Wajahat A. Dar
As if CPEC is starting from Peshawar and ending at Gawadar, there is no proper and useful mentioning of Gilgit- Baltistan in the project. Which clearly indicates that the area will be traversed and it will be used only to bridge rest of Pakistan with China.
The four CMs represented their provinces and they are duly concerned about their provincial interests and by no means, they will not compromise in their due share. No one was representing province of GB in OBOR conference.
There has been so much hue and cry in social, print and electronic media about the rights of Gilgit Baltistan and it’s due share in CPEC but the central government is playing deaf and dumb game from the very beginning of CPEC. The provincial government of Gilgit Baltistan is not taking any clear position in this core issue neither trying to address the concerns of its people on CPEC. In such circumstances, a sense of deprivation is poisoning the minds of youth of Gilgit-Baltistan. They are just enquiring and no one is there to answer their queries.
The major political powers in the area have federal associations and background, that is why, they can’t take a firm stand in this regard. The nationalist parties are now quite ineffective to raise their concerns. The scenario is getting even worse day by day with no real representation of GB in national and international forums. The scarcity of a true leadership can be directly linked to the depressed socio-political awareness in the masses of GB, though literacy rate is touching 70% in the area.
People of GB are wholeheartedly loyal to the federation of Pakistan. Whenever Pakistan has faced any threat to its security and integrity, whether it’s kargil war or the operations against the terrorist outfits in tribal regions, the people of GB never let the federation down in any way.
People of GB are serving across Pakistan in every field happily as other fellow Pakistanis. Despite of all these sacrifices, there is a sense of fear among the people of GB that if they will ask, they will be labelled as insurgents and rebels. This fear is growing and no one is bothering to eliminate it from the minds of people of GB. Over the years, there have been countless debates among the locals about their concerns but all in vain with no output. Despite of all this, the patriotism and loyalty of GBians towards Pakistan, can’t be doubted and questioned.
But the question remains the same, for how long, this mess about rights and representation is going to continue. Majority of the populace believes that until and unless, there is no real, effective and competent political leadership, the sufferings of GBians are not going to end.
The merger of GB as constitutional province, representation and share in CPEC, representation in NFC award and many other core issues will continue to haunt the minds of GBians in the near future until and unless there will be no real and competent leadership who will address their concerns and represent them in national and international forums.