Saturday, August 21, 2010

Gilgit Baltistan United Movement: Appeal for Funds for Flood Victims of Gilgit Baltistan

Indian Aid for Relief Victims Must be Shared with People of Gilgit Baltistan
Kargil-Skardo and Astore-Srinagar Road Should be Opened Immediately to Provide Relief

International community is requested to play greater role in providing relief to the flood victims of Gilgit Baltistan (GB). The region is cut off from rest of the world for the last twenty days due to flashfloods and landslides. Commodity and food prices have skyrocketed and causing famine like situation. Many villages have been flattened. Lack of medicines have caused endemic diseases to impact large parts of the region. Manzoor Parwana, the Chairman of GBUM said, "GB is a disputed territory under Pakistani occupation. The people of GB have no hope from Pakistani government since the country itself is in crisis and the regime lacks the capacity and the will to provide for the millions of flood victims in rest of the country. While the rulers look towards the international community for help, the relief is coming at much slower pace due to lack of credibility of the Pakistani authorities, who embezzled billions of rupees of relief funds during the 2005 earthquake in Pakistani occupied Kashmir. Given the circumstances, international community and especially neighboring countries of GB have to enhance their direct influence in the relief work."

Parwana said that the current puppet government of GB has failed to repair the road network. Every village is cut off from the rest and no relief has reached the affectees. Government has resorted to releasing statements in the newspapers and make false claims of improvement in the conditions of the natives. He further said that with the closure of Karakoram Highway, Gilgit-Skardu Road, Ghizer-Chitral road, and Hunza-China section of KKH, the prices of food items have increased. Food items, kerosene oil and gasoline are not available in the markets. The problems will continue to increase as the situation worsens. Pakistani helicopters are only working to evacuate the foreigners and military officials and related loved ones, and have failed to service the poor natives. This is sheer discrimination towards the people of GB.

Manzoor further said, "Pakistan has conspired to disrupt traffic on the Kargil Skardu road and Astore-Gurez road for all these years. Further, creation of Ataabad Lake has obstructed traffic to China for the coming months. Under these circumstances, government must make immediate effort to open the Kargil Skardo road to provide relief to the affected people of Skardu district, Shigar district, Gangche district, Kharmang district, Astore district and Deosai-Gultari district. In the same manner, Ishkoman road to Tajikistan and Wakhan should be open to benefit the people of Ghizer district. The road from Astore to Srinagar must be used immediately to supply food and ration to the poor two million people of the region. In this great time of need, the people of GB expect neighbors to play greater role in rehabilitation." Press Release

Manzoor Hussain Parwana
Gilgit Baltistan United Movement (Skardu Office)
August 18, 2010

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