Thursday, July 3, 2008

GILGIT BALTISTAN AT WAR WITH NATURE IS RISK TO WORLD

GILGIT BALTISTAN AT WAR WITH NATURE IS RISK TO WORLD
International Conference: Responsibility to the Future: Business, Peace Sustainability.

Organizer: Strategic Foresight Group, Co-Host United National Global Compact

Date & Venue: 26-28th June 2008, Nehru Centre Worli Mumbai India

Presentation by: Engineer Manzoor Hussain Parwana,
Chairman Gilgit Baltistan United Movement
Honorable Mr. Chairman, Distinguish guests and Respectable delegates.
Assalamu Alaikum

I would like to draw the kind attention of the world
community and the participants of this historical
conference towards such area which is a factual truth
geographically at global level.This area is situation beneath the great Karakoram,
Himalayas and Hindukash, which is called as
Balawaristan, Dardstan, Brooshaal and Balor by the
historians, where in the last centuries its known as
Gilgit Baltistan.
Gilgit Baltistan is situated at the very heart of
Asia. It is one of the most environmentally strategic
and imperative region in the world. Covering a total
area of 28000 square miles situated in the midst of
four nuclear powers. This significant region between
China, Pakistan, Central Asian Republics and India is
also known as cockpit of Asia. Furthermore, this
land is the focus of attention of tourists and
adventurers, world over. In addition to this the said
country is extensively rich in mineral wealth and
immense natural resources.
According to the analysts "The Third World War will
be over fresh water". Then it to be understood that
Third World War will be fought in this area, which is
largest resource of fresh water after North and South
Pole.
Gilgit Baltistan is facing accelerating threats from a
rapid rise in roads, settlements, overgrazing and
deforestation. The highland glaciers are shrinking by
an amount equivalent to all the water in the giant
Indus River each year. The region’s water supplies,
fed by glaciers and the monsoons and vital for around
half the world’s population, may be harmed alongside
the area’s abundant and rich wildlife.
Mountain areas are especially important and
particularly vulnerable. These are the water towers of
the world and often home to unique wildlife species
upon which local people depend for food, medicines and
other important materials. They have often been saved
from uncontrolled development by their remoteness.
The experts say glaciers are vanishing annually and
that, by 2050, as many as 64 percent glaciers will
have disappeared. An estimated 140 million Pakistanis
live in the country arid west and depend on water from
glaciers for their survival.
The glaciers of the Himalayas are receding faster than
any other glaciers in the world. After the two polar
caps, the Himalayan glaciers are third in line as
fastest melting bodies of ice. The fauna and flora
will change as climates rise.
Retreat of glacier will directly impact water
resources and affect agriculture energy, tourism and
other sectors. Most of the glaciers in the Gilgit
Baltistan region are retreating with an average rate
of more than 12 meter per year. As glacier retreats
the glaciers lake forms .With increase of water level
in the lake a sudden release of a huge amount of water
takes place ,which rush down along the stream in the
form of dangerous flood waves called Glaciers Lake
Outburst Flood. Such phenomenon was witnessed in
Passu, Gulkin of Gojal, Gilgit in the month of June
2008. Glaciers melt in the Gilgit Baltistan region is
projected to increase flooding and rock avalanches
from destabilized slopes and to affect water resources
within next three or four decades .This will be
followed by decreased river flows as the glaciers
recede.
Local indigenous people often see their vital
resources exploited, while they benefit little from
the development. Further down river, impoverished
people are also those that are the most severely
exposed to the risk of floods and seasonal drought, as
they often has to settle in flood-risk areas.
ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITION BEFORE PAKISTAN CONTROL
Prior to the Pakistan’s control, Gilgit Baltistan was
ecologically stable and conservation of the
environment was an essential component of Gilgit
Baltistan daily lives. Gilgit Baltistan lived in
harmony with nature, both living and non-living
elements of the earth. This belief is further
strengthened by the principle of self-contentment,
that the environment should be used to fulfil one’s
need and not greed.
Gilgit Baltistan had the most successful system of
environmental protection of any inhabited region in
the modern world. Formal protection of wildlife and
environment through parks and reserves were
unnecessary as Gilgit Baltistan taught the people
about the interdependence of all living and non-living
elements of the earth.
The mountains and forests of Gilgit Baltistan were
once home to a vast range of rare and endangered wild
animals including the snow leopard, clouded leopard,
ibex, Himalayan black bear, brown bear, wild yak, blue
sheep, musk deer, golden monkey, Himalayan mouse
hare, rare vulture, ,marmot, pygmy, chough and others.

