Gilgit - Baltistan

Op-Ed:The Bill for Gilgit – Baltistan humiliated by the National Assembly

by Noor

PML (Q) legislator, Marvi Memon, presented a bill in the national assembly on 12th August, two days before Pakistan celebrated her independence day, seeking provincial status for Gilgit – Baltistan. The bill was unanimously rejected by the house. The bill was rejected because according to the KANA federal minister, Kaira, the issue is ‘sensitive’. He said that the government has increased the budget of Northern Areas Legislative Assembly (NALA) and this, he said, would help bring the people at par with rest of the citizens of Pakistan. He further said that Marvi Memon was playing politics over the northern areas and playing politics over such sensitive matters was against interest of the nation.

Presenting the bill Marvi Memon said on floor of the house that people of Gilgit – Baltistan were being discriminated against by the governments of Pakistan. She addressed the PM saying that he wasn’t interested in affairs of the region. While Marvi deserves appreciation for presenting the bill in the legislative assembly one can’t resist questioning her intentions in doing so.

Let’s remind the readers that father of Marvi Memon, the former KANA minister, was responsible for creation of the dependent and useless NALA in the region. The condition of the region wasn’t any better in those times and the PML (Q), being the government in the center and in Gilgit – Baltistan, could easily have given the much sought status of the ‘fifth province’ for the region. But such thoughts did not cross the minds of Marvi, her father or rest of the ‘well wishers’ of Gilgit – Baltistan’. It seems that the political heroism of Memon family is being tested and sharpened in the leaderless Gilgit – Baltistan.

Nisar A. Memon, father of Marvi, was accused of using his position as minister to pave ways for creating business opportunities for his family in the region. According to news and statements published routinely in the regional press of Gilgit – Baltistan, the minister has bought considerable area of land in the region – especially in Baltistan. In disputed regions the buying and selling of land by parties engaged in the dispute is a controversial issue, condemned vociferously by nationalist forces which also demand enaction of the state-subject rule in Gilgit – Baltistan.

The presentation of such a bill in the national assembly, however, is a unique event. It failed partly because of the stubborn attitude of the establishment and partly because proper lobbying efforts, vital for passing of a bill, were not made by Marvi Memon. It seems that Marvi was just interested in ‘raising the voice’.

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  1. Dear Noor,

    I appreciate your note, but as an older to you, not of course intellectually but in terms of age, and also being a well wisher by all means to your efforts in the form of Pamirtimes, I’d humbly suggest you to avoid being decisive and judgmental over comments coming directly from you. In my very personal opinion, no matter what Marvi Memon and her father are being having material interests in the region, which is per say, so much common in Pakistani politics, this was something unique that the issue of political rights were been presented in front of legislatures of Pakistan. I can’t claim it weather it was for the first time or not but yet it was first time as wider readers of the area got know about it.

    I personally do not comment over issues which are very clear or too complex, over your website. For the later, you may say I may take an escape, but in reality no! If I comment over a complex issue, I with my thoughts will remain in doldrums or remain simmering around as the issue in anyways will remain complex!

    Coming back to the point, what do we mean by political rights? If we look at the constitution of 1973, the KANA is been termed as “de-fecto affiliation” with Pakistan. We are essentially not been reorganized as geographic territory of Pakistan. At the very same time we are also not been recognized under Independent Kashmir. This is an Indo-Pak partition dilemma, which will remain intact till the time South Asian politics remain under unilpolar pressures of alliance or no -alliance in given nuclear ear of power lusts around the world, and in other words “new world order” dynamics.

    As an inhabitant of the region I do not understand the issue of political pasties in the region. Nationalist movements are common in such a geo-political environment as the individual come under the influence of internal and external motives and form a party to move on just horizontally to maintain their status-co and ensure flow of external funding. At the other hand, national based party affiliations are just to keep establishment of the time happy and gain whatever lust individual maintains, materially or morally!

    What is required! In very much my personal opinion

    We do not need to hit our heads to repelling stones of politics…. We have to cash over our strategic location, human resource and natural resource bases…. How to do it…. A big debate…I want to keep the floor open for discussion…..

    With kind regards



  2. I would very much agree with Noor that when Marvi had the power she couldn’t remember us but it is now that she has got aware of the political rights of our people. One of our biggest is the lack of leadership we don’t have one figure that represents the whole NAs. Breeding Leadership is what we need.

  3. we the people of northern areas always seek our freedom of basic rights from irrational ways which we have been testing since 1947,at that time world political senario was very different than today,our region is now aware of what way and how we are treated.our basic rights are not in the hand of federal minister to kashmir and northern areas,but we ourselves has the responsiblity to fight and release our rights,we must create good leaders among us who could prove a genious to our aims which we are waiting since long time.young leaders do more and very vigilantly do tasks which are still decorated in the lockers of supreme court of pakistan.our elected members proved that they are no more than a puppit in the hand of their own interest which has a mutual colour with other federaly apointed authorities .they jointly do what they think in favour of there own inerests, they never go back untill there tenure go long, so now we should nourish great leaders of sufficient courage having union minded and boost up our interestes and who could intact our rights hopefully.whithout battling rights can,t be achieved we have very short time and the task is biger.

  4. Dear Friends

    Marvi Memon has done the right thing to bring the plight of the People of Northern Areas in the Parliament. But, how unfortunate it is to get this bill defeated by Mr. Kaira, the so called Chairman of Northern Areas Legislative Assembly. He thinks that Gilgit baltistan should remain his grazing ground.

    Is it not unfortunate that Mr. Kaira belongs to Gujrat and has no clue of the sensitivies of Northern Areas. Can he explain what is sensitive in Northern Area? violation of basic human rights of one million people or his perception of loosing his power.

    The most unfortunate part is that the people of Norther Areas live a colonial life in thier own country.

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