GILGIT, PAKISTAN — In the mountainous northern Pakistan’s Gilgit-Baltistan region, a career civil servant from the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS) cadre, Mohyuddin Ahmad Wani, has launched a host of initiatives to promote education, tourism, healthcare, and information technology.
Wani was appointed as the chief secretary Gilgit-Baltistan region in April 2022 and has since launched various programs to improve the living standards of the region.
Gilgit-Baltistan is a picturesque region in the northern part of Pakistan, bordered by Afghanistan to the north and India to the east. Despite its breathtaking natural beauty, the region has long suffered from administrative neglect and lack of investment in infrastructure and social services. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the literacy rate in Gilgit-Baltistan is 53%, lower than the national average of 60%.
The region also faces significant challenges in healthcare, with a shortage of medical facilities and qualified healthcare professionals.
To address these challenges, Wani has launched a series of initiatives to promote education, healthcare, and information technology.
The initiatives mentioned here fall short of reflecting the entire spectrum of work undertaken by Wani, said a reporter of Natives Time based in Gilgit.
According to Wani’s office, he has initiated meal improvement plans to counter stunting in children, held career counseling festivals, launched digital learning initiatives, set up healthcare facilities, and hired highly-qualified academics on competitive remuneration packages. In his recent efforts, he opened a dedicated educational and vocational training center for the blind and differently-abled people of Gilgit-Baltistan in Skardu.
“We aim to rehabilitate the disabled into society, and our administration has signed a memorandum of understanding with a non-government organization for running costs,” said Wani.
The chief secretary Gilgit-Baltistan administration has established a record 144 computer labs and libraries all across the region at a cost of Rs. 50 million. He has also launched e-learning projects to promote education in remote and lagging districts.
“We want to produce the future job providers […] God willing, this project will bring a revolution in years to come,” Wani hoped.
In addition to promoting education and IT, Wani has also prioritized healthcare in the region.
The chief secretary’s office has also issued a tender for the purchase of two magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines at the cost of Rs. 740 million to improve healthcare services in the region.