Gilgit Balistan

Heading Towards Bloody Revolution

Gilgit Baltistan (formerly known as the Northern Areas) of Pakistan, called the Roof of the World, where people are still deprived of their fundamental rights guaranteed under a constitution, which in fact, is a violation of International Charter of Human Rights to which Pakistan is a signatory.

The present administrative, judicial and legislative system in Gilgit Baltistan (GB) run under the provision ofan executive order of Gilgit-Baltistan (Empowerment & Self-Governance) Order 2009,which is “deliberate violation of the decision and directives of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in 1999, to give the people of Gilgit Baltistan a governing and judicial systemguaranteed under a constitution.”

Shehbaz Khan Senior Advocate Gilgit Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court Bar has raised the demand of making amendments in GB(Empowerment & Self Governance) Order 2009 by giving powers to the chosen GB Legislative Assembly & the Chief Minister as done in case of Pakistan & Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK). Also demanded to legislate Minerals, Forest, Tourism and Hydro Power being provincial subjects as done in Pakistan as well as PoK. He has opposed the policy of import and appointment of non-local lawyers and judges against the posts in apex judiciary, administrative courts and other law related institutions in Gilgit Baltistan.

Whereas Manzoor Hussain Parvana, chairman Gilgit Baltistan United Movement (GBUM) has demanded that the order of 2009 should be abolished without any delay because it had failed to ensure the rights of the people and instead created more problems for the people of the region.

Lately, thousands of people staged a protest rally in Roundu village of Baltistan, demanding political, economic and constitutional rights. More than that, protesters demanded international road links with Tajikistan and Ladakh. The call for protest was given by GBUM and Open the Frontiers Movement.

While addressing the demonstrators, Manzoor Hussain Parvana, raised the questions “if Punjabis of Punjab can trade with India through Wahaga, if Balochis of Baluchistan can trade with Iran, if Pashtuns of KPK can trade with Pashtuns of Afghanistan, why Baltis of Skardu cannot trade with Baltis of Ladakh? Why people of Gilgit Baltistan cannot trade with Tajikistan?”

Speakers from MQM, PMLN, PTI and other parties also criticized Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Gilgit Baltistan terming it an unproductive tour with traditional rhetoric of changing the fate of the region. Syed Haider Shah Rizvi, Chief Organizer of Open the Frontiers Movement, demanded the opening of Skardu-Kargil road immediately so that the people of Gilgit Baltistan can look for alternative means of subsistence.“If the federal government does not open the Skardu Kargil road, we will not shy away from marching towards Ladakh,” Rizvi declared.

About the roadmap of Gilgit Baltistan United Movement, Parvana termed it as the roadmap to independence “the movement is aimed at freeing Gilgit Baltistan from Pakistan occupation. You need a genuine movement to achieve this goal and the GBUM is a platform of the region, for the region and by the masses of the region and I feel proud in claiming that it's the only national political party of the region" He further elaborated that Gilgit-Baltistan was historically and economically an independent state and the international community and the United Nation had stood with masses of the region at times of adversity.

It is a well-known fact that GB, having two million of peopleis a disputed region. According to Parvana Gilgit-Baltistan being a disputed region and Pakistan had no right to impose tax on the people of the region. He said Pakistan has misled the world by introducing the so-called autonomy and self-governance order of 2009 to force a powerless and fraud system in the area. He said that the area was one of the richest of the world and Pakistan took away over Rs60 billion from the area under different taxes every year but in return gave the indigenous people a paltry sum of around 10 billion annually that too in installments.

Pakistan very clandestinely is implementing the plan of changing GB demography by terminating the region’s State Subject Rules.

The main responsibilities of this pathetic state of affairs lie on the government of Pakistan but we cannot exempt India from shunning her responsibilities as India claims Gilgit-Baltistan as hers but failed to raise befitting voice against human rights violations here, lament Parvana.

Giglit - Balistan

Non-locals residing, conducting business and acquiring land/property

It is considered that the 1927 State Subject Rule promulgated by the last Dogra Maharajah Hari Singh in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir has been violated, suspended or held in abeyance in Gilgit Baltistan, particularly since the Bhutto era in the early 1970's. The figures cited below have a margin of error not more than 10% of each figure quoted.

District Wise Data (%)

District City Business Properties
Gilgit Gilgit 60.00% 35.00%
Jiglot 50.00% 20.00%
Ghizer Gahkuch 70.00% 30.00%
Gupis 60.00% 50.00%
Yasin 20.00% 10.00%
Chatorkhand 20.00% 15.00%
Diamer Chilas 35.00% 40.00%
Baltistan Skardu 20.00% 10.00%
Ghanche Khapulo 15.00% 8.00%
Hunza-Nagar Aliabad 15.00% 0.00%
Sost 40.00% 5.00%
Astore Eidgah 20.00% 15.00%

Major flourmills, petrol pumps, hotels and transport companies also belong to non-locals. While 80% of trade with China trade at Sost border (in Hunza-Nagar), 60% of timber business also belong to non-locals. Needless to add, the demography of Gilgit-Baltistan is at serious risk, if not already heavily undermined.

Above is sign of demographic change in GB by Pakistani rulers.Pakistan want to change the local majority into minority. And pakistan want to use these non locals for plebiscite. This is violation of basic human rights.

People of GB are feeling insecure as well due to Sino-Pakistan border agreement. In Sino-Pak border agreement of 1963 Pakistan had given over 19,360 square kilometers of Gilgit Baltistan to China in which large tracks of Aghil, Shimshal, Raskam and Shaksgam valleys of the region falls.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif during his visit to china and signed multiple projects agreement with his counterpart. But Gilgit Baltistan was not taken on board when Pakistan entered in an agreement with China which has caused political uncertainty and fear among the natives.

Charter of Demand

  • In the light of UN resolution of January 5, 1949, the UN Security Council must ensure genuine political, judicial, economic and cultural autonomy in Gilgit Baltistan.

  • Pakistanhas failed to ensure security in Gilgit Baltistan, UNO must station its peace keeping troops in the disputed region

  • Pakistan must be asked to open traditional trade routes leading towards India and Tajikistan which can help sustain local economy and provide alternate safe routes to travel as currently, travel on the Karakoram Highway is life threatening.

  • Violating UN resolutions,Pakistanabolished State Subject Rule in Gilgit Baltistan in 1974 and subsequently settled tens of thousands of her nationals to change local demography. Today the people of Gilgit Baltistan are threatened with ethnic cleansing. UNO must askPakistanto respect UN resolutions and remove her citizens who have damaged the social fabric by spreading extremism.
  • UNO must ask Pakistan to remove fake sedition cases and release all political prisoners. A UN commission must be sent to Gilgit Baltistan to assess gross human rights violations, killings, detentions and torture of political workers.


More by :  R C Ganjoo

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