"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
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No more political shenanigans

By Dj Mathal


Once again, there is a conspiracy galore in Gilgit-Baltistan to hoodwink the simple and innocent people in the name of packages, promising everything under the sun. These days the local leadership of the ruling party is making all-out efforts taking due advantage of the party’s government in the centre and dreaming formation of a government in the region. As soon as the PPP formed government in the centre, the Gilgit-Baltistan chapter of the party started making tall claims of providing all the rights and facilities to the people of the region so far denied to them. Time and again these local leaders of the PPP are reminding the people that due to absence of a separate constitution they have been deprived not only of their rights but also of their proper identity; they have been denied their geographical existence in the map of the world. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan are also being told that at present they have no administrative powers to run their affairs. The so-called legislative assembly has no powers even equal to a union council of a village and laws formed by this house are not binding on the chief secretary or other officials of the local administration. Though there is a chief executive of the region considered to be all in all, he has no powers and even an executive engineer of Wapda is more powerful than he is. Similarly, the people are also told that the Pakistan People’s Party was the only party which can provide all rights to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. However, the fact is this that during the current fiscal year the federal government even did not release a whooping 53 per cent of the sanctioned allocations for the region. This has led to stoppage of work on a large number of ongoing development projects in the region as there is no chance of releasing the remaining funds with the fiscal year coming to an end and the new budget expected by first week of June.

Under the new package, an Azad Kashmir like set-up is being promised for Gilgit-Baltistan, where there will be a president and a prime minister and to legislate and implement laws there will be an assembly. Besides, a supreme court and high court will also be set up in the region to provide justice to the masses. There will be an inspector general of police, a chief secretary, secretary finance and the auditor general office. In this way, a set-up like the Azad Kashmir Council will be in place to implement the orders and laws formulated somewhere outside the region. In papers, there will be local president, prime minister and an assembly but real powers will be vested with someone else.

Through these lines we once again warn the local leadership of the PPP that the results of such tactics to hoodwink the people of Gilgit-Baltistan through sham packages will not be in the interest of the PPP and the masses of the region. Neither the people of the region are anymore ready to buy these tactics as they have seen and gone through all these political shenanigans in the past. Had such a step like forming a constituent assembly and appointing president and prime minister like in Azad Kashmir been taken a few decades back it might have worked but at present the situation is totally different and the ground is not fertile for such types of experiences. Now much water has passed below the bridge and the sense of deprivation and disappointment among the people has made it impossible to accept such types of promises. Now the people of this region want that there should be a constituent assembly through which they can have a chance to decide their future. They should be given the rights to decide how they can handle their administrative affairs, end poverty, unemployment and what form of governance they want for the area. As the region of a strategic importance due to its location bordering Pakistan, China, Central Asia, India etc., a careful decision about its future can only save this region from becoming a fighting ground of imperialist powers.

The people of the region have their own cultural values, historical identity and unique civilization. It is essential that before taking any decision about the future of the people, all these consideration should be taken into account. We understand it crucial that our suggestions should not be taken as a call for rebel but should be considered as a birth right of a people to decide their own future, so that we can save the region from Talibanization.

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