Monday, March 11, 2013

GBUM chairman says Our challenge has silenced Mehdi Shah

SKARDU: The chairman of Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement (GBUM), Manzoor Hussain Parwana, has said Chief Minister Mehdi Shah could not dare to have a debate with him on the current political system in the region because he (Mehdi Shah) does not know even the ABC of the system. In his latest interview, he was asked about the challenge of the chief minister to have a debate on the system. Mr Parwana said he had promptly accepted the challenge of Mehdi Shah and threw the ball back into his court. But the chief minister went silent because he has no guts to come out and have a debate with me because he does not even know the basics of the system under which he was installed as the chief minister of the region in 2009. The GBUM chief said that had Mehdi Shah knew about the system he would not have claimed that he enjoyed more powers than the chief minister of the Punjab. He said they were also ready to have a debate on any TV channel with the political leaders of Pakistan about the 2009 Gilgit-Baltistan self-governance and autonomy order and would get success. He said the challenge of the chief minister was a political stunt and after we accepted his challenged he stopped issuing such statements. Manzoor Parwana was also asked that the commission regarding provincial status had refused to give all the rights to Gilgit-Baltistan and what factors were behind this. In reply, he said the decision of Pakistan's parliamentary commission on new provinces was 100 per cent right. He said Gilgit-Baltistan was not a constitutional part of Pakistan so no authority in the country can take any decision regarding its geographical status until the issue was resolved under the United Nations resolutions. Another question asked from the GBUM chief was that can Gilgit-Baltistan be made a province of Pakistan in future or would it get an AJK-like political set-up. In reply, he said Pakistan can never ever make the region its province. He counter-questioned the interviewer by saying can America, which has occupied Afghanistan, make Kabul one of its states, adding the question regarding Pakistan making Gilgit-Baltistan as its province was like that. However, he added that if the people of the region launched a systematic struggle they can get a set-up like that of Azad Kashmir because this is their rights. To another question that currently the chief secretary and the force commander of northern areas had become more active than the chief minister, Manzoor Parwana said since the outset the military establishment and the civilian establishment had been calling the shots in the region. On the other hand, the legislative assembly and the judiciary were subservient to these two organizations and the chief minister always worked as a puppet. He said when the elected government failed to deliver and people seem to be eager to get rid of the, non-democratic forces come to fill the gap. Similar situation has been developing in Pakistan due to the corruption and failure of the PPP government.

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