GHANCHE: A resident of Gilgit-Baltistan was rebuked by one of the top officials after he highlighted lack of a female gynaecologists in the area while protesting against insufficient facilities in the local hospitals.
A short video clip surfaced on social media in which the GB Chief Secretary Babar Hayat Tarar can be seen tearing down a man while talking to protesters in Ghanche district.
The official started taunting the citizen about taxes when the man asked why there was no female gynaecologist for the area residents as he highlighted the improper health facilities. In return, the chief secretary, in a rude way, asked him how much tax he pays.
“Tell me how much tax do you pay? Tell me?” Tarar went on to ask, “Put your hand down and tell me if you paid a single penny of tax?”
When the man replied that GB was a ‘disputed territory’, Tarar responded, “No you aren’t disputed. Government [of Pakistan] provides the region Rs100 billion. What is your contribution in return. Tell me?” he argued.
The video clip triggered an online debate over the benefits received by Pakistan from the area where people recalled the role of GB in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Social media users lashed out at the official and launched a campaign against him.
Human rights activist Afrasiab Khattak tweeted, “This is the tone & tenor of the bureaucratic overlord. The competent authority must ask the Chief Secretary to explain his position on this. Is demanding a gynecologist for the entire Ghanche valley a crime? Citizens or subjects?”
The alliance of opposition parties has also asked the prime minister to post out the chief secretary or else people will force him to go. “He is acting like a lord. He isn’t a lord rather a servant and he should behave like a servant,” the alliance members observed.
“This man has insulted the whole region,” said Awami Action Committee Chairman Sultan Raees, a local leader who demands human rights in the region.
Meanwhile, Gilgit-Baltistan Information Department, in a Facebook post, has said that the controversial remarks of the Chief Secretary are being presented out of context by “selectively sharing parts of a video.”
The information department has dispelled the notion that the official wanted to degrade the person. The post said that the same person used ‘anti-state’ remarks before the official lost his temper.
“Some elements are trying to start a propaganda based on the ‘edited video’”, the Information Department’s unnamed official posted.