Islamabad: Chairman of Pakistan People’s Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is scheduled to visit Gilgit-Baltistan and attend a public gathering. This would be his first visit of Gilgit-Baltistan since becoming the Chairman of PPP.
Announcing the visit of Bilawal, former Senator Farhatullah Babar has said that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are being denied their fundamental rights. He has called for an ‘end to the charade’, on a statement posted on social media platform, Twitter.
“G-B People denied rights in name of ‘disputed territory’. End this charade. Beware of ‘GB Protection Movement’ aka PTM. People of Indian J &K are equal citizens, eligible to membership of Parliament, President/ PM, highest judiciary. Why our people of GB cannot have same rights?”, he posted.
Historically, Pakistan People’s Party has introduced various reforms in Gilgit-Baltistan, but all such arrangements have fallen short of the people’s expectations.
A couple of years back, the Pakistan Peoples Party’s Gilgit-Baltistan chapter had started a movement in the region, organizing public gatherings in different areas to demand ‘ownership’ rights over land and other resources. The PPP believes that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan don’t have control over their natural resources, and that is damaging the region’s future economic potentials.
The slogan of “Haq-e-Hakimiyat and Haq-e-Malkiyat”, or right of governance and ownership, gained traction across the region, mobilizing tens of thousands of people.
Meanwhile, critics accuse PPP of raising Gilgit-Baltistan’s issues when they are out of power, and staying silent, or extending oppressive laws to the region, while they rule.
PPP is also accused of damaging the region’s ownership rights by ending the “State Subject Rule”, which disallowed non-residents from purchasing land in the region.