Thu. Feb 9th, 2023

The Dilemma of Gilgit-Baltistan’s Vote Casting Rights

By Arifeen Iqbal Barcha

I love the way no one has realised the fact that over 2 million people will have no say this year in choosing who will rule them for the next 5 years.

Everyone, all over Pakistan, from powerful personalities, to average people on social media and elsewhere have been encouraging people to vote while they have forgotten about the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Being from GB, I can join the army, but I cannot vote in my homeland, and I cannot become a member of the parliament.

Is democracy only for the people of KPK, Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan? Are the people of GB to be disregarded while policymakers make decisions during the next five years about OUR land, without OUR consent??

If every vote matters, then why have you forgotten about the people of GB, the land through which Pakistan’s economic corridor with China is going to pass ; the land which is advertised by Pakistan to attract foreign tourists?

Are we to be ignored while other people choose leaders we have NO hand in choosing, decide what’s best for our land and our people, while we look on helplessly hoping it all turns out for the best?

If that does not sound like neocolonialism, and a serious breach of our human rights, then I don’t know what is.

All my people can hope for is that whoever comes into power keeps our interest in mind, as any legislative assembly that comes into power in GB is subservient to decisions the prime minister that YOU selected makes for an entire region.

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