ISLAMABAD: A group of people belonging to Gojal Valley, Hunza, staged a protest demonstration in front of the Islamabad Press Club on Thursday. They were demanding payments for land lost during the expansion of the Karakoram Highway. The protesters said that successive administrations have failed to pay the affected farmers whose scarce land was used for the highway connecting Pakistan and China.
Speaking at the occasion, leaders of the protesters blamed the National Highways Authority (NHA) officials of obstructing the payment process. They said that not a single penny has been paid to any one in the Gojal Valley, while adjacent valleys and valleys have received partial payments.
Those who spoke at the occasion included Aziz Ahmad, Shakeel Ahmad, Daulat Karim and Bakhtullah, among others.
Similar demands have also been made by people in Diamer, Gilgit, Nagar and other parts of the Hunza Districts, where hundreds of families remain uncompensated for almost a decade.
A group of activists from various parts of Gilgit-Baltistan also met the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan a couple of days back to demand speeding up of the payment process.
Speaking to Pamir Times on phone, a member of the committee said that the NHA’s new regional head is delaying the payment process for unclear reasons despite of assurances offered by top government officials, including GB Governor.
It is pertinent to note that estimations of the losses have already been made and submitted to the NHA for releasing payments. However, the payments are not being made, causing frustration in the region.__Pamir Times