Gilgit Baltistan also had rich and untapped mineral
resources. It has deposits of about 100 different
minerals accounting for a significant share of the
entire world’s reserves of gold, lithium, uranium,
ruby, emerald, chromites, copper, borax and iron.
Gilgit Baltistan has the largest high grade uranium
deposit in the world.
Gilgit Baltistan is the source of many of the Asia’s
major rivers, including the Indus, Shoque, Gilgit and
Hunza .These rivers flow into India and Pakistan.
These rivers and their tributaries are the life-blood
of millions of people in the continent of Asia.
ENVIRONMENTAL DEVASTATION AFTER THE PAKISTAN
CONTROLLED
With the treacherously invasion of Pakistan, this
nature-friendly attitude of the people of Gilgit
Baltistan was trampled upon the name of Islam and
Muslim country. The invasion was followed by
wide-spread environmental destruction in Gilgit
Baltistan, resulting in deforestation, overgrazing,
uncontrolled mining, and extinction of wildlife, soil
erosion, landslides and other perils. The government
of Pakistan continues to extract various natural
resources without any environmental safeguard; as a
result, Gilgit Baltistan is facing an environmental
crisis, the ramifications of which will be felt far
beyond its borders.
That the more than half population of the South Asia
is depends upon the glacier of Karakoram, Himalayas
and Hindukush. The rivers flowing in India, Pakistan,
China and Nepal, only because of these glaciers and if
the preservation had not been for these glaciers then
in future the continent of Asia will face the scarcity
of water and food. Due to the Global Warming,
Deforestation, Green House effect and ozone depletion
the wild life, glaciers, environments and minerals of
Gilgit and Baltistan are in danger. Pakistani
government like an ancient kingdom have the power to
give permit to anyone to cut the whole forest of
Diamar who have the ability to pay as bribe. Pakistani
government during Late General Zia era blast the whole
mountains of Hunza in search of Ruby and other
precious minerals. The construction of KKH by cutting
and destroying a large high number altitude mountains
of Karakorum and Himalaya in 1980s which has cause
disaster to our lands natural mechanism.
Now we fear that by constructing huge Dams in Diamar
Bhasha, Bunji and Skardu by merging huge area and
displacing the indigenous people will further
aggravate the ongoing devastation of the nature which
will effect beyond our imagination.
The Military build-up on the mountains of Himalaya and
Karakorum by China, India and Pakistan with
sophisticated weapons and perhaps the of chemicals and
other harmful items may be weapons of mass destruction
and fuel is another factor to aid in the flames of
global warming.
Due to the global warming, the rate of melting and
explosion of the glaciers is enhancing. Snow falling
is decreasing year by year. Less snow fall and the
process of glaciers melting had been reached to at its
maximum level of danger. Rivers, streams and springs
had been started to dry-up due to the lack of snow
fall and the flow of river became very low. Local
population is encountering serious problems of water.
The scarcity of water and food becoming global issue.
Some other reasons had been observed for the melting
of glaciers and environmental pollution in addition to
Global Warming.

POPULATION TRANSFER:

One of the greatest threats to Gilgit Baltistan
people, culture and environment is the massive influx
of Pakistan civilians and military personnel’s into
Gilgit Baltistan, especially the pre-planned
settlement of people from the other province of
Pakistan .As a result of this population transfer,
Gilgit Baltistan have been marginalized in economic,
educational, political and social spheres and the rich
culture and tradition of Gilgit Baltistan is rapidly
disappearing.

