Gilgit Baltistan politics

Gilgit Baltistan; lack of interest of local politicians in prioritizing education

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A few years ago I got a chance to sit next to a seasoned politician, we will call him SP on a public transport in Gilgit. We talked about different issues of the area. One of these topics was the engineering and medical seats for students of Ghizer.

I explained to him what these reserved seats meant for students from humble backgrounds; and how he can possibly have a discussion with people in department of education to increase the number of seats for students from Ghizer. His lack of interest in the topic was disappointing to say the least.

The current issue of reduction of medical seats seems to stem more from the lack of interest of local politicians in prioritizing education. The students and population of GB needs to hold their own political representatives accountable for this decision. A lack of interest from the local politicians manifests into decisions like these, since the federal government is either largely unaware of the main issues in the region or choose to ignore these issues.

The younger politicians have been more responsive on matters like these, one such example is Syed Jalal Ali Shah, who not only listened to a discussion on the same topic but made sure his party doubles the reserved seats in engineering univeristies in Sindh, a couple of months ago.

Given the government in GB and Punjab is of PTI, the elected political representatives need to step up and resolve this situation. With increasing population and declining health conditions, there is need of professionals in health sector now more than ever.

Rizwan Karim (Fulbright Scholarship holder and currently studying in US)

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