Through a white lie in UN, Pakistan has declared that the people of Gilgit Baltistan are given self-rule and autonomy. Nevertheless, a puppet legislative setup formed in 2009 by the government of PPP is bogus and helpless without a YES from Islamabad. Similarly, the government of Pakistan has leveled many atrocities upon the people of Gilgit Baltistan by exercising various political reforms.
The historical evidence quoted in several books reveal that the state of Pakistan initially refused to accept the area of Gilgit Baltistan because of its adjacent boundary with the Indian Jammu and Kashmir. For a short period, the area was governed by the government of Azad Kashmir. However, in 1949, the government of Pakistan to legitimize its rule over the area signed the Karachi agreement, by which the governance of the area was handed over to the federal government from Azad Kashmir. One of the biggest reason behind the Karachi agreement was to put the area of Gilgit Baltistan in the same context of the issue of Jammu and Kashmir. Doing so would have given an edge to the government of the Pakistan in an anticipated referendum of Jammu and Kashmir, as most of the population in Gilgit Baltistan was willing to join Pakistan. Well played! But, this move severely deprived the area of basic political rights. Just after this two-timing, the peaceful people of Gilgit Baltistan were ruled by the FCR (Frontier Crimes Regulations), a colonial-era setup through which the people of this area received ferocious treatment. They were denied any legal representation along with removing such basic rights of a citizen as an appeal, wakeel, and daleel. Despite having an overlapped political history, at this point in history, the people of Azad Kashmir were possessing a huge number of political rights than the population of GB, who were seeking permissions to travel from one village to another.
Thereafter, a series of reforms were passed by the federal government to curtain its atrocities in front of the international community. These include the 1970s formation of Gilgit Baltistan by merging Gilgit Agency and Baltistan and the formation of Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) in 1994. While striving for a signature of KANA Ministry of Pakistan, this phony council was an illusion of self-rule in the area. From there onwards, the government of Pakistan has been rolling out several reforms packages just to engage political parties in the area, while the political landscape of the area has not been changed enough. These reforms are just paving a way for CPEC and related projects for the country. On the other hand, we keep longing for a political representation in the National assembly. Additionally, we can’t reach out to the supreme court of the Pakistan and most of the political power resides with the federal government of Pakistan.
From the summaries of some important events discussed above, it is poignant to see how the people of GB were made to continue a long-going slavery and political oppression. People of this area celebrate 14th August, they cheer for the Pakistani cricket team, they watch PTV, and they celebrate the joy of Eid like an ordinary Pakistani. Nevertheless, they did not know they will fall in a servitude even after escaping the repression of Dogra raaj.
About the Author : BBA student in IBA, Karachi – Published in Passu Times English dated; 11th November, 2017