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Gilgit-Baltistan and industrialisation

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THIS is with reference to the article ‘Gilgit-Baltistan in limbo’ by Syed Ansar Hussain (Jan 8). While throwing light on the legacy of the region and its ambiguous constitutional status, the writer has also demanded formulation of policies for ‘industrialisation’ of Gilgit-Baltistan.

This demand of the writer is either a misnomer or the flawed understanding of the word per se. It also contradicts some of the views presented by the writer in the latter part of the speech. Industrialisation is the period of a social and economic change that transforms a society from an agrarian into industrial one. It is a modernisation process, particularly adopted for the purpose of large-scale manufacturing. The region, Gilgit Baltistan, by design cannot afford to host large-scale industries.

Moreover, industrialisation does not occur cheaply. It has a bearing on nature, as we know it. With glaciers melting faster than ever in the region due to global warming, industrialising the region is not in the best interest of the natives and the world at large.

Having said that, the government should focus on what is the unique selling point of the region’s natural beauty. The government should gear efforts towards building infrastructure and initiate projects for the development of the local community in all aspects of life.

Moreover, the demand for industrialisation is also not consistent, particularly with the writer’s belief that the region has potential in forestry, tourism, agriculture, livestock,  the social sector, etc. Because when industrialisation occurs, technology replaces nature much for the bad of humans.

Thus the word industrialisation is either used wrongly in the context or is reflective of the writer’s gross misunderstanding of the term itself.

M. EJAZ Karachi

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