Monday, December 16, 2013

Gilgit Baltistan: Leader demands to link India via Skardu-Kargil ancient tarde route

SKARDU: Chairman Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement (GBUM) Engineer Manzoor Hussain Prawana has said that putting restriction on the free movement of the people and closing old trade routes was a rampant violation of the human rights. He said by the virtue of its geographical location, Gilgit-Baltistan can have trade access to five countries via over 15 land routes. However, though a conspiracy, these trade routes have been closed, compelling the indigenous people to remain stranded in their areas and depending only on the Karakarum Highway that too remained closed for most of the year due to terrorits attacks and security concerns.
 Mr Parwana said that this was equal to shutting the door of trade and employment on the two million people of the Addressing a rally held to demand the opening of the trade routes, he said that due to the closure of the Skardu-Kargil route, hundreds of divided families in Baltistan and Ladakh were facing agonies of their lives. He said these divided families had been looking for meeting their near and dear ones on the other side of the border for years but still there was no hope that the border would be opened.
He said besides the human tragedy the road closure had also shut the door of trade opportunities on the people of the region causing a perpetual poverty and economic meltdown among the residents. He asked both the governments of Pakistan and India to immediately open the routes between Skardu and Kargil and Astor and Srinagar.
The GBUM chief was of the view that the people of Punjab and Sindh were freely doing trade and crossing border with India, the people of KPK were free to do business with Afghanistan while the Baloch were also availing of the open border into Afghanistan and Iran. And even the people in AJK were allowed to do business across the border. On the other hand, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan were still not being allowed to cross the border and meet their relatives. Besides, all the old trade routes still remain closed. If doing trade with India is against the interest of Pakistan, it should close the border in Punjab and Sindh too. He said this double standard discrimination against the people of Gilgit-Baltistan was unjustified and would not be tolerated.
Manzoor Parwana
Gilgit Baltistan United Movement
Skardu baltistan : 16/ 12/2013

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