Gilgit-Baltistan:First Women DSP of GB in Pursuit of upholding Rule of Law

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Gilgit (ET): After just two months in the job, Tahira Yasub, Gilgit-Baltistan’s (G-B) first DSP traffic has already made her mark in Gilgit, trying to streamline traffic in a congested city, where violations are the norm.

A graduate in International Relations from Karakoram International University, she adopted the profession fully aware of the challenges associated with it, especially for women and as promoted to the rank of DSP in December 2011.

Immediately after taking charge, she ordered the removal of tainted windows and screens, which the traffic sergeants ensured, much to the annoyance of many influential persons in town. Nearly 100 cars were fined for not complying with the order and over a 100 drivers have received tickets for traffic violations in the city.

“It doesn’t matter if people are unhappy with me because I’m here to uphold the rule of law,” Yasub told The Express Tribune. She has been simultaneously compared to a powerful figure of the underworld by a senior politician and called an angel by a delegation of traders’ union.

Yasub said she launched an awareness-raising campaign for two weeks to educate the public about traffic rules after she assumed charge. A couple of days back, two senior police officials’ personal cars were also fined for violating traffic rules.

“I believe removing tainted glasses is the first step towards ensuring the supremacy of law,” she said. Yasub has also enforced parking on only one side of the road to ease blockages. There are many who applaud her for introducing traffic reforms in the city, “Tahira is doing a great job,” said a businessman.

She was selected twice for UN peacekeeping missions to represent Pakistan.

She trained the local police as well as the UN police for 14 months in Sudan and has recently returned to the country. Yusab has the added distinction of being the first lady inspector in G-B’s history.

The traffic police are plagued by a shortage of manpower and resources, the two factors affecting their performance. At present, Gilgit’s traffic police has only one vehicle, two motorcycles and hardly 50 officials, including gunmen and drivers to cover the whole city.

A sergeant said that it was a stupendous task to enforce rule of law all the time all over town due to lack of motorbikes and patrolling cars. By the time we reach the site, the violators have already left, he said.

Gilgit-Baltistan:Major Power Breakdown hits Gilgit

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Gilgit (ET):Residents of Gilgit once again experienced prolonged power breakdown exceeding 36 hours after the cracked walls of the main water reservoir of the Naltar Hydel Power Project, repaired last week by experts, failed to stop the leakage.

Barely two weeks ago, the two experts called in by the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government from Lahore, had repaired the cracked walls of the reservoir of the 18-megawatt Hydel Power Project at Naltar, restoring power to the city. Gilgit had witnessed a complete blackout for five consecutive days in the last week of January.

Their expertise failed to permanently stop the leakage from the reservoir, however, which reportedly increased to an alarming extent on Sunday, threatening more than 70 families settled downstream. The issue of the fissures in the walls came in the limelight after a delegation of Naltar residents informed reporters in Gilgit that some 70 families settled downstream were at risk of being swept away if the power plant’s reservoir, containing more than 1,300,000 cusecs of water, ruptures due to the pressure of  water stored.

The water and power department had initially ruled out the possibility of an outburst and maintained that the walls of the reservoir were strong enough to sustain the pressure of water.

Executive Engineer Water and Power Hamid Hussain said that some leakage from the walls in winter was normal, since the joints contract in low temperature.

The 18-megawatt hydel power project built in 2008 during Gen. (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s government was completed at the cost of Rs400 million. According to sources, the company which designed the reservoir had guaranteed a lifespan of 40 years.

Currently, G-B is experiencing a 132-megawatt power shortfall. “The shortfall rises considerably in winters when consumption increases while production decreases,” said an official.

Prolonged power outage has made life miserable in the capital city, where people are surviving the bitter cold without adequate electricity or gas. Residents find it difficult to charge their mobiles, leading to a breakdown in communication when electricity is switched off for over 24 hours.

International Human Rights Commission Gilgit-Baltistan in a statement on Monday held the government responsible for prolonged power cuts.

Gilgit-Baltistan: AKU-EB Opens Liaison Office in Gilgit

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GILGIT (APP): Aga Khan University Examination Board (AKU-EB) has opened liaison office in Gilgit Baltistan to help affiliated schools create an active learning environment for the students. Located in Gilgit, the liaison office will offer year-round support through a team of subject specialists, arrange professional development workshops for teachers and provide supplementary learning resources for students.

