Gilgit Baltistan: At a time when the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir suffer from problems ranging from terrorism to economic crisis, but the leader of the country is busy with non-important issues avoiding addressing issues in the area, reported Islam Khabar.

Last week PoK leader, Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry, was busy meeting with senior United Nations officials when a high school in his area was attacked by assailants, who also ransacked the schools and molested girls, the report claimed.

"A gang of miscreants ransacked the school and held the entire school hostage. Policemen were stoned and teachers were assaulted with knives. One of the assailants even whipped out a gun to threaten them. It was mayhem in the school. Children and their parents have since been petrified," stated the report.

The law-and-order situation of Gilgit Baltistan was getting worse as crime is a serious issue and there is a severe food and power shortage in the area, the report claimed, adding that increasing population, shrinking resources, rising joblessness, and poverty are pushing the crime index higher day by day, leaving people even more helpless.

The people of the province are also facing rising cases of suicides. In January 2023 alone the people of the area witnessed the suicides of three men and two women creating fear psychosis in the local community, it stated.

The report claimed further that between January 2005 and June 2022, there were 573 suicides in the region. The number had shot up in 2022 with 65 cases being reported in the first seven months, more than double compared to 2021. Of these, 79 per cent were between 15 to 39 years of age, while more than half of deceased were men.

It claimed that the data on suicides may be more than then reported because of societal reasons.

Even the education system the in the province is in a crisis, the report stated, as over 22 per cent of children remain out of school.

According to a socio-economic survey conducted by the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), 22 per cent (125,894) of GB's total population of children (569,421) were unable to attend any school, the report stated, adding that of these, 20 per cent (58,671) were boys and 24 per cent (68,175) were girls.