By Our Correspondent
GILGIT: The Northern Areas administration is set to work out a ‘Vision 2030’ plan envisaging sustainable development in the region.
“We are going to hold a Northern Areas Development Forum in October to formulate a socio-economic plan thorough discussions involving all stakeholders including lawmakers and experts from all over country,” said Chief Secretary Babar Yaqoob at a news conference here.
He said the forum would mainly focus on economy, social sector, governance and civil society, adding the ‘Vision 2030’ plan would be passed by Northern Areas Legislative Assembly.
The plan would ensure that literacy rate in the region is not less than that in any other part of the country and best health coverage is made available to the masses.
He said over Rs11 billion were being spent on development of the area and under a formula set by the government 80 per cent of the total development budget would be spent on completion of ongoing schemes and 20 per cent on new projects.
The official expressed astonishment over the slow progress of work on construction of four bridges in the Gilgit town and said work on the projects had come to a halt after installing pillars.He said work on restoration of Jalalabad bridge would be completed soon.
The collapse of the bridge has put negative effects on the economy of the region and Chinese engineers had pledged that within three months the project would be completed.
He said by next year Babusar road would also be completed and the area would have access to other parts of the region. He said Astore was being linked with Azad Kashmir through Shontar pass.
Books launched: The launching of five books namely Folktales in the Shina of Gilgit, Dadii Shilooke Vol: I-II, Shina Urdu Angreezi Bol Chal, Alkhaanoo Bijoon, written by Shakil Ahmad Shakil, a linguist and researcher, was held under the patronage of Shina Language and Culture Promotion Society in a local hotel.
Inayatullah Shumali, chairman Gilgit-Baltistan National Alliance, who inaugurated the function, said that Shakil Ahmad Shakil’s writings had high literary quality. He added that Shakil Ahmad Shakil was really a sufi who had offered five noble treatises to Shina language. He said that knowledge was the outcome of relationship with God, not a product of selfish intent.
The chief guest, Ghulam Abbas Gandalo, a well-known educationist and research scholar, speaking on the author’s personality, said that dervishi did not craft a personality which could be shaken by uncertainties or difficulties. ‘‘We can easily see this significant quality in Shakil’s life.’’ He asked Shakil Ahmad to publish all of his writings.
Salman Ali, an activist of SLCPS, read from a writing of social scientist and researcher Aziz Ali Dad, in which Aziz has discussed the threat to languages that globalisation poses. The author fears that the 21st century would prove to be the graveyard of local languages.
Israruddin Israr, journalist and writer, read his paper on Shakil Ahmad Shakil’s work and said that his work on Shina was of world standard.
Poet and playwright Abdul Hafeez Shakir described Shakil Ahmad Shakil’s work as helpful in phonetic expression of Shina language. It would promote documentation of the oral literature of Shina as well as its modern literature. He added that Shakil Ahmad Shakil would inspire others to take interest in the future of the Shina language.
Shakil Ahmad Shakil speaking about his work quoted Rolland Barth’s saying that ‘‘writing writes not writers’’. It meant that literature was not produced in air. It was produced in a literary tradition. He thanked the Shina Language and Culture Promotion Society for organizing the function to launch his books. He also thanked Karakoram Co-operative Bank and NATCO for their moral and financial support.—Courtesy Dawn
By Our Correspondent