Gilgit: Shehbaz Khan Advocate, Chairman GB Lawyers Action Committee for Constitutional Status, in a press release has appealed to the political leadership of Indian Occupied Kashmir & AJK to avoid giving statements opposing proposed constitutional status and rights to the people of GB. He has said that the people of GB have been denied basic rights for the last 68 years, by using them as sacrificial goat for the Kashmir conflict. He has urged the Kashmiri leaders to show respect for the sentiments of the people of Gilgit Baltistan. He has said that opposing views by Kashmiri leaders broadening gaps between the people.
He said that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan do not consider their home land as a “Disputed Territory” at all, as the same has been liberated by the people of GB themselves after a period of 82 years illegal and unlawful occupation, as a result of invasion and forceful merger by the Dogram regime in 1865. He has said that denying fundamental constitutional rights to the people of GB even after its liberation, by linking it with Kashmir Issue, is not only an unjustified act but also a denial and disgrace to the blood of hundreds of martyrs of Gilgit-Baltistan’s war of liberation.
Shehbaz Khan Advocate has questioned the claim of the political leadership of AJK & J &K of considering GB as part of a ‘Utopian State of J & K having no existence now in the globe and which in-fact became a closed chapter as soon as the Maharaja Hari Singh acceded with India on 26 October, 1947, and the people of GB liberated their home land on 1st November, 1947 , as a result of local indigenous revolution and AJK came into existence as a result of Pak Army & Tribal Lashkaries help and assistance in 1948.
“If the people of occupied Kashmir Valley & AJK are desirous in revival of previous J & K State and bringing back the same Dogra Regime as their rulers then they can please go ahead but they should not drag the people of GB in this game, because the people of GB have already got rid of the occupiers, after a year long war and armed struggle, and acceded with Pakistan voluntarily”, reads the press release.
Shehbaz Khan Advocate in his press statement has expressed concerns over keeping GB away from the mainstream status and rights and linking of independent, liberated and independent GB with Kashmir Issue by concealing the facts of accession of strategically located Gilgit & Hunza, Nagar States from UN since April 1948 & thereafter non acceptance of accessions and denial to make GB as constitutional part is an act of gross mistake infect as for as national interest of Pakistan is concerned.
Shehbaz Khan Advocate opined that in case of holding of plebiscite, if the people of Indian Occupied J & K can take part , despite the fact that the Occupied J&K has been made part of India provisionally under Article 370 & 35 A of Indian Constitution, then the people of GB could also take part in the plebiscite in case of GB given the “Same Constitutional Status & Rights” under the domain of Constitution of Pakistan till settlement of Kashmir Dispute.
Shehbaz Khan Advocate said that microscopic view on the UN Security Council & UNCIP resolutions will prove the fact that the territories of Gilgit Baltistan have never been mentioned there and these resolutions speak about a dispute between the two parties of Pakistan and India in respect of holding a plebiscite in “Jammu & Kashmir Regions” either to accede India or Pakistan under UN supervision under Chapter 6 but having no third option. The Resolutions does not speak about the revival of previous Jammu Kashmir State as well. Thus the dragging of GB into this conflict having a different historical entity & independence since centuries and having nothing to do with the Amritsar Pact 1846 and got liberated already from the illegal occupation of the Dogra Regime is extremely unfair and unjust. Thus the present claim of political leadership in respect of GB as part of State of Jammu & Kashmir is unfounded and illogical.
He has asked the political leadership across the LOC, already enjoying legal and democratic rights guaranteed under Dual Constitutions & Acts based governing systems since 1948 & 1974, to look at the sufferings of the people of GB caused by denial of constitutional rights. He has demanded of the Kashmir leadership to give weight-age to the centuries old independent background of GB instead of considering only 82 years of illegal and forcible merger of some parts of GB with the State of Jammu & Kashmir. He has said that the state of J&K was established on 16th March 1846 and it ended on 26th October 1947 when Maharaja Kashmir acceded with India.
“The time has come to consider sufferings and deprivations of the two million people of GB since 68 years to win their hearts instead of talking about the territories of Gilgit Baltistan all the time specifically at the time when the Federation wants to give something to the deprived people of GB in respect of constitutional rights.”