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[Opinion] Disillusioned People

by Jalal ud Din

Proclamation of the recent autonomy package for Gilgit-Baltistan induced mixed feelings of comfort and dismay among the down trodden people of Gilgit Baltistan. Regretfully, the repeated statements from the Kashmiri leadership and recent meeting of premier of AJ&K with Prime Minister of Pakistan, seems hardhearted actions out of paranoia. Ostensibly, recent abortive attempt to flare up sectarian tension in Gilgit city is a matter of great concern, and it seems that there are some actors intentionally trying to sabotage the recent reforms package.

Glancing through history, it is evident that the people of Gilgit Baltistan never accepted rule of aliens, while living in small independent states, having rivalries among each other, but supportive and united whenever it came to confrontation with an outside enemy. An example of this phenomenon is unity shown by the people of Gilgit Baltistan in 1948 to drive out Dogras from the region on their own fist, and subsequent unconditional accession to Islamic Republic of Pakistan. It is also a vivid proof of their unflinching devotion to Islam.

For more than 60 years people of Gilgit Baltistan remained victims of intrigues under the yoke of bureaucracy without any voice and identity be it the imposition of FCR or the heinous attacks by a sectarian tribal Lashkar in 1988. Unfortunately, the scars of 1988 tension are so deep that still the divide is visible in our mundane life. And there is evidence that hidden hands time and again, instigate tension on sectarian grounds when the ‘need’ arises.

A welcoming sign is the recent camaraderie shown by all segments of society in Gilgit Baltistan on recent reforms, although with logical difference of opinions. It seems that now time has come to understand the delicate nature of our existence, and decode the internal and external intrigues that cause fractions among our ranks.

The sense of repression that pervades in the minds of people of Gilgit Baltistan is a result of willful ignorance showed by the federal government over the years. As a result, an invisible, unnoticed, sense of deprivation has been building up among the people of GB. It is common to see people in and around bazaars, at tea kiosks, talking on politics, and from these talks one can sensibly deduce that there is a big question mark in the minds and hearts of the people about; who are we and what is our identity in the federation of Pakistan?

Now, the people can’t be silent spectators of their miseries. It is time for the authorities to take the issue of Gilgit Baltistan seriously; time has gone by when there was ignorance, now you are facing a more informed and literate people.  Our long standing demand is constitutional rights; give us greater autonomy with Governor from GB and representation in the parliament of Pakistan. 

As far as the voices from the Kashmir are concerned, our question is, if you are demanding ownership of our land on religious grounds the answer is, we had already acceded to Pakistan in 1948, having won our independence in the battle ground, through a telegraphic message sent by the then Mirs of Hunza and Nagar and Mehtar of Chitral. If the answer is no, and you are claiming ownership of our land on the basis of “nationhood”, then sorry, we are not Kashmiris. We are socially, culturally and ethnically different people. We kept our unique identity even under the subjugation of Dogra regime and had demonstrated strong abhorrence of alien rule at many times; the independence war of Gilgit Baltistan being its is the greatest manifestation.

Jalal ud Din is a seasoned development professional, based in Hyderabad, Hunza. He can be reached at

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  1. i really appriciate and regard the words of Jalal Uddin. This is what we should all communicate to the others particularly who claim on us as Kashmiris. i wish that our leadership would speak in this way.

    keep it up! you are the gardians and defenders of the Gilgit Baltistan’s own identiy.

  2. A very good article. I wish if all of us could continue this discussion by refering to more historical facts about the differnces between the history, culture and nationhood of kashmiri’s and people of Gilgit-Basltistan.

    Haveing said that we “the people of Gilgit-Baltistan” filly support the ligitemate right of the people of kashmir to decide their own future but at the same time we are not willing to jeoperdize the future of our generation by hanging ourselves to some one else cause nor we will allow others to do that. Long live Pakistan, Long live Gilgit-Baltistan

  3. Wo bhee kha’if naheen takhta e daar say,
    Main bhee Mansoor hoon, keh do aghyaar say,
    Kyun daraatay ho zindaan ki divar say,
    Zulm ki baat ko,
    Jehel ki raat ko,
    Main naheen maanta,
    Main naheen jaanta.
    Tum nay loota hai sadyon hamara sakoon,
    Ab na hum per chalay ga tumhara fasoon,
    Chara gar main tumhain kiss tara say kahoon?
    Tum naheen charaagar,
    Koi maanay magar,
    Main naheen maanta,
    Main naheen jaanta.
    Deep jis ka mehellaat main hi jalay,
    Chand logon ki khushyon ko lay ker chalay,
    Wo jo saye main har maslihat kay palay;
    Aisay dastoor ko,
    Subh e bay noor ko,
    Main naheen maanta,
    Main naheen jaanta.
    Phool shaakhon pay khilnay lagay tum kaho,
    Jaam rindon ko milnay lagay tum kaho,
    Chak seenon kay silnay lagay tum kaho,
    Iss khulay jhoot ko,
    Zehan ki loot ko,
    Main naheen maanta,
    Main naheen jaanta.

  4. Wonderful article, Jalal !!

    For the purpose of our knowledge, can a professional like you or a researcher student of History, tell us in more details, as to whether :

    1. copy of that telex of the then Mir is available,
    2. copy of any reference book or documentation/correspondences on the process of GB’s accession to Pakistan
    3. have these evidences been shared while trying to determine the status of GB ?
    4. Was this accession challenged by India at UN ?
    5. If challenged, then, was the accession of GB to Pakistan defended, if not why not ? if yes, were such evidences provided by the Government of Pakistan, if yes then why the decision remained pending ?
    6. What was the result of cases on GB’s constitutional status when filed on few occasions ?

    My request is to the historian’s who know the facts, who can share with the people of GB for enhancement of their knowledge including me.

    I would, therefore, suggest to the students of history and political sciences to carry out case studies of the process as to:

    a. What was the reason for delay in giving constitutional rights to the people of GB despite GB’s accession to Pakistan, and

    b. What are the main decisions that are making people of other regions misinterpret by ignoring GB’s accsion to Pakistan in 1948 ?

    c. How can our people support the Government of Pakistan in proving GB’s accession to Pakistan and giving it an actual provincial status – being the integral part of Pakistan.

    Long Live Gilgit-Baltistan as a Province, Long Live Pakistan as a Nation/Country.

    Mehmood Hunzai

  5. this is nothing, they r just playing with the emotions of gilgit baltistan’s people. this is not first time they have played many time with the emotions of our people. the gilgit baltistan people wants two things give complete rights or leave us,,,,,,we have been shutting our months since last 61 years now we will speak and nobody will keep us stop. people now understand what is going on around them and why they are backward from the world. who does steal there dignity, honor, self independence etc.

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