Which is more important? GB Council members and their perks, or the rights and authority of the people of Gilgit-Balitstan?
By Engr. Ashfaq Hussain Khan
A recent fiasco in connection with the Abolishment of Gilgit Baltistan Council resulting in our Honorable GBC members deprivation of their Perks and Privileges is now being portrayed as something wrong and harsh, done with people of GB as a whole. That decision of dissolution of GB as well as AJK Council was announced in a single statement, that was followed by Notification of annulment of AJK Council after few days, while GB Council, yet not notified to be dissolved officially through any official document.
The perception , being attempted to create by posing GB Council as a life line for people of GB, that maintains their connection with Federation is extremely falsified.. GB Council members have in no way exhibited their worth, performance, guts and ability to fight for the rights of GB on Federal level, rather they have been busy in enjoying perks , submitting their reimbursement vouchers and updating their statuses at social media , attending wedding ceremonies of their Leader’s siblings. Their utmost performance might have been having a photo shoot with a Federal Minister , a statement in a local newspaper in favor of their leadership , enjoying protocol , free accommodation and looking for how to be in good books of a Party leader, while on the other hand giving complete deaf ears to the core issues of people of GB.
The essence of GB Council was to control the entire region of GB through KANA division, where Minister in-charge enjoyed the total control over every individual including CM, Speaker, CS and everybody else. Just to bluff people, PM was said to be the Chairman of GBC, every body knows, how many meetings of GBC were chaired by PM. On ground, the Minister has been the REALITY behind GBC, wholly solly honor of the decisions of GB Council, Kashmir Affairs and having the upper hand over bureaucracy.
Even when anti TAX movement was going on, performance of the GB Council members is an open secret. Core sectors that were related to the VALUABLE resources and potential of this region, control was given to GBC , not to our respected members from GB but to the GBC Secretariat, occupied by some lobby backed by some influential’s, notorious to plunder GB resources by all means. Minerals, Taxes, Forests, Tourism were declared subjects of GBC that are deemed to be the most productive sectors in GB economy having potential to create enormous economic activities within the region, while departments already dependent on federal grant were left with GBLA..
This move to dissolve GB Council will be highly welcomed by all inhabitants of Gilgit Baltistan, provided if the real myth behind it is also abolished, that is the control of Ministry of Kashmir & GB Affairs. Unless this Sole Proprietorship of Minister of KANA division over this region doesn’t come to an end, where the Minister in-charge is the REAL authority behind this whole setup and controlling powers over CM, Governor, CS, Speaker and entire bureaucracy, no positive results thereof expected from just dissolution of GBC, rather it might create more hatred and discomfort among the people of GB, already sensitized by the hostile findings and recommendations of different committees formed for constitutional status of GB and share of GB in CPEC.
Doesn’t matter if we sacrifice perks and protocol of our 6 members of GB Council, if the coarse of actions go as elaborated. These members can be well adjusted somewhere else.
Now as an inhabitant of this region and son of soil, my question to respected GBLA members that,
· Have they proved themselves as competent and vigilant members, who are directly elected by the people of the region
· Have they fulfilled their duties as they were bound to do so or as expected from their voters, in the interest of their people and region without being dictated or influenced by anybody else?
If we look for the answers, majority would respond in negative. While another speculation and unconfirmed news being shared by media people regarding an exact AJK Status offered by Prime Minister of Pakistan and our respected CM has opposed that. If true , its really a Historical Mistake. Once we did a mistake when “unconditionally” our elders, HANDED over our reigns to the Federation of Pakistan, now when the Federation offered to redress that wound, our so called WISE LEADERSHIP again rejected it for unknown reasons ? When you are given the same status as that of State of Kashmir, you can start from where you were detracted. Constitutional Province is the ultimate goal, but still we are reluctant to achieve it, for many reasons, lacking collective wisdom, common interests and recognition of own rights. It might need a sweeping struggle but our national cum society mindset is not up to the mark that could spark that will in our minds. We can stage sit-ins, make hue-and cry and protest for trivial issues of raise in Flour prices and employment or postings but feel not convinced to stand for basic rights, our national tragedy.
Question here is lack of WISDOM or good-bad INTENTIONS..? Are we resting at the same point where we were in 1947, still our minds and approach is at zero levels or else we have been HIJACKED by Illusionists, who have disguised and controlled our REIGNS to decide on behalf of around 2 million inhabitants of GB. People have trusted their representatives by their will and still they are confident that from CM to a member, all are capable, sincere and firm in their standings , in parallel that they are answerable to their people and thus no way to return to them if they failed to defend their rights , along with regional sanctity and interests INTACT.