The highest Glacier Siachen which is situated in the
mountainous range of Korakoram, which is expanded in
area of 75 kilometers, this glacier is an important
source of fresh water for Pakistan and India. For the
last 60 years the forces of Pakistan and India are
fighting with each other at this glacier. The nature
beauty of the Siachen glacier is ruining due to the
transportation of the Army, their armed equipments, as
well as the goods of eating and drinking which is
putting negative impacts on it. The clear and crystal
water flowing from this glacier is becoming
poisonous, In addition to this, the activities of the
tourist, who came here for tracking, mountaineering
and campaign also causing the bad affect on the
glaciers and the rate of melting of the glacier is
increasing.
DEFORESTATION
The deforestation is the second important cause of
the melting of glacier, the process of rain had been
stopped due to the lack of forests and the life of
glacier is lowering due to no snow fall, the
mountainous ranges and the forests of Kashmir, Gilgit
and Baltistan had been adopted the features of
cantonments. Local population as well as the million
of army personnel is utilizing the forests as fuel,
due to this reason the deforestation is increasing.
Wild lives are vanishing with the forest. The
expensive race of wild life had been finished or
facing danger to their lives. In the winter season
the temperature of had been fallen to -25 degree
Centigrade in these region. To fight with the cold
forests and trees had been cut down. Deforestation is
also important cause, as there is no substitute system
of fuel is available.
CONSTRUCTION OF MEGA DAMS
The construction of dams is one of the Pakistan’s
most unsustainable and environmentally catastrophic
'development project’. If such proposed Basha/Diamer
dam, Bonji dam and Katzara (Skardu) dam had been
constructed, then these dams will be more dangerous
for the glaciers. The series of rains will become
strong due to the construction of these dams and rainy
water will cause the melting of glaciers, according to
assessment the glacier had been finished after
melting, after the 50 years of construction of these
dams. In result not only Pakistan will become a
desert, but most of the countries of Asia will be
effect directly and thousand millions of humans and
animals with critically will face the global issue of
water and food.
WILDLIFE DECIMATION:
Prior to the Pakistan controlled, there existed a
strict ban on the hunting of wild animals in Gilgit
Baltistan. The Pakistanis have not enforced such
restrictions. Instead, the trophy hunting of
endangered species has been actively encouraged. Rare
Gilgit Baltistan animals, such as the snow leopard are
hunted for their pelt and sold for large sum of money
in the international market. Large number of antelope,
gazelle, blue sheep and wild yak are being poached by
hunters with the blessing of Pakistani forces and its
administration. Can you imagine Ibex, Snow leopard
and Antelopes, Markopolo Sheeps are being hunted by
gunship helicopters in the area.
The impact of the Gilgit Baltistan on the global
climatic pattern is significant. Experts have observed
that there is a correlation between natural vegetation
on the Gilgit Baltistan and the stability of the
monsoon.
MINING:
Large scale mining operations in Gilgit Baltistan has
been started. Extraction of borax, chromium, copper,
coal, gold and uranium is being vigorously developed
by the Pakistan government as a means of providing raw
materials for industrial growth. Today, there are many
government and private mining operations in the
industrial sector of Ghazar, Hunza and Skardu
districts. Lease are preferred mostly to the
Pakistani national because whether its Military regime
or Civilian government, they prefer to their own
nationals instead of giving license to the local
indigenous people o0f this disputed land. Pakistani
national do not consider the future interest of this
land because they only focus to grab and loot more and
more by bombing and blasting of every inch of this
land with the blessing of their own elected member
(Minister of KANA Islamabad. Government of Pakistan
has not only issued leases to its own national but to
the foreigners and particularly the Chinese also. 106
non-local Pakistan’s companies and firm has been
issued licenses, so the rate of mineral extraction in
Gilgit Baltistan is on ever high, because of the fear
of any negative result of J&K issue.

