ISLAMABAD: This refers to the letter titled “Problems caused by Attabad Lake”(June 11) by Muhammad Ali. As someone whose family has been affected by the Attabad landslide disaster, I was shocked to read about the claim made by the president of the Importers and Exporters Association of Gilgit-Baltistan — that the local businessmen have been providing a free ferry service for the area’s residents.
The businessmen who operate the ferry service have been charging commuters unfairly for the last three years. The minimum fare charged is Rs100, while the maximum fare is Rs300, which is charged from the spillway of the dammed river to the Hussani boatyard. There have been many press conferences and protests held by the disaster-hit communities, who have accused the boat owners and operators of taking advantage of their plight.
I do not want to downplay the losses suffered by the business community due to the closure of the Karakoram Highway, but no good can be obtained through baseless claims made by the business community.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 14th, 2012.