The formal announcement made by President Pervez Musharraf during his visit to Gilgit Northern Areas in 2007 regarding establishment of Northern Areas Assembly was a big change, but only in name. The real power has not been transferred to this assembly and still lies with the bureaucracy of Kana Division. The non-local power players, both civil & military, have always presented the wrong picture of the Northern Areas to the successive governments. The continuous negligence of 60 years has destroyed generations here. For every petty issue, our public has to knock the door of the Chief Secretary of Kana Division in Islamabad. No one ever gives a hearing to their voices. The time has come to finish the role of Kana Division and its handpicked bureaucracy in the Northern Areas. It is time to give full autonomy and delegate all powers to the elected representatives of the Northern Areas Assembly. Establishment of NAs Public Services Commission, royalty of Indus water, funds for tourism, revenue from the Chinese borders are all due rights of these areas. The present government needs to take these bold steps to solve the long-standing mega issues of the Northern Areas. -ALI AL-HAKIM, Ghizer (Northern Areas), via e-mail, April 25.