Increased mining activities further reduces vegetation
cover and thus increase the chance for severe
landslides, massive soil erosion, loss of wildlife
habitat and the pollution of streams and rivers.
The use of highly explosive is not only destabilizing
the high altitude mountains but also diminishing the
rare birds and animals from this region. Which causes
heavy toll to the echo-system of the nature.
The exploration of minerals in the mountain, is also
destroying the natural beauty of the mountains. The
aim of looting of natural resources has created
difficulties in spite of providing facilities to the
human being. The global changes in environment and the
activities of human being had created a problem of
water and food, if the world had not prepared any
strategy for the preservation of glaciers, forest and
wildlife then the indigenous people of this region
will also be vanished very soon like Dinosaurs.
The environmental issue of Gilgit Baltistan is not an
inconsequential regional issue, but has huge global
significance to warrant international attention. More
than ever before, the urgent need to save the Gilgit
Baltistan from ecological devastation. Because, it is
not the question of the survival of the mountains and
wild life of Gilgit Baltistan, but the humanity is at
stake.
SUGGESTIONS:
Transformation of the whole of Gilgit Baltistan into a
zone of peace;
Restoration and protection of Gilgit Baltistan natural
resources by protecting Forest and wild life.
All the leases and licenses issued by Pakistan to
blast and cut the mountains should immediately be
banned.
The construction of the Diamar Bhasha Dam and Bunji
Dams should be abandoned immediately where highly
explosive are being used. The construction of huge
Dams in the vicinity of glaciers, in the areas of
China, Pakistan, India and Nepal should be stopped,
particularly Pakistan restrain for the construction of
Basha/Diamar dam, Bonji dam and Katzara dam , so that
the eco-system may be saved from the effects of dams.

The government of China, India and Pakistan are
requested to take back The weapons of Mass destruction
and Chemicals from the mountains of Himalaya and
Karakorum.
Pakistan’s national influx and settlement to
systematically change the demography of this region
should be Abandon, which threatens the very existence
of the indigenous people of Gilgit Baltistan as a
result of exotic national are involved in the
destruction of the nature and its ecology.
Effective strategy has to be adopted for the
preservation of glaciers and its effect on the global
environments and take necessary step for its remedy.
The practical steps may be taken for the awareness
among the indigenous people in the vicinity of
forests and glacier
By creating an artificial glacier and flourishing the
glacier, step may be taken for the durability of these
natural assets.
Pakistan and India should withdraw their forces from
the Siachen glacier and other snow covered peaks and
keep away the glaciers from the chemical weapons and
human activities, so the flowing water from these
glaciers remain clean and safe.
Deforestation prohibited and ensured the safety of
wild life and for the fulfilment of the necessity of
fuel arrangements may be made for Hydro-Electric.
The use of Explosives and Chemicals in exploration of
minerals should be declared as prohibited.
ECO-FRIENDLY ACTIONS TO HELP GILGIT BALTISTAN:
• Write letter to your parliamentarians informing them
the real situation in Gilgit Baltistan, expressing
concern over Gilgit Baltistan’s environment under
Pakistan’s colonial rule and its detrimental effect on
the situation of your country.
• Establish Gilgit Baltistan Supports Group in your
community, the game to hunt endanger species in Gilgit
Baltistan should be avoided.

• Organize workshops, conferences, video & slide show
and seminars on environment of Gilgit Baltistan.
• Impress upon your government to provide scholarship
for environmental research on Gilgit Baltistan and
other environmental projects.
• Tell your friends about the situation in Gilgit
Baltistan.
• You can translate this pamphlet into other languages
and distribute to educate others on the situation in
Gilgit Baltistan.
• If you are too busy, let your financial
contributions work for Gilgit Baltistan.
Delivered by
Engineer Manzoor Hussain Parwana,
Chairman Gilgit Baltistan United Movement
Resident of Skardu Baltistan
Cell: +92(345)5687751
Briefly Description about the Writer
Engineer Manzoor Hussain Parwana was born and raised
in Baltistan. He acquired his Engineering Degree from
NED Engineering University Karachi. He is chairman of
Gilgit Baltistan United Movement a pro-independent
organization in Gilgit Baltistan. He is also chief
editor of Monthly Magazine "Kargil International'
(banned). He is a right activist, analyst and
freelance journalist.
Your comments and views will be highly appreciated
at (parwana@engineer.com)

1 comment:

muhammad abrar said...

u realy good work to get attension of world towards a serious issue