Thu. Dec 9th, 2021

Fifth Generation Warfare and Gilgit Baltistan

By Sher Ilyas

The world of today, owing to scientific technology, is changing so rapidly that every next minute seems considerably novelized over the bygone, giving a new shape to the state of affairs on various fronts. Conventional methods of doing things continue to lose their productivity and reliability apace. Consequently, accentuating the indispensable need of techno-friendliness and
updated adroitness.

Conventional warfare of army-oriented arms conflict has now been technologized to what we call ‘fifth generation warfare’ which simply, is to distort the perception of young minds through social media by inciting them against the state and its institutions so as to create instability in the country.

Gilgit Baltistan, in this regard, is perhaps most ad rem to talk about.

In the wake of recent developments in GB where Abdul Hamid, notorious anti-national, after almost twenty-years long exile made appearance in local media with a picture of a meeting withthe local journalists and subsequent press release denouncing what he has been advocating all these years Separate Gilgit Baltistan.

In the press release he mentions to have received 25000 Euros monthly from Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) for insurgent activities in Gilgit Baltistan. Nevertheless, he states to have not used a single penny for the said purpose instead used that money in philanthropic works. He accentually conveys the message that no-one is well-wisher of Gilgit Baltistan except Pakistan. Law and constitution-abiding demands
deliberated over the negotiating table is the only way to go about to address the grievances of GBians. He has also ashamedly sought apology for barking up the wrong tree. In reaction, unanimous disavowal from GBians of any connection and of his cause, on social media sites, is
worth their salt.

It would be no exaggeration if I may say Gilgit Baltistanees are the loyalist when it comes to being loyal with the state, Pakistan because in the world of rampant separatist movements probably it is one of its kind that seeks accession to the state.

Let’s refresh our historical knowledge, in bird’s eye view perspective, about this land of beauty which decries the seventy-three-year long constitutional limbo. Having been hedged by three nuclear powers, it stretches from mountain ranges of Himalaya to Karakoram embracing world’s second largest mountain, K-2 and glaciers of Siachin and Baltoro in its lap. It also provides the only land route to China and gateway to CPEC. Formerly GB was the part of princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. It was in 1935 when Soviet Union’s threatening expansionism in Central Asia made Maha Raja of Jammu and Kashmir to give it to British government on lease and Colonel Durand was appointed as the political agent. To the immaturity of this contract, in 1947 at the time of partition Maha Raja transgressed the lease agreement by capturing Gilgit agency with the help of 6 battalion of Jammu and Kashmir that was installed 40 miles from Gilgit at Bunji. Brigadier Gandhara Singh as appointed as the governor of Gilgit agency and Baltistan. It wasn’t too late that the Muslim army led by Colonel Hassan with the help of brave indigenous stick-wielding populace defeated Dogra Raj and Gandhara Singh was arrested.

On November first GBians cherish this glorious self-fought independence. For sixteen days Gilgit agency and Baltistan remained an independent state and on November 16th 1947 acceded to Pakistan. That was the day until now it remains in constitutional limbo. Had Pakistan not succumb to India’s pressure of declaring it part of Jammu and Kashmir at UN, it would have constitutionally been
part of Pakistan. Probably, fifth province. Anyhow, in 1970 government of Pakistan made Gilgit agency and Baltistan single unit and was named Northern Areas.

Fast forward, in 2008 Asif Ali Zardari granted limited autonomy of self-government. Governor on top and chief minister, the chief executive, and ministers with legislative powers. Subsequent government of PML-N vowed to make GB fifth province and an advisory body, in this regard, was constituted led by Sartaj Aziz but to the continuation of old practice of political rhetoric.

Demand to public this report has hitherto fallen flat.

Retrospective glance amid techno-driven ultrafast changing world especially profound impact and irresistibility of social media understandably calls for serious and conclusive cogitation on part of high-ups at center about solvable grievances of GBians to the defeasance of what we call ‘fifth generation warfare’.

Aforementioned incident of Abdul Hamid with various contradictory remarks of first releasing press release mentioning to have received money from RAW and later in his own handwriting repudiating of any such fundings and various other elements have stirred inquisitive sentiments among GBians especially in the minds of youth. Sentiments if not detrimental than not totally innocuous either. Seventy-three-years long deprivation of constitutional identity and non-representation in Senate and Parliament of Pakistan and also without a share in NFC, is understandably too much to expect for the lid not to blow off. Due to lack of representation in center there is ever-widening gap between the center and GB government.

Moreover, lack of basic necessities of life further exasperates the situation. On top, educational facilities are such that single university in face of nonexistence of Medical and Engineering colleges obliges majority of students of go down planes far away from home for higher education. Bearing the exorbitant expenses of living, education fare etc.

Needles to mention the unavoidable psychological trauma of home sickness and precariousness of twenty-two-hours long travel through the seventh wonder of the world, Karakoram High Way (KKH). This road due to land sliding and constant hit by avalanches not only gives you bumpy ride but at times makes you wait for days to clear after blockade. When this road is blocked whole GB cuts off from rest of the country except limited service of PIA.

Health sector, also, is no different. Patients with minor surgeries, let alone Cardiac and Cancer patients, are referred to Pindi/Islamabad. Imagine you are not privileged enough financially to afford a ticket of PIA and have to take a patient to down planes!. Needless to say what the patient goes through, a healthy person wears years-long patient’s look.

In addition, distressingly long hours of power cuts and non-availability of electricity at fringes at all, despite enormous potential of hydroelectricity, speaks volumes about unaddressed depravity adding to the plethora.

Lastly, uncalled-for prolongation in dispensation of basic due rights gives way to the pent-up sentiments to find a weak spot to erupt motivated by the fifth generation warfare. Here, it’s more about catering the basic due rights rather than fearing 5GW. Assurance of former automatically nullifies the later.

As they say. A stitch in time saves nine.

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