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HUNZA, June 23 A new district in Gilgit-Baltistan would start functioning officially from next month.

“The Hunza-Nagar district will be operational in July,” said Syed Mehdi Shah, president Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Gilgit-Baltistan during a visit.

Mr Shah said that the present government was serious in giving basic rights to the people of the region following the footsteps of Z.A. Bhutto “who gave political awareness to the marginalised people of Gilgit-Baltistan, and introduced fundamental socio-economic reforms in the region”.

He said additional Northern Areas Legislative Council Assembly (NALA) seat for Hunza would be part of a new package for the region.

The PPP leader assured that the government would not withdraw subsidy on wheat and supported demand for reasonable land compensation to the affected persons of the Karakoram Highway extension project.

Talking to the office-bearers of the women wing of the party in Passu, he advised them not to support Atiqa Ghazanfar or any other influential women in the coming election.

During a public gathering at Sost, the PPP leader said that the Silk Route Dry Port was property of the locals and the government would not allow Chief Executive Ghazanfar Ali or any member of his family to illegally occupy the dry port.

He told workers to forge unity and activate the party at grass-root level.

Speakers on the occasion demanded of the government to provide basic civic facilities to people of the area including health, education, solid waste management, sanitation and drinking water facilities.

Member NALA Mohammad Ali Akhtar criticised the role of the customs and other government departments for allegedly creating problems for the local traders doing business through the Khunjerab Pass. Border trade with China was the only economic opportunity for the locals in the entire region, he added.

People's Youth Wing leader Aziz Jan demanded separate NALA seat for Gojal, the largest tehsil of Gilgit-Baltistan.

He sought allocation of 25 per cent of the customs department revenue for the uplift of the locals.

Member NALA Aftab Haider, President PPP Hunza chapter Fida Karim and others also spoke on the occasion.