[Advocacy] Human Rights and the people of Gilgit – Baltistan

Faced with political and constitutional limbo, Gilgit – Baltistan has a special place in the world community. The region’s unique cultural and natural heritage remains under developed and under utilized, mainly because of absence of an enabling governance mechanism.

The 63 years of political and constitutional deprivation have resulted in a social stagnation that leads to violation of globally accepted Human Rights.

Pamir Times has started a series of 06 posts in which we will highlight the 30 articles of the Universal Human Rights Declaration (UHRD).

In this first post of the weekly series we are putting the first 5 articles of the UHRD for awareness and contextual discussion.

Article 1.

  • All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2.

  • Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. Furthermore, no distinction shall be made on the basis of the political, jurisdictional or international status of the country or territory to which a person belongs, whether it be independent, trust, non-self-governing or under any other limitation of sovereignty.

Article 3.

  • Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

Article 4.

  • No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms.

Article 5.

  • No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

Five more articles of the Universal Human Rights Declaration will be published on next Friday.

Are these articles applicable in our region?


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    We have to have our own Province ” Being Citizen of Pakistan” we lack a place within Pakistan called . 5 th Province of Pakistan of Pakistan ” The Gilgit & Baltistan ” this is our common rights of being a citizen of Pakistan.

    1. Appreciate the steps taken by consecutive peoples party governments in undertaking reforms in Gilgit-Baltistan

    2. However, two points need to be clarified at outset:

    a. Either Gilgit-Baltistan is part and parcel of Pakistan or it is a separate territory controlled by Pakistan without any legal, constitutional, political and moral authority. There is no third reality. No hoch-poch, and ifs and buts and excuses.

    Now, if it is part of Pakistan, it needs to be protected by the constitution of Pakistan and Article 1 of the constitution of Pakistan must clearly state, Gilgit-Baltistan as its federating unit. Secondly, it should be given full representation in the parliament of Pakistan and share in the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award and seated at all decision making forums where all federating units of Pakistan are represented.b. If it is Not constitutionally part of Pakistan, then the government of Pakistan, who promised to the UN in 1948 to administer the region through local authority, the area should be given full autonomy.3. The present Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009 is a step in the right direction, but it does not fulfil the aspirations and needs of the people and the area.

    There are following key challenges for the next government, the nationalists, the political parties and the civil society to struggle for:First, provide genuine self-rule and self-determination, the right to govern our own affairs on our own land, and take control of our own resources including water, forests, mineral, border trade and other resources;Second, restoration of the state subject rule to stop balkanization of the area by outside people and interests; Third, settlement of border disputes with NWFP and return Chitral to Gilgit-Baltistan put under the administrative control of NWFP during colonial times;Fourth, strengthening the institutional, legal and administrative capacities of the Gilgit-Baltistan administration, building the capacity of the departments to develop and implement pro-poor, pro-gender, pro-growth, pro-culture and pro-environment policies, programmes and processes;Fifth, strengthen the capacity of the judiciary to dispense justice for all and develop the capacity of Gilgit-Northern Scouts, KSF and the Gilgit-Baltistan Police to take care of their internal security and control law and order situations. Sixth, strike a new social contract with the people, focus on poverty reduction, economic growth, democratization and social sector development and most importantly elimination of corruption through decentralizing the local government system and promoting holistic development at grassroots levels through community governments at village and union levels, and devolving powers and functions to Tehsil and district levels.And finally and most importantly, maintain and strengthen the fragile peace and social harmony through inter-communal dialogue, respect for each other, promoting pluralism and relationship building at various levels especially engaging the youth and women.Let plurality of views flourish in Gilgit-Baltistan, let peace, development and democracy prevail. Let the progressive and open-minded people take leadership roles in their parties, in government and in society. And let the young, who now represent over 70% of the demography take leadership and speak for themselves and for their future.The international rights forums, the EU, UN and other rights groups, media and civil society in Pakistan must advocate for the legitimate rights of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, who are at the marginal-end of state-periphery relations and constitute ethnic and cultural minorities in the mainstream Pakistan, besides disenfranchised of their rights to self-determination and local governance in a disputed territory.

    Key Demands of the educated youth and civil society of Gilgit Baltistan:1. Provide broadband technology and link all villages through affordable internet service to allow the youth to take advantage of the enormous opportunities offered by the knowledge society.

    2. Develop a regional electricity grid in Gilgit-Baltistan which could be later linked to the national grid.

    3. Establish state of the Art and Techno-vocational Skill Development Institute one in Skardu and other in Gilgit.

    4. The President as Chancellor of KIU may request His Highness the Aga Khan to provide support to Karakoram University and affiliate it with the University of Central Asia (UCA) and Aga Khan University Karachi.

