Pakistan can never make Gilgit-Baltistan one of its provinces, say KNM leaders

PT Report

Gilgit, November 30: Leaders of the Karakoram National Movement have expressed concerns over the agreements being signed between Pakistan and China. The KNM leaders have said that Gigit-Baltistan is a UN declared disputed territory and Pakistan has no rights to make agreements about it with any foreign country without the consent of the region’s populace. They were addressing the media at the Gilgit Press Club today.

Speaking at the press conference, KNM’s Central Chairman Muhammad Javed said that it is clear that Pakistan can never make Gilgit-Baltistan one of its provinces. He said that recent statement by the federal interior minister has clarified Pakistan’s position regarding Gilgit-Baltistan. He also mentioned statements of Federal Minister Barjees Tahir, KANA Secretary Shahidullah Baig, regarding the disputed status of the region. Javed also said that there’s no mention of Gilgit-Baltistan in Article 1 of the constitution of Pakistan, which defines the country’s geography. He said that in 1966 the Supreme Court of Pakistan had said that it is illegal to call Gilgit-Baltistan a part of Pakistan.

The KNM leaders demanded the right of self-determination for the region in light of the resolutions of the United Nations. They also demanded an end to, what they called, the “Colonial rule in the region”. They also mentioned reports by the Asian Human Rights Commission and Europeans about the disputed status of the region, and the issues being faced by populace due to absence of a clear governance model.

The KNM leaders raised the issues of the legality of courts in the region and questioned the life sentences given to progressive and national workers and family members of two Attabad IDPs who were shot dead by police. They said that opening of a sub-brance of NAB Rawalpindi in the region is illegal.

They said that the federal government has failed to resolve the issue of Diamer-Bhasha border dispute. They said that construction of the dam in the disputed territory is illegal and unconstitutional. They said that the federal government is conspiring to give royalty of the dam to the government of KPK.

KNM’s Secretary General Taaruf Abbas and Vice Chairman Amjad Changezi were also present during the press conference.

They said that the federal government should now stop fooling the people by giving one package after the other. “The current presidential order has no constitutional protection and it is not endorsed by the national parliament”, he said.

The KNM leaders also accused the federalist parties of fooling the people of Gilgit-Baltistan by giving them false hopes. They also accused the federalist parties of being involved in corruption and embezzling billions of rupees, while the region’s people continue to suffer due to lack of basic facilities.

It is pertinent to note that Karakuram National Movement is a progressive nationalist party working for the rights of the region since 1984.

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