ISSN 2330-717X

Gilgit Baltistan’s Political Honeymoon – OpEd


Gilgit Baltistan is jewel of Pakistan and Crown of Pakistan which has a unique history. GB territory was liberated by its own people under Dogra domination on 1st November 1947 without any external help. The People of GB on their behalf ruled the State with their own setup for 16 days and they were defending their territories from the invaders. At that time being Muslims people of GB demanded the new dominion to provide them military aid to tackle the invaders entering the territory again.

Initially Pakistan provided their support to the new independent state but with the passage of time they took over the administrative charge and formed their own setup and hold the GB (Northern Areas) and still they are ruling the territory they adopted every sort of policy to make it official part of Pakistan but on 1948 war has been begun between the new emerging states (Pakistan & India) on Kashmir to make it their part, so between 1948 India went to UN Security Council for Ceasefire at the boundaries and they adopted a policy to show that Hari Singh Maharaja of entire Kashmir has acceded to India (GB has been part of this issue since then) and Pakistan has taken illegally over Kashmir. A new war has been started a war of International Dispute over territory. (1)

GB is a part of International dispute which has been unresolved since 71 years.  In April 1948, by its resolution 47 (1948), the Council decided to enlarge the membership of UNCIP and to recommend various measures including the use of observers to stop the fighting. In July 1949, India and Pakistan signed the Karachi Agreement establishing a ceasefire line to be supervised by the military observers on both sides of territory. But they never did this and manipulated the rights so. On 30 March 1951, following the termination of UNCIP, the Security Council, by its resolution 91 (1951) decided that UNMOGIP should continue to supervise the ceasefire in Kashmir(United Kashmir). UNMOGIP’s functions were to observe and report, investigate complaints of ceasefire violations and submit its finding to each party and to the Secretary-General. (2)

Pakistan like India has always violated the rights of citizens on both sides of territory. Pakistan Government has always tried to manipulate the facts that are/were concerned with GB. 28th April 1949 is one of the decisive behaviors that Kashmiri and Pakistani leadership has adopted towards her.

Karachi agreement was signed between Kashmiri (Mushtaq Ahmad Gormani, Chaudhary, Ghulam Abbas,Sardar Ibrahim Khan) and Pakistani leadership with consent of people on both side. It should be kept in notice that no official leadership was involved in this pact from Gilgit Baltistan and on behalf of GB Kashmiri leadership also signed the Pact.

The reason of the pact was basically to acceded Kashmir with Pakistan. Beside else this a list in present in history which clearly shows that they have devastated the rights of GB through their best means i.e. State Subject Rule Promulgated by the Maharaja Hari Singh in the year 1927 in United Jammu and Kashmir, State Subject Law which bars people from outside the state from permanently settling down in present day Jammu, Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan to protect the rights of his people. But b/w 1972-74 Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto chairman of PPP has unofficially without consent of people dissolved this law in GB and allowed nonresidents to settle permanently there but twist is here that this law is still exists in Azad Kashmir with its full power. (3)

International Organizations have different research reports on GB and Kashmir. Recently on 14th June 2018 Office of the United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) clearly manifest that the people of GIlgit Baltistan has been tortured by the Pakistan’s Government and tried their best means to manipulate their basic human rights which has been stated on Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The report says that “Pakistan’s prime minister, the federal minister for Kashmir Affairs and GB and the federal civil service have full control over all government operations in both Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B).

According to an international NGO, federal intelligence agencies are deployed across the two regions and have “considerable powers over local elected representatives and officials. Freedom of expression, imposition of ATA on social activists, Land grabbing are also other violations that has been occurred on both sides. Given such a constitutional relationship with Pakistan, residents of AJK and G-B do not enjoy all the rights and protections available to those under the Pakistan Constitution” Such an influence has challenged a person to express his views that demand his rights. (4)

Like a short honeymoon Federal Parties of Pakistan have played their cards to achieve their national interest and enjoyed every benefit from this. Different political parties of GB have d/f views regarding the disputed territory of Gilgit Baltistan. They sometime declared it a disputed territory when people of GB demanded their rights and when they saw their interest they made it Jewel of Pakistan. GB 2009 Ordinance was one of the official harassment they did with citizens and violated the rights under which they were unable to express their rights and likewise Pakistan’s establishment issued 2018 order which its full impact manipulated the basic rights of the people (freedom of speech, Land grabbing, ATA on social Activism, unlawful Land reforms).

Recently on September 2018 Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar visited GB for his holidays. People from GB warmly welcomed him and demanded their basic political rights to be solved. He assured them he will do his best for these people so on a returning from a short honeymoon from GB to Pakistan he studied the case of GB in terms of International Dispute and today on 17th January 2019 on his last official conference in Lahore date he clearly mentioned that it’s not under the control of Pakistan to decide the decision of GB.

The only solution will be handled through international means it’s not in our control but GB people intentionally and unintentionally ignore this to make happy their lords they don’t consider that non from Pakistan is eligible to give them their rights instead of international forum but they decorate the Honeymoon Bed for another political leader/administrative officer to have a short honeymoon in GB and announce that their rights has been given to them by Pakistan so this wait will never end as Barack Obama said, “Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some time. We are the one we have been waiting for we are the change that we seek”.

*Sajjad Ali based in Karachi. Postgraduate Student of Political Science at University of Karachi who has a keen interest in Political Science, International Political economy, Public Policy, Conflict & Peace resolution and Foreign Policy studies.

Tareekh-e-Gilgit Baltistan Ghulam Abbas

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