Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gilgit Baltistan: Ending of the disputed status not possible

SKARDU: The territory of Gilgit-Baltistan is a disputed one and is on the agenda of the United Nations which is yet to ensure the right of self-determination to the people of Kashmir as promised over six decades back.
Had Gilgit-Baltistan being part of Pakistan it would have been made a province of the
country 66 years back and given representation in the parliament of Pakistan.
These views were expressed by Manzoor Hussain Parwana, the chairman of the Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement (GBUM). In a press statement here, he said had Gilgit-Baltistan been a part of the Pakistan-administered Azad Kashmir it would have been kept under its administration control long ago. “Gilgit-Baltistan is neither part of Azad Kashmir nor Pakistan rather it is an independent entity but on the agenda of the UN to get the right of self-determination like the people of Kashmir.”
Mr Parwana also said that if Gilgit-Baltistan was not disputed what the UN observers were doing in Gilgit and Skardu for so many decades. And if the area was a part or province of Pakistan why its inhabitants are not allowed to vote in the elections of Pakistan? If the area was a part of Azad Kashmir then why the prime minister of AJK is not the representative of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, he asked. Keeping all these fact in mind it can safely be argued that Gilgit-Baltistan is a separate state having its own national identity but its administrative control is still in the hands of Pakistan. He was of the view that if the disputed status of Giglit-Baltistan was abolished there would be lots of issues in the making for the inhabitants of the region. He said that Gilgit-Baltistan should be provided all the facilities available to the people in other nits of Kashmir. He said that state subject rule should be enforced in the area and all the alien people should be drive out of the area and Gilgit-Baltistan should be given Azad Kashmir like set-up till the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
It may be noted that due to the rising demands for basic rights which have been denied to the indigenous people of Gilgit-Baltistan for decades by successive Pakistani governments, there have been proposals to change the ad hoc system of governance in the region and the 2009 autonomy order came as part of it. But as this presidential order did not make any changes to the life, the PML-N after coming to power has also been contemplating on bringing a package of its own. One thing here is very clear. These are cosmetics measures because actually the issue has to be resolved through the UN by giving the right of self-determination to the people of the area. What these Pakistani rulers are trying to do is to placate the disgruntled populace in order to get votes and rule the area as in the past.  

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