Destruction of the Highway has completely severed land connections between China and Pakistan since January 4, 2010. It has also stranded a population of over 25,000 people in the upper Hunza (Gojal) Valley. The stranded people have been demanding Chinese help for opening of the river blockade. So far, however, the Chinese help for opening of the river blockade has not arrived, increasing grievances of the people. The Pakistani state owned Frontier Works Organization (FWO) has been working to drain the dammed river but, to the dismay of the local people, little or no progress has been made for several months.
Mr. Baig may, therefore, like to use this opportunity to talk to the Chinese Premier, seeking his country’s help for reducing sufferings of the stranded people. The Chinese Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) is already working in the region on widening of the Karakoram Highway. The widening process will be futile if the lake is not drained because several bridges and around 25 kilometers of the road are already inside the lake.
The people of Gojal Valley are expecting that the acting governor of Gilgit – Baltistan will use the occasion to present their case and convince the Chinese to come for their rescue. Mr. Baig may also like to thank the Chinese Premier for sending relief items for the disaster hit people. However, he shall tell Wen Jiabao that the biggest relief anyone could give to the 25,000 stranded people is to reopen the KKH and drain the monster lake.