Transporters are wary of going to Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) due to the ongoing violence and have demanded the government to provide them foolproof security on all routes leading to the area.
The decision was taken on Wednesday in an emergency meeting of truck owners associations of Bisham, Shangla, Hazara and G-B in view of the killings of more than 10 truck drivers in G-B during the last three weeks.
“The government has failed to provide security to our drivers and conductors in G-B,” said Shangla Transporters’ Association President Gul Muhammad. “We have staged a large number of wheel-jam strikes to sensitise the government towards our losses, but now we have set an ultimatum of 24 hours for getting security for transporters. If the government cannot provide us that, then we will stop transportation of all goods to G-B,” said Muhammad.
He said that though the G-B government had signed an agreement to provide security to transporters, it has failed to implement it. “The culprits must be arrested and punished,” he added.
In a recent incident, a man and his son were transporting goods to Gilgit when they were stopped by some masked men at Sikandarabad. They shot the two men and left them critically injured.
Meanwhile, many truck drivers and owners have already stopped transporting goods to the area.
“Every now and then, transporters are killed and the government does not ensure them security. This has given way to a sense of insecurity among the drivers, who have changed their routes,” said Iqbal, a truck driver.
He added that people cannot work under constant fear and threat.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 13th, 2012.
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