By Dj Mathal
Even the idea, let alone passage, of the so-called 'condemnation resolution' bulldozed by Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) in its seventh sitting was farce and beyond the jurisdiction of the house. No country or even a part of it notwithstanding its size and standing in the world can think of passing a resolution challenging its own survival and legitimacy. The resolution moved by Muttabat Shah has condemned India for raising the Gilgit-Baltistan issue as a disputed region and stopping the World Bank from providing funds to Pakistan for the construction of Diammer-Bhasha Dam in the region. It said the objective of the Indian campaign was to keep Gilgit-Baltistan in perpetual poverty and backwardness and fulfill the conspiracies of international element. The resolution also asked Pakistan to take stringent action against the Indian designs and expose it at the international level. It also claimed that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan had seceded to India through consensus after getting freedom from the Dogra rule over six decades back and still followed their decision happily. The resolution was passed 'unanimously' without any debate in the house.
For the last over six decades Pakistan has accepted Gilgit-Baltistan as part of the disputed state of Kashmir waiting final resolution under the UN mandate. Even on Aug 29, 2009, the prime minister of Pakistan while announcing the Gilgit-Baltistan Self Empowerment Order at the Prime Minister Secretariat had acknowledged that it was a temporary arrangement to provide political and other rights to the people till the status of the region is decided through a plebiscite under the United Nations resolution on Kashmir. But unfortunately, our so called elected representatives despite umpteenth time being told and briefed fail to understand the basics of the issue and are carried away by others. The passage of such a resolution at this juncture is mind boggling and can only be taken as yet another conspiracy, orchestrated by Pakistan and its intelligence agencies, to torpedo efforts being made at the international level to find a permanent resolution to the issue. We understand that Muttabat Shah is not an elected representative of the people in true sense of the world but is a non-serious and incompetent man brought to the assembly on a technocrat seat by some hidden hands to get some of their nefarious agenda fulfilled. It is also a fact that Muttabat Shah and other members of the house even do not understand the ABCs of the Kashmir dispute.
It may be pointed out that even the authors of the latest package have termed the document a temporary arrangement to run the affairs of Gilgit-Baltistan till the final resolution of the Kashmir dispute. It would have been better had the GBLA confined itself to its actual mandate of resolving the day to day issues of the local people. It could have played an active role in municipal issues like water shortage, cleanliness, road construction, healthcare and education facilities' provision and infrastructure development in the region. Here we would like to ask some question from Mr Shah and his likes sitting in the GBLA:
Can you prove that Gilgit-Baltistan no more remains part of the Kashmir dispute and that has the international community, especially the UN, has accepted the region as legitimate part and fifth province of Pakistan?
Do the people of Gilgit-Baltistan will feel satisfied in including their region in Pakistan without the involvement of the UN?
Do the two million people of Gilgit-Baltistan have the same rights and facilities like the people of Pakistan like basic human and political rights and representation in the Senate, National Assembly etc?
Can you justify the subjugation of the people for the last over 63 years and absence of human, political and economic rights in the region?
Can the chief minister of the region say that like in other provinces of Pakistan he enjoys powers and Gilgit-Baltistan has been given all its due rights?
And if the people of Gilgit-Baltistan had seceded to Pakistan happily, then what was the need of the notorious and fraud Karachi Agreement of April 29, 1949?
Is there any court of law to ensure justice to the people? Does the Supreme Court of Pakistan has the jurisdiction over Giglit-Baltistan? Even the SC has itself declared that till resolution of the Kashmir dispute it cannot take any action in the region. Do these so called leaders of Gilgit-Baltistan understand how much Pakistan trusts them. If not why Pakistani citizens have been inducted in the Gilgit-Baltistan Council while a similar council in Azad Kashmir has no Pakistani members? Can GBLA or Mr Shah make Pakistani documents public? These are the questions every patriot citizen of Gilgit-Baltistan is asking and do the GBLA or any of its members have the answers to these questions?
These so called public leaders should understand the fact that the days when people were kept in chains without any fear are long gone. But is the misfortune of the region that the people here have not comprehended the question of nationality and neither fixed a direction for its future. As a result, today people like Muttabat Shah come out in the fore and start lecturing them.
It is also a fact that these and many other questions being asked by us have caused a stir in the whole region and our opponents are trying hard to suppress us by terming and declaring us traitors and agents. However, we trust people's sagacity and sincerity in their cause and also understand that the propaganda against us will hold no water.
It is a fact that the so called resolution by this dummy assembly has weakened Pakistan's stance on Kashmir at the international level. Pakistan. Foreign office, armed forces and all political parties are in unison as far as the issue and nature of the Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan issue is concerned. Gilgit-Baltistan is linked to the issue of Kashmir and a resolution has to be reached through a plebiscite under the UN resolutions.