By Justice (r) Muzaffar Ali
The people of Gilgit Baltistan acknowledge the claim of General Raheel Sharif, the Chief of Army Staff, that he knows better and understands well the people of Gilgit Baltistan. Indeed, the army chief understands more than anybody else; even a soldier of Pak army knows and understands better than anybody about the people of Gilgit Baltistan, because the army soldiers and officers do not spend their tenure of service in Gilgit city but they serve the nation at the borders with an open eye. Therefore, the army officers better understand the hardships, poverty, sacrifices and allegiance of the people of Gilgit Baltistan.
Worthy chief, you are fully acquainted with the loyalty of people of Gilgit Baltistan and you are witness to the fact that since their independence, no person from Gilgit Baltistan has been found involved in espionage for an enemy country. No intelligence network of any enemy could penetrate into the Gilgit-Baltistan region.
Dear Chief, you have first information about adversities of the people of Gilgit Baltistan and their difficulties in travelling from one place to another due to mountainous terrain, specially in border areas of Siachin and Kargil, where you have served.
Your good-self has rightly addressed the youth of Gilgit-Baltistan that the Pak army is theirs, and I would like to say that, of course, Pak army is of our youth’s and our youth is of Pak army’s. Hearts of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are beating for Pak army and you know better the sacrifices of lives by the youth of Gilgit Baltistan in the liberation war 1947 against the Dogras, in the year 1965 and 71 against the India, and encounters against the Indian Army in Siachin Glacier. During the Kargil war the role of soldiers from Gilgit-Baltistan is exemplary and the Pak army has endorsed and recognized the role by awarding Nishan-e-Haider to a son of Gilgit Baltistan along with other military awards to other officers and jawans.
Honorable chief, your good-self is well aware that the loyalty of our people is above board. They are by birth Pakistanis and this fact is barefaced from their demand since their independence that the region be made a constitutional part of Pakistan and their fundamental rights be safe guarded by the constitution of Pakistan. However, the governments in Islamabad do not take this issue seriously. Therefore, we the people of Gilgit Baltistan, solicit your kind attention towards this chronic and core issue. Though your institution is not directly concerned with [this issue], but you may use your offices to resolve this issue, which is also having strategic importance and once it is resolved no enemy can exploit the grievances of the people of Gilgit Baltistan.
Last but not the least, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and myself appreciate your categorical response to the false statement of Modi, the prime minister of India and other enemy forces. We make you assure that the people of Gilgit Baltistan are behind you like an iron-wall and they warn the enemy to beware of any intrigue against Pakistan as our nation is united in national issues. The government as well as the opposition is at one page. The nemesis must understand that our army and other security institutions are awake under the bold and brave leadership of their chief. I, at this stage, would like to thank the chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan for convening the successful seminar on vital issue of “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.”
The contributor is a retired judge of the Supreme Appellate Court of Gilgit-Batlistan. He can be reached at Muzaffaralibagoro266@gmail.com.