August 18, 2010 11:51 ET

Gilgit Baltistan has Become the Valley of Dead

More Than Two Hundred Killed and Half a Million Displaced. The Entire Region Challenged by Famine and Endemic Diseases: Gilgit Baltistan National Congress

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM--(Marketwire - Aug. 18, 2010) - Gilgit Baltistan National Congress (GBNC) held an event for the flashflood victims of Gilgit-Baltistan at Laurel, Maryland on August 12, 2010. The members and supporters of GBNC discussed the deteriorating conditions and lack of governmental support to a region, which is part of the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir currently occupied by Pakistan. President of GBNC, Engineer Imtiaz Hussain informed the attendees that the entire region is cut off from rest of the world and majority of the villages are submerged in water. He said, "Government is neglecting the repair of the roads and bridges, which obstructs relief work. The entire region is left in darkness and there is complete breakdown of system. Government has failed to regulate commodity prices. Consumer goods have become so expensive that majority of the natives, who live below poverty line, cannot afford to purchase food. Two days ago, five children were starved to death in Pakistan occupied Shinaki-Kohistan." Imtiaz demanded that Pakistani president and prime minister must visit Gilgit-Baltistan immediately to assess the losses and offer adequate compensation. He also demanded free food, shelter, education and health services for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) of Gilgit-Baltistan till they are not rehabilitated.

Senge Hasnan Sering called upon Pakistani government to ban militant outfits from exploiting the situation in their favor. He said, "In the past, such organizations and terrorists have recruited members by providing food and clothing to earthquake victims. He condemned government for hiding the actual number of deaths and giving wrong estimates of asset loss to the international media. He once again emphasized the fact that Gilgit-Baltistan is a high altitude desert and excessive Pakistani infrastructural interventions like dams, expressways and railroads are increasing the level of humidity, which create cloudbursts and flashfloods. He said, "The situation is exacerbated by presence of tens of thousands of Pakistani and Chinese soldiers and their equipment and ammunition." Engineer G. Ali Rinchen criticized Islamabad authorities for abandoning the people in time of need. He said that government has staged mock relief camps in different places to attract international donations however, such camps have failed to provide any relief. He further said that although Pakistani government has announced funds worth millions of dollars but has failed to deliver them. Instead of extending support, authorities are blaming the catastrophe on the evils and sins of victims which is salt to their wounds. He appealed to the international donor agencies to send relief directly to the local trustworthy non-profit organizations rather than transferring funds to government treasury. In the context, he reminded that in 2005, government embezzled funds sent to earthquake victims of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. He also requested the American government to allocate special funds for the victims of Gilgit-Baltistan. The board members decided to send delegates to the State Department and Congress to inform about the deteriorating situation and causes of flashfloods. The president of GBNC announced to hold similar events in Houston, Texas, New York City and California to disseminate information about Gilgit-Baltistan. At the end of the meeting, the President called the press to release the statement.

Contact Information

  • Gilgit Baltistan National Congress Inc.
    1831 Belmont Road NW #401
    Washington DC 20009 USA
    (202) 689 0647
    (202) 299 9403 (FAX)