Dear Pamir Times
I was invited to India Institute of Technology, Mumbai to speak on Gilgit Baltistan. Later I talked to the media during the press conference. Unfortunately the media misquoted me on the future of GB and wishes of the local people as the story suggests
First of all let me clarify that it has always been my policy to explain to the media that
1- I, in no capacity claim eligibility to represent the entire GB. I, on behalf of the nationalists always maintained that we desire a free GB, a country of our own with friendly socio-economic, commercial and political ties with all neighbors. Personally, I oppose re-merger of GB with Kashmir; however I appreciate cultural ties between different regions of former princely state of J&K.
2- I mentioned in my presentations and press conferences that the majority still demands merger with Pakistan with genuine autonomy, however, those demanding freedom are also in considerable numbers and growing fast. There is a significant population in southern districts of GB which demands merger with Kashmir and oppose merger with Pakistan as a province.
3- To the question of what do I expect from India; my answer remains: “India and Pakistan should follow the India-China model where they have continued trade relations despite facing border dispute. People of GB cannot wait for India and Pakistan to take another 70 years to resolve the dispute therefore India should play role in revival of transportation on Skardo Kargil road, trade revival connecting GB with Afghanistan and Ladakh will bring prosperity as people in Gangche, Kharmang, Skardo, Astore and Ghizer will be direct beneficiaries. This will also enable divided family members to meet and local cultures to flourish. I do not want India and Pakistan to engage in skirmishes and wars because the first community that feels that impact is the one residing along the LOC.
4- My hosts issued a statement that I am quoting here “Senge ji, saw Asian Age news which was unfortunate and irresponsible. We have taken note of this and will discuss in our next meeting to avoid this in future”.
Senge Hasnan Sering
April 17, 2015