The AKU-EB offers emanations services in both English and Urdu, based on the national curriculum. It is the first institution in Asia to use a computerized examination processing system, E-marking, to ensure transparency in results. For the first time in Pakistan, the Board has also launched a Middle School Assessment Framework to bridge the gap between middle and secondary school, and prepare students at an early age for the analytical and critical thinking skills required for success.

Apart from e-enrolment of candidates and continuously updated information online, the Board has developed its own learning support site ( to bring together students and educators from across Pakistan to a common platform where they can find useful resource material, share knowledge and exchange innovative ideas.

Gilgit-Baltistan:Naltar Power Project Causes Severe Power Outages

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Gilgit (ET): Naltar villagers’ refusal to restore water supply to a hydel power station left residents of Gilgit reeling from a 40-hour-long power outage on Saturday.

Water supply to the 18 megawatt hydel power plant in Naltar, was cut off on Friday by residents fearing that recently developed cracks in a water reservoir would cause it to burst and inundate villages downstream.

Residents said they face “an immense threat” and the government needs to take concrete measures for their safety. They said more than 70 families are at risk of being swept away if the water reservoir, holding over 1.3 million cusecs of water, ruptures. Cracks have appeared in an 18km-long wall of the reservoir.

According to sources in the district government, the government deputed a senior official to settle the issue but the residents refused to restore the water supply. However, another source said that the power is expected to be restored by 8pm. The official added that according to a rough estimate, the power cut has affected more than 90 per cent of the city that is home to over 50,000 people.

The issue was raised by locals a couple of weeks ago,  but  the authorities ruled out the possibility of an outburst. Water and power department Executive Engineer Hamid Hussain told reporters that there was “nothing to worry about.” Some leakage from the joints in winter was normal since the joints contract in low temperatures, he said.

An official of the district administration said Gilgit-Baltistan is experiencing a 132-MW power shortfall. “Consecutive power outages and plummeting temperatures have made life in the capital city miserable.” The loadshedding is so prolonged that people are finding it hard to even recharge their mobile phones, he added.

The 18-MW plant in Naltar was built in 2008 and is the largest in the region. The plant was built by a Chinese firm under the supervision of the water and power department.

Gilgit-Baltistan: Pak-China Border will Close from December 31st

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Gilgit (RP): Pak China border will close for all kind of traffic and business activity from Saturday. According to protocol signed between both the countries the border remain close due to snowfall on 31st December and open on first May every year.

Gilgit-Baltistan: Senate Committee to visit GB and Interact with Leadership

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ISLAMABAD, (SANA): The Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan met at the Parliament House under the Chairmanship of Senate Salim Saifullah Khan.
The Committee discussed in detail the working and performance of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit- Baltistan besides the constitutional status of the Gilgit- Baltistan.

Senator Salim Saifullah Khan and other members of the Committee appreciated the Ministry’s efforts for according identity to the people of Gilgit- Balitistan and giving them rights. The Committee decided to visit Gilgit-Baltistan soon and interact with political leadership to apprize itself of the problems being faced by the local population.

Members also appreciated the development projects being implemented and expressed the hope that development initiatives wiould improve the life style of the people of G-B and change socio-economic conditions. Chairman Committee lauded Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo for taking keen interest in the affairs of the Ministry and bringing improvements in the performance.

He said the Ministry can be a role model for other ministries. Earlier, Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and G-B informed the committee about the steps taken by the present government and said government is taking seriously interested in the empowerment of the people G-B and is focusing on various development projects in the area.

The committee assured its all out support to the Ministry in overcoming challenges Ministry in overcoming challenges in the way of its effective performance. The meeting was attended among others by Senators Jahanigr Badar and Ms. Sughra Imam besides Secretary of the Ministry and other senior officials were also present.

Gilgit-Baltistan:Strick Check & Balance Introduced in Hospitals?

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Astore (Pak.Obs): Minister for Health Gilgit Baltistan (GB) Haji Gulbar Khan on Saturday urged the doctors and paramedical staff to perform their duties sincerely and regularly. Talking to media here, he said that several complaints were received in the past that some doctors and other staff are getting salaries without performing duties.

He said “we have introduced strict check and balance system in the hospitals and would take stern actions against the doctors and paramedical staff, who are not performing their duties punctually,”.