    5. Establish Centre for Entrepreneurship at KIU with support from USAID

    6. Create Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with the border with China and establish quarantine facility at the Sost port for exporting fruits, vegetables and local produce to China.

    7. Develop a model local government system for GB which is relevant to its history, culture and special mountain context as pre-requisite for grassroots democracy, learning from the developed countries models of local government in mountain areas such as the Alps.

    8. Undertake regional integration projects with China, Afghanistan and Central Asia by building circular road networks, railway system and power grids.

    – APML (HUNZA) Gilgit & Baltistan!/note.php?note_id=169766496378234&id=100001046186511

    1. to whom it may concern. i have three points to reply. 1 gilgit people, what will they do in parliament? what if they have other issues that concern them. they will be brought up. 2. pakistan needs to give rights to gilgit baltistan kashmir. so UN should be brought in to count favorable vote for pakistan. after UN approval we could add in the constitution. gilgit could form membership in parliament. this will bring action postive to held kashmir by india. UN will say kashmir can’t be solved bilateral but UN should strp in. [ 3] chitral was part of gilgit agency long time ago. the first time it formed gilgit agency. swat dir chitral khulara were princly states that merged with pakistan. all these states were independent not part of khyber pakhthunkhwa or gilgit baltistan. in yahya years he merged all these states with pakhthunkhwa. the biggest princely states are kashmir and gilgit baltistan. all the rest merged with provinces. so we can’t discount this state chitral, it was not part of gilgit agency when freed. chitral can merge with gilgit as it want. what if chitral choses to be free from gilgit and peshawar? chitral gilgit baltistan state rename would be perfect for chitralis. are you going to keep chitral on the same track as “ladakh” in jammu and kashmir? or give chitral a name in the state.

  2. Dear Readers,
    A tiny defecto Province of Gilgit and Baltistan has been set up without provision of any adequate resources. The Bureaucracy in Gilgit and Baltistan has become helpless in the hands of those who are unable to run and manage the public affairs. The common man of Gilgit Baltistan is in fact political orphan. With the formation of a full fledged Provincial set up, a number of important positions have been created in Gilgit and Baltistan. There is very shortage of experienced people in the new set up. A number of Officers belonging to Gilgit and Baltistan competed for federal positions in seventies. among them were Abdul Wahid Joint Secretary Retired, Wazir Farman Ali Joint Secretary retired, Ahmad Shamsu Huda Executive Direcor NIPS Retired and Nisar Hasan Khan Joint Secretary Retired. Amanullah Khan also retired as Senior Chief from Planning and Development Division, while Dr.Sabit Rahim Retired from the position of Joint Economic Adviser Planning and Development Division. Dr. Sher Zaman Khan Retired as a Joint Secretary of Establishment Division. Non of these were reemployed by the federal Government though all of them were highly competent and honest officers belonging to Gilgit and Baltistan and enjoyed very good health, the a is nobody is prepared to look after political orphans. It was only Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, who looked after the common person of Gilgil and Baltistan. Most recently, Syed Mohammed Ali Shah Joint Secretray DMG, Shakir Shamim Joint Secretary (PAAS) and Mohammed Anwar Khan BS-21 Secretariat Group have retired from Federal Government service. All the 3 Officers were ignored for reemployment by the present Regime especially by the Prime Minister, as these officers have no link with Multan Lobby, whereas very incompetent and doubtful honesty from Multan have been reappointed on important assignments. Will the Prime Minister’s Secretariat tell why all of the above have been ignored for utilizing their services?

  3. No Prime Minister Secretariat will nor answer you because first of all they will have to develop personal relationship with Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani and then will have to assure him that they will give him monetary benifite of what they will earn from the service. They will have to follow the model of Rao Shakeel, former Director General Hajj, to get posting and appointments.

  4. I am sure the Government of Gilgit and Baltistan will take care of them by utilizing their experience in different fields. The present Chief Secretary Mr.Chatta is very competant officer of the District Management Group, he wants to serve the people of Gilgit and Baltistan and do something for them. Mr.Ehtsham Khan in the Ministry of Gilgit and Baltistan is also a neutral Officer, and likes to serve the people and promote betterment of the people of Gilgit and Baltistan. Mr>Manzoor Ahmad Watto, Federal Minister for KA and Gilgit and Baltistan also wishes to develop interests of the people of these areas.

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