Recently AAJ TV, an emerging media channel, invited advisors of the Northern Areas Legislative Assembly (NALA) in the famous program “Live with Talat”, hosted by Talat Hussain. The advisors shocked all the people of Gilgit – Baltistan by their display of ‘patriotism’. They tried to give the impression that the political mess that Gilgit – Baltistan has been thrown into, by successive governments of Pakistan, does not mean anything and has no impact on the economic, social and cutlural realities of the region. Not only were they misleading the viewers, they also betrayed the people who have voted them into power.
Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), International Crisis Group (ICG), a member of the European Parliament and many other independent wrtiers, analysts and observers have been highlighting the political, economic, cultural and social issues of of our region. Even the Supremem Court of Pakistan, in 1999, accepted the political neglect of the region and directed the government to treat people of Gilgit – Baltistan as citiznes of the country having equal rights, duties and opportunities. It is a fact that the governments have not been been able to comply with the directions of Supremem Court and even today our political status has not changed.
The ‘Advisors’, being on the payroll of the government, could not have been expected to show their real feelings and the emotions of the people of Gilgit – Baltistan. The channel should have invited independent journalists, analysts and public representatives to give a more balanced and realistic picture to its viewers. However, we thank the tv channel for starting the discourse. We hope that it would continue in the future.
On our part we, the so called educated people, need to realize the caliber of our political representatives, their honesty and their determination to solve the long standing constitutional limbo, and reflect on our associations and affinities. The existing breed of politcians, without an exception, consists of opportunists who have been at the helm of things under different guise. Who will lead us? The so-called nationalists, the religious gangsters or those who are more loyal than the King? Is there any hope?