man.
The year 2010 would be remembered as one of the disastrous year for it beget various tragedies across the globe in terms of earth quakes, massive landslides, flesh floods and fire incidents that claimed hundred of thousands of human lives and ruined property. According to available reports scarcity of petroleum products especially diesel has brought negative implication on budget of a common man. The fares (travel charges) of both inter and outer cities, from and to Aliabad, for instance have been increased by 100 percent on pretext of scarcity of fuel. At the same time, public circles have alleged petrol pump owners involved in black marketing of petroleum products in the region. A reliable source established that diesel was offered for sale for mere four hours on Sunday evening at a price 100 higher than usual which later was closed on excuse of shortage. Consequently, public is forced to pay according to the demand of few vehicle owners who were able to store fuel for any emergency. On the other hand, little is being done to repair devastated infrastructure leading to road accidents at various places. Commuters using boat service have blamed that boat owners are exploiting the
situation by demanding higher travel charges to sail. Lack of any check and balance, Gilgit-Baltistan Power and Works department (GBPWD), a department designated as second most corrupt public organization resorted to its lethargic role. Supporting walls of the roads, even after two weeks are in the same condition. While the local representation has little bother to visit the areas in trouble, a worse example of negligence.
The intrinsic failures of capability, mental capacity, vision, performance, un-inhibited corruption, widespread greed and graft has brought public organizations came on nuts. There are expectations and a need to deliver, to do at least to justify their claim of so-called research and development. There is a need for correction in perception in civil society circles claims for more awareness about their rights but little is emphasis over obligations that healthy society seeks from one both individually and collectively. As a result, every one in the areas is running after his
personal interest, leaving rest to suffer. A persistent and perceptible change is indispensable to measure and induce public organizations to dispense their duties on one hand and to fulfil one's obligation to create a harmonious, sustainable and integrated society-key towards overcoming challenges faces the region currently.
Electricity (hydro), produced indigenously is main engine of activities ranging from daily chores to the commercial one. Any suspension in its supply costs population a lot. Lack of planning with respect to population growth rate and continuous expansion in living periphery has served to frequent power power breakdowns and unscheduled
load shedding. Being a part of the society, both the local representation and power and works department can be urged to take remedial steps through proper need analysis for the next two decades and propose them to the Gilgit-Blatistan government to materialized immediately to get the people rid of the menace.This will serve to build confidence over public organizations especially the line departments which failed to gain public appraise so far amidst challenges posed to the areas in form of disasters.

Courtesy: VoH

Shoot-on-sight order in Gilgit after heavy firing

Monitoring Desk
GILGIT, August 27: A shoot-on-sight order was issued after two rival groups resorted to heavy aerial firing soon after Iftar near Yadgar Chowk here on Wednesday, police said. Two people were gunned down in the same area on Tuesday.

GILGIT: Law enforcement agencies took control of the city following sectarian clashes. Image by Reuters

Sources said that paramilitary troops and police came to the area only after the shootout subsided. More than 70,000 bullets were fired. Three houses were burnt, but there were no casualties. Gilgit’s assistant commissioner told to a national daily that the situation eased after the administration called in Punjab Rangers and Northern Area scouts. Police sources said that no arrest had been made nor did they register any case. Incidents of firing were also reported from Nagaral, Kashrote, Majini Muhallah and some other parts of the region.