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Kashmiri writer exposes Pakistan's game plan in Gilgit Baltistan

ANI  |  Asia 

Pakistani rulers are unable to effectively control and govern their own territory and are so obsessed with occupying the territory of Jammu and Kashmir which does not belong to Pakistan, says Dr Shabir Choudhry, a London-based writer and author who originally hails from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).

"They use the tools of fifth generation war and religion to fool the people, and advance their agenda in Gilgit Baltistan, so-called Pakistan occupied Kashmir and in Kashmir Valley, Jammu and Ladakh," adds Choudhry, who is also the president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the United Kashmir People's National Party.

He wrote in his blog, "For all practical purposes, they have occupied Gilgit-Baltistan and PoK; and are actively working hard to destabilise and occupy the territory of Jammu and Kashmir State that is not under their control."

With the help of compliant judiciary, the establishment of Pakistan has further strengthened their hold on Gilgit Baltistan.

Saqib Nisar, who in view of many Pakistani lawyers was the worst Chief Justice of Pakistan, on his last day, gave a controversial verdict on Gilgit Baltistan.

In order to strengthen their hold, Pakistan promulgated the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self Governance Order, 2009, which was challenged by Dr Ghulam Abbas, a local citizen of Gilgit Baltistan.

A larger bench consisting of seven Supreme Court Judges ruled in favour of the Ordinance and extended the Supreme Court's jurisdiction to the disputed areas of Gilgit Baltistan.

India lodged a strong protest against this decision; and reiterated its claim that the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir is "an integral part of India."

India's Ministry of External Affairs statement said, "Pakistan government or judiciary has no locus stand on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it. Any action to alter the status of these occupied territories by Pakistan has no legal basis whatsoever."

India rejected Pakistan's continued attempts to bring material change in these "occupied territories and to camouflage grave human rights exploitation and sufferings of the people living there."

The decision by Pakistan's Supreme Court was unanimously rejected by political and non-political organisations based in Gilgit Baltistan.

Gilgit Baltistan All Parties Conference in its special meeting held to formulate an agreed response unanimously rejected Pakistan's Supreme Court decision and vowed to start a campaign for the rights of the people of Gilgit Baltistan.

It said, "Pakistan should establish a local authority, as envisaged in the UN Commission for India and Pakistan's Resolution, and all powers, apart from Defence, Foreign Affairs and Communication, must be vested in the Gilgit Baltistan Assembly."

"Pakistan must end unfair and cruel laws like Schedule 4 and Anti-Terrorism Act to silence voices of the local people," said the Gilgit Baltistan All Parties Conference.

Zubair Ansari, senior vice chairman of Kashmir National Party, had very serious reservations on this decision. In his written statement, he said, "Pakistani Supreme Court's decision on Gilgit Baltistan is condemnable, and a black law."

In his view, there were many factors, which contributed in not making Gilgit Baltistan a province of Pakistan.

"Article 1 of the Constitution of Pakistan clearly defines Pakistan's territory, and areas of Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir are not constitutional part of Pakistan. Article 257 further clarifies the position of these areas which are part of Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir; and are not a legal part of Pakistan," he said.

Sadiq Subhani, former President of Jammu Kashmir National Awami Party (Britain) in a social media post, said, "The leadership that accepts and praise decision of non-Jammu and Kashmir Supreme Court to change disputed nature of any part of Jammu and Kashmir State is a collaborator of imperialists. These people are not helping the Kashmir dispute; their hidden agenda is accession with another state."

Amjad Yousaf, president of Europe Zone of the United Kashmir People's National Party, said, "No institution of Pakistan has any right to change the constitutional and legal status of Jammu and Kashmir. Gilgit Baltistan is a constitutional part of the former Princely State of Jammu and Kashmir, and any move to change that will be resisted."

"All those who are expressing happiness or satisfaction over the decision of the Pakistani Supreme Court are viewed as collaborators. No loyal son of the soil can express happiness over the attempts of imperialist powers to divide our motherland," he said.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, January 21 2019. 15:16 IST