A headline looms large on my timeline .Prime Minister to create Gupis-Yasin District soon after elections and the meeting of Sultan Madad, a senior member of the Central Executive Committee Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz from Gilgit-Baltistan with Prime Minester Nawaz Sharif. My first thought is why after elections, why not before? To begin with, the promise is nothing more than an empty commitment which is being made just to increase the voter turnout in the upcoming elections, luring the public Gilgit Baltistan into false hopes.
In my opinion, such ‘promises’ of creating Districts by federalist parties should be viewed through the appropriate lens. We should not give undue weight to this kind of thing in the remaining days coming up to the election. It is one thing to make a promise and another thing entirely to fulfill it. Pakistani politicians are trying to get votes and have no qualms about manipulating voter sentiments to do it. It is ridiculous to make the random promise of making Gilgit Baltistan the fifth province or even the federal capital of Pakistan. It would make far more sense to make a pledge to extend the Metro Bus project. This is something they can get away with doing far more easily because they know an verbal promise is not binding and can’t be expected to be fulfilled. The people of Gupis-Yasin still remember the last visit of the Prime Minster to Hundur Yasin in 1999.
While speaking to a gathering of people there, he promised to establish hospitals to ensure healthcare, stadiums to promote sports in the region, to upgrade the ranks of army personnel belonging to the area, and to ensure the quota for the students in the colleges and universities of Punjab. Not one of the promises was fulfilled. Furthermore, at the federal level, the Shrif brothers have been making empty promises as well. There was the promise of ending load-shedding of electricity within five months after entering the government. Yet the problem is there as it was before.
The public of Gilgit Baltistan doesn’t need any new hot air delivered in the form of campaign rhetoric. The public is still waiting for the fulfillment of the promises made 16 years ago. Some other prominent federalist parties have also started the same strategy with candidates trying to inspire the public by putting out telephonic speeches of their chiefs. Some candidates are visiting the region with the same sort of promises, and the rest are expected to visit the Gilgit Baltistan during the final days before the elections, although none of them bothers to visit when there is flood, curfew, or any other serious issue. The importance of Gilgit Baltistan is only recognized when the elections days are close at hand. The people of Gilgit Baltistan ought to recognize by now the real face of these opportunistic selfish people and parties and hesitate before becoming victims to them again. The public of Gilgit-Baltistan must condemn the false proponents of change.
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