by Asif Ali Sirang
Geo-politically, Hunza is considering one of the imperative regions in Pakistan. There are diverse of significant reasons and China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is one of the foremost factors. Karakoram Highway (KKH) also called eight wonder of the world located in Hunza, north of Pakistan. It joins Pakistan with China, it is the cheapest route which helped both countries to develop their trades. After more than a decade, from last two years the region has been striving to improve its economy through tourism sector. Indeed, it is considering as the backbone of the economy. This sector is significantly based on law and order situation of the country and because of successful operation of Zarb-e- Azab the outstanding results are achieved. The better law and order situation has encouraged the local and foreign tourists to explore the beauty of Pakistan.
The total area of Hunza is 10,101 Kilometer Square, its’ natives primarily demand is three (3) Gilgit- Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) seats should be allocate to this region. But due to lack of will of elected leaders or because of red-tapping, the region has only a single seat GBLA-6. Recently, on 10th September 2016, by-election was held in Hunza. A candidate of PML-N Shah Salim Khan (SSK) has managed to won the election. Before the by-election Chief Minister (CM) GB has announced to make Gojal (Upper-Hunza) Sub-division and give Shinaki (Lower-Hunza) Tehsil but no any notification has issued yet. The twenty-seven (27) Mega Watts hydro power project at Shishkat Lake is still under consideration. According to opposition leaders, China government has already offered to GB government for assistance for production of electricity from the lake but the GB government is showing no interest.
Before elections PLM-N leaders promised from people to solve their concerns and will visit them after elect but still party leaders didn’t visit to all the villages for thanks to local community for their vote of confidence. The basic concerns of residents are 24/7 electricity, quality health facilities, and establishment of proper infrastructure and roads, especially the people of Shimshal and Chupurson are affecting the most. Tourism sector is reviving in the region, if government facilitates the young entrepreneurs by providing them soft loans and trained them with collaboration of private firms so they can be helpful to minimize the gap in fulfill the tourists’ demand. Ball in the government’s court, but right decision in right time matters a lot in politics.
Political dynamics has been changing in GBLA-6 after joined Pakistan Tehreek Insaaf (PTI) by a former Pakistan People Party (PPP) leader named Naek Naam Karim (NNK) with his companions on 22nd October, 2016. According to political analysts PTI Hunza is now more strengthen then before and it is an immense setback for PPP (Hunza). According to NNKarim, he entered in politics through the plate form of People Student Federation (PSF) Karachi division and also served it as an office bearer. The reasons he joined PTI is the better governance, policies and execution of reforms in education and health sectors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province. He ensured, he will perform his best to implement the same policies in Hunza as well. It’s too early for any judgment, whether we will receive the party ticket in next election or not, but according to analysts he has the bright chances.
NNKarim is qualified from Bournemouth University, United Kingdom a foreign reputed institution. He is a successful entrepreneur and operating one of the top three tourism firm in GB. He has provided many jobs to local community in tourism sector. Beside this, he is a social activist and philanthropist, he has been providing hundreds of scholarships to competent and needy students. Established vocational centers in Hunza for community people and arranged trainings for them for instance in handicraft and etc so they can use their skills and able to earn their livelihood. In recent elections September 2016, NNKarim contested as an independent candidate and gained 2,587 votes received third position overall in the by-election.
The politics in Hunza is become more interesting after NNKarim joined PTI. Party leaders of PTI have ensured public that, they will give tough time to government and will pressurize them to complete the projects in time as well as they will enforce government to execute the promises which CM and Governor GB has announced before the general and by-elections. SSKhan and NNKarim are two prominent political figures of Hunza. Indeed, they have determination and should be to contribute for the weal and woe of the region. In next election, people will decide their future leader, but their decision should be based on character, courage and competency.
Published in Passu Times English Dated 27th October, 2017