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"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Mathal
Full Name: Dj Mathal
User since: 14/Apr/2008
No Of voices: 115
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Time to speak up

By DJ Mathal…….

 

Chief Minister Mehdi Shah while addressing a defence day function said that GilgitBaltaistan was never given the return for its sacrifices it has been rendering and the privileges and facilities which we deserved were never given to us. He further said that without representation in the parliament of Pakistan all the rights given to us will be considered insufficient and incomplete, adding we will continue our efforts to get all the rights. The chief minister was of the view that Gilgit-Baltistan had rendered invaluable services for the defence of Pakistan but these sacrifices were neither recognized nor its return given to the inhabitants of the region.

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It is perhaps for the first time that Mehdi Shah has spoken the language of the people of the region. It is beyond any doubts that for the last over six decades Pakistan has ruled the region black and white. In April 1949, Pakistan took over the administrative control of the region from Azad Kashmir through an agreement in Karachi. It is very ironic that it was such a dubious agreement that no representative of GilgitBaltistan was even present on the occasion of its signing. Since then, making that illegal agreement s a ground, Pakistan has been ruling the region and plundering its resources without giving the inhabitants their basic rights. Even lowly officials sent to the region by Islamabad consider it as a golden chance to pocket whatever comes into their way. The region is replete with all types of natural resources but even then its people have been kept poor because the resources have never been exploited for the betterment of the masses so that they remain in perpetual poverty and never be able to unite and fight for their rights. All these tactics have been used by Pakistan to prolong its illegal rule in the area. Moreover Pakistan always feels pride in its cordial and strategic relations with China but the road to Beijing passes through Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Karakorum Highway is also the main passageway through the region which connects the two countries. Besides, the youth of the region have always laid their live for the defence of Pakistan but their services have also not be recognized the way they deserved to be recognized. It is also to be noted here that unlike the people of other provinces the masses in Gilgit-Baltistan have never created problems for Islamabad though they have always been discriminated against. They have always adopted a civilized and democratic way to fight for their rights for the last over six decades. Of late, in order to hoodwink the nation and the international community Pakistan announced a half baked package giving the so-called provincial status to the region. But at the same time, it created a council consisting of non-local people who wielded most of the powers. The situation is such a pathetic that the members of the so-called legislative assembly are toothless and they can even not bring an amendment to the presidential order of 2009 under which the region is being rules.

It would have been realistic had the chief minister ever tried to shed light on the situation instead of working as a representative of the federal government. He has lost a golden opportunity to become the real spokesman for the people of the region. Why he is not openly saying that the region is disputed and Pakistan’s claim on it is illegal. Why is he adamant on demanding representation in the parliament of Pakistan when the area is not a constitutional part of Pakistan? It is also a futile exercise to put forth a demand that Islamabad cannot even fulfill. It is time the people of the region openly demand for their rights. If no action is taken regarding the region under the UN mandate at least the people of the region should demand that all powers should be transferred to the people of the area, the assembly should be empowered in a real sense, the council should be abolished and the budget of the region should be increased by 100 per cent.

(The writer is chief Editor of Daily Bang-e-Sahar Gilgit Baltistan) 

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