Thursday, December 13, 2007

Gilgit Baltistan leaders reject Musharraf's package

Gilgit Baltistan leaders reject Musharaf’s empowerment package

Leaders of Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement have rejected the empowerment package from President Pervez Musharraf to them. The press conference was called to protest the denial of legal and political rights for the people of Gilgit Baltistan.
The politicians, scholars and social workers on the occasion of Independent celebration of the region condemned the blackmailing offers of the Govt, which they said were 'aimed at concealing the political atrocities on the people in the occupied region'. The speakers demanded a 'fully autonomous state comprising Gilgit and Baltistan' until the India-Pakistan row over Jammu and Kashmir was resolved.
Musharraf's tactics are meant to buy time and hide violations of human and political rights,' said Manzoor Hussain Parwana, chairman of the Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement who had called the press conference.
Under the newly announced package, the existing Northern Areas legislative council will be given the status of an assembly with powers to make its own annual budget and development plan, which earlier wasn't the case. The post of the deputy chief executive, the number two official of the region, has been upgraded to chief executive. The post of chief executive, who is an official appointed by Islamabad and who calls the shots, has been renamed the chairman of the Council.
Ghulam Shehzad Agha Secretary General GBUM condemned the construction of Bhasha Dam on river Indus in the region and asked the people not to pay all sort of taxes including electricity bills. The government has steeply hiked electricity tariff as well as direct and indirect taxes, to the disappointment of the region's mostly impoverished people.
Shehzad says the scale of neglect of the region is criminal. Even basic facilities such as electricity, drinking water and elementary healthcare did not exist in Gilgit Baltistan.

Issued By
Gilgit Baltistan United Movement

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