A decisive time like never before
By Dj Mathal
The fake promises, ill willed gestures, misleading speeches and political hoodwinking by members of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) that illegitimately sprouted out from the womb of 'self governance ordinance 2009 have started to surface as the post-election dust has started to settle down and the masses are being presented with a horrible scene of rampant corruption, political turmoil and chaos.
Through the so called ordinance the real power players seated in Islamabad who hold the rains of powers and control Gilgit-Baltistan through their local handpicked people once more succeeded in bartering with their handpicked public representatives to take hold of the region for exchange of personal gains as a free hand for corruption and looting of the national exchequer through tenders and other top-ups that come with securing a seat in the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA). This time the masses too were included in the bandwagon through wide spread propaganda campaign and the national exchequer was used to buy ballots besides brainwashing of their handpicked representatives. If this were not enough and the so-called 'public representatives were not trust worthy the government made a council under the chairmanship of Prime Minister of Pakistan comprising of people from the parliament of Pakistan and armored them with veto powers to supervise the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly.
Some segments of the society had declared the so called package a mere eye wash and a means to strengthen Pakistan's stronghold over the region but their voice was overpowered by the hoopla of the pre-architected election saga.
As the dust settled after the democratic melodrama from polls to cabinet formation and the harsh realities lying beneath the Machiavelli styled government started to surface the winds changed its direction opening the public eyes to rampant corruption and bulldozing of law and order by the handpicked people circling around the ordinance performing the ritual of 'mockery de democracy,
Eye brows were raised over the Gilgit-Baltistan Council not only by the masses of the region but the political parties too started to view the council first with suspicion and latter came opposing the very existence of the council openly. As well placed sources put it 'some ministers of the cabinet while sensing their powerlessness have signaled to oppose the council, The story beyond this needs no explanation and the fate of the so called package is at doldrums. Reality bites and reality of the matter is that the ordinance has failed either to satisfy the masses or the representatives of the masses and the building is soon to collapse at any moment. History has it that the handpicked public representatives have no guts to go against the wishes of their mentors of Islamabad let alone opposing or opting for a direct confrontation as their sole reason is to double if not quartile whatever they had spent during their election campaigns. Besides these so called public representatives are well aware of their powers as these handpicked servants of the public cannot impose any decision on the basis of public mandate and every small ordinance needs the final nod of burocracy.
The burocracy is all too powerful in Gilgit-Baltistan and every elected representative including the so called chief minister (sic!) has to beg the burocracy for implementation of any decision. What can be of more shame than the fact that the chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan has got powers much less than the chief secretary whom he begs for even issues like granting budget to his own constituency. The rampant corruption of burocracy in Gilgit-Baltistan has records and they are accountable to none while posting of high-rank officials in the government departments of Gilgit-Baltistan is carried out by Islamabad while the local elected chief minister cannot even transfer or promote an assistant commissioner.
We had repeated it times and again that Pakistan is not sincere with Gilgit-Baltistan like ever and neither has it trusted the local masses. Every government's target is just to take maximum advantage of the natural resourced of the region and fill their pockets for the term they are in office. The Pakistani rulers have no soft corner either for Gilgit-Baltistan or its dwellers and its only their lust for the natural resources of the region that makes them stick to the region like a parasite. The Pakistani rulers want to take out all the minerals hidden in the mountains of the region, a process they have already embarked on by giving almost all the potential mountains of Gilgit-Baltistan on lease to foreign companies to mine out all the minerals of which not a single penny is spent on the masses. Pakistan has its eyes on the water resources of Gilgit-Baltsitan as the glaciers of the region can run through all the barren areas of Punjab and Sindh to turn them into cultivable land which has resulted in submergence of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The government's handling of Hunza Lake disaster made the evil wishes of Pakistani rulers barely exposed and it reflected the thinking and mentality of these foreign intruders they can submerge the whole Gilgit-Baltistan in order to make water run through the fields of Punjab and Sindh. Diammer dam is another example of the nefarious plans of Pakistani rulers and an eye opener to the common men of Gilgit-Baltistan. Pakistan has completely dismantled the geography of Gilgit-Baltistan over the past six decades to such extend that it is now unimaginable to think that Chitral and Kohistan were once part and parcel of Gilgit-Baltistan. As if the geographical shrinking of the region could not satisfy Pakistani rulers they embarked on an engineered plan to distort the demography of the region by settling people from Punjab and Pakhtunkhwa in Gilgit and converting the indigenous local population to minority.
Time has changed and the masses of Gilgit-Baltistan should for now step forward in light of the thinking of Pakistani rulers and resist against the brutal oppression they are being exposed to for the last six decade. The new generation should be given a free air to breath and the ways to get rid off foreign intruders must be learnt. The masses of the region need to unite against their oppression and bring down the walls of division created by the touts of oppressors on the grounds of sect and language.
The masses need to speak out against the rampant corruption and usurping of their rights which is aided and abetted by the so called public representatives. Its true for the handpicked public representatives too that they should for now get rid of their old habit of bringing their own masses to the altars on the order of people form Islamabad. The so called public representatives should keep in mind that their good old days are gone and the masses have now become more aware regarding their rights. If they have to take on with politics, they should learn its new trends and have to choose anyone of the two. They can either stand with their masses or their mentors of Islamabad but sailing in two boats at one time is not possible now as the time has changed. Gone are the days when the masses were made fool of in the name of packages and rights and they are now completely aware of the fact that packages from Islamabad is not a solution to their problems but it is a problem in itself. The international community too should be informed about the bulldozing of basic human rights in the region and persuaded to play role in granting the masses their rights. Gilgit-Baltistan can no longer be retained as a 'no mans land, no matter heavens fall.