Hunza IDPs outraged by govt 'apathy'

Hunza IDPs outraged by govt 'apathy'

22 May 2010
The Dawn
Zulfiqar Ali Khan

HUNZA: The people affected by the lake in Hunza valley held a 20-hour-long protest on Saturday against what they called indifference of the government and non-announcement of a compensation package by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, who visited the region on Friday. They ended their protest after an assurance by the district administration that a financial package would be announced within a week. Another protest by women and children blocked the Karakoram Highway (KKH) in Ganish for more than six hours. They raised slogans against the government. Talking to media, the protesters said that they wanted to go back to their villages even though they had had been declared dangerous. They accused the government of lack of seriousness, saying since the crisis began only some NGOs were helping them. They said the government had not taken concrete steps for solving their problems. The affected people of landlocked Gojal tehsil have also shown their disappointment on the prime minister's visit. Talking to Dawn, some of them said that the lake had submerged large portions of Ayeenabad, Shishkat, Gulmit, Ghulkin and Hussaini villages in the strategically located tehsil but the prime minister not bothered to visit the area upstream. They said the government had not provided relief items to affected people in Gulmit, adding that government officials had just made the site as a picnic point. The lake continues to submerge the lower settlement of Gulmit, Shishkat and Ghulkin. According to reports, the lake has submerged 106 houses, 120 shops, 5 hotels along with thousands of kanals of land and domesticated plants.


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