Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, May 17—-23, 2008
By Our Correspondent
GILGIT: Northern Areas Chief Executive Mir Ghazanfar Ali Khan has acknowledged that real powers are still vested with the bureaucracy despite the fact that his post had been upgraded from Deputy Chief Executive .
Talking to media persons at a seminar organized by the Gilgit Union of Journalists and Gilgit Press Club in connection with the World Press Freedom Day, he said efforts were also been made to snatch back whatever powers had been transferred to his office. He said from a lowly peon to high ranking officer all are brought in from outside and the locals had no place to go. He said due to absence of representation in the National Assembly and Senate, people of the region had no avenue to move to for raising their issue and solving their problems. In such a situation, it was only the media of the region which was fighting for the achievement of people’s rights and highlighting the local issues. Media has given us wide coverage and we are indebted to it for this contribution, he added.
He attributed maintenance of peace and tranquility in Gilgit-Baltistan to the efforts of elected political representatives, Jirga system and contributions of the media. He said most of the public issues are being solved through the Jirga
Ghazanfar Ali Khan said during his numerous meetings with President Pervez Musharraf and the prime minister, he had always raised the issues of the region and made it clear on them that if the government was serious to resolve the problems of the people of the region, a comprehensive package should be formulated otherwise people would remain entangled in socio-economic and political problems. He claimed that it was for the first time in over 60 years that a comprehensive package had been announced for Gilgit-Baltistan.
Speaking on the occasion Speaker Northern Areas Legislative Assembly Mohammad Miskeen said people had misunderstanding about the assembly. He said the house is not a legislative body and its powers are limited. He said formulation of a media policy was also out of its purview. He said the mandate which was given to us during the last 60 years remains the same without any change, adding we would extend cooperation to the media according to our powers.
Adviser on information Capt (retired) Sikendar said they had very limited powers but even then efforts would be made to give the local journalists incentives at par with their counterparts in other parts of the country. He said media persons of the region were playing a vital role in the development of the area and they should be provided a congenial atmosphere, so that they performed their responsibilities effectively. He said it was the media which monitored the working of the bureaucracy and political representatives.
President Gilgit Press Club Khurshid Ahmed, journalists’ union chief Imtiaz Taj and others also spoke on the occasion. A large number of media persons including those from Skardu and Ghizer also attended the seminar.