Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gilgit Baltistan: Aga Khan Foundation involved in Corruption

The Chairperson of Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement (GBUM), Manzoor Parwana, has accused the so-called democratic government of Gilgit-Baltistan, which was established a year ago, of corruption, nepotism and incompetence. He was addressing a press conference at Skardu, Gilgit-Baltistan on November 11, 2010 to discuss the issue of ‘taxation without representation’.

He condemned the authorities for imposing tax on the poverty stricken masses and failing to address the concerns of the victims of flashfloods and landslides. He said, “GBUM has decided to call an All Parties Conference (APC) to discuss economic and political matters concerning the natives of the region”.

He accused the authorities of providing jobs to a selective group of people who belong to the ruling party, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), while ignoring the merit standards. He said, “Officials have been directed to induct those carrying a recommendation letter from the Chief Minister, S. Mehdi Shah. Same trend is now followed by the non-profit organizations like Aga Khan Foundation (AKF). This way, classism is being promoted to benefit a few who impose their will upon the majority. These people are opportunist and only loyal to the ruling party in Islamabad rather than the natives of Gilgit-Baltistan.” In the end, Parwana announced to issue white paper with information on corruption cases pertaining to the Aga Khan Rural Support Program, a project of AKF.


Friday, November 5, 2010

Gilgit Baltistan: Flood victims booked in sedition cases on demanding relief

Press Release

Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement (GBUM) held a press conference to condemn cowardly act of the authorities, who have registered sedition case against progressive nationalist right defenders of Pakistan occupied Gilgit-Baltistan. The activists were holding a peaceful rally demanding relief goods and funds for the flashflood and landslide victims of Hunza-Gojal. Chairperson of GBUM, Manzoor Parwana while addressing the press conference at Skardu, Baltistan, said, “Sedition cases against peaceful flood victims has exposed the so-called democratic regime, which claims to have granted right of freedom of expression and political activity to the masses. Contrary to that, Pakistani agencies continue to obstruct socio-political gatherings, torture and detain activists and commit human rights violations with impunity. With the international community failing to notice, Gilgit-Baltistan continue to remain under colonial-rule.”

Parwana grieved by saying, “Unlike in other countries, where governmental organizations race to reach out to the flood victims, Pakistani authorities resorted to a unique method of providing relief by torturing and detaining the flood victims. This way, they have set an example for others demanding similar rights. The fact that flood victims linger in jails instead of being accommodated at the relief camps is a reflection on the so-called Islamic Republic”.

He termed sedition case a folly, since it has been registered against those demanding food, shelter, medicines and clothing. The protest occurred after Pakistani prime minister visited the flooded villages of Hunza, however, failed to announce adequate relief measures. He challenged validity of such cases, since Gilgit-Baltistan is not a constitutional part of Pakistan. He further said, “Sedition cases involving individuals like Babajan, Wajahat, Noor Ali, Ghulam Zahir, Izhar, Khadim Hussain, Ibrahim, Jan Alam, Gul Nawaz, Rahim, Abdul Karim and Karim Khan were baseless. The police FIR 59625 also prove the fact that the protest was peaceful and a-political.” In the end, he asked the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan to withdraw cases and ensure freedom of expression and appeal in the region.”

Manzoor Hussain Parwana

Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement
Skardu, Baltistan
Dated: November 4, 2010