Lawyers fraternity ups the ante on Gilgit-Baltistan’s constitutional status

Gilgit, September 21: The lawyers’ fraternity in Gilgit-Baltistan has called on the state of Pakistan to make special ‘temporary’ changes in its constitution to ensure the region’s representation in ‘all constitutional bodies of the country. They have demanded the rights under the “Dual Constitutional Systems” given to the people of Occupied J & K since 1948. This, the lawyers have said, offers a solution for maintaining the region linked to the Kashmir issue, while also giving it the long denied rights of self-rule.

These demands were shared with the media today a press conference in Gilgit by a group of lawyers headed by Advocate Shahbaz Khan. The lawyers also said that Pakistan needs to ensure Gilgit-Baltistan’s representation in the bodies responsible for planning and implementation of projects related to the Pak-China Economic Corridor. They said that the Gilgit-Baltsitan should be declared as a tax-free zone and major power projects should be constructed in the region as part of the 45bn USD economic corridor.

The lawyers said that they have set up committees and a media center to raise the issues pertaining to Gilgit-Baltistan’s constitutional deprivations within and outside the country through ‘aggressive campaigns”, said a handout given to the press.

The lawyers also thanked the participants of an All Parties Conference held the other day in Gilgit which had made similar demands. They lawyers proposed initiation of a “Movement for Constitutional Status of Gilgit-Baltistan”, urging political parties to join hands with civil society organization for this purpose.

The text of the handouts given to the press are appended below for further reading;

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  1. It has been long , since different governments come and go,but there has been no progress on core issue of Constitutional status of Gilgit Baltistan. other than few Lollipops of Legislative Assembly , Ghost Provincial status or some sort of superficial remedies and cosmetic tools adopted to address the long awaited status , constitutional limbo.
    For the Federal government now, if they are relying on PCEC for country economy and future, they must accept the right of self determination of the people of GB.Claiming the resources of this area belonging to Pakistan and on the other side, refusing to accept this area as part of Pakistan has now become a REAL question mark for all….?

    1. Very true and its really a tragedy that Federal parties have yet not been able to cater to the basic human rights of this highly volatile area.IT wont work now if Government of Pakistan tries to own its resources and denying its rights..

  2. Now or never ,,,,doctors and teachers; and other organization should raise their voice. I appreciate the Lawers to initiate the movement.

  3. I would like everyone who consider Gilgit-Baltistan as their homeland to leave all matters aside for a moment and start demanding their right to have a say in matters which directly affect them. To show their respect for the human as well as non-human sections of their homeland and start taking some responsibility. I know it is not realistic of me because there are many wise men who are better suited to make a call to action. I know I am less than a sickly child among glorious men of thought and of letters. However, I have one thing to offer. I have a bouquet of questions. These can be the spark for further discourse and development of this movement so belated in its timing. I am contributing what I can( my opinion) and so shall you and others. I believe in humble beginnings. In the spirit of my people who are said to be “loyal but not obedient”. I believe in their loyalty to their brothers and sisters. I believe in their bravery and in their inextinguishable energy. I also believe in my people being at least equal to others. Therefore, my people cannot be left ignored. Or deprived of any right that others might enjoy.

  4. Ignorance is the real issue, we all need to raise our voice, educate the locals first and along with it Pakistanis from other parts, many support GB given a Provincial status.

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