‘Transfer self-rule power to Gilgit Baltistan’

Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, April 26—-May 2, 2008
By Our Correspondent
KARACHI: Former president of Balawaristan National Students Organization (BNSO) Rahat Ali Shah has said the Karachi Agreement 1949 could be a handiwork of the then Pakistan minister without portfolio Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani, Muslim Conference president Ghulam Abbas and the so-called Azad Kahmir’s ex-president Sardar Ibrahim Khan but the people of Gilgit-Baltistan had nothing to do with the document.
He said when asked about the agreement, Sardar Ibrahim had later declared his dissociation from the agreement. Mr Shah said that in 1947 the government of Pakistan occupied Gilgit-Baltistan and exactly two years later on April 28, 1949 tried to hoodwink the world under the garb of the so-called Karachi Agreement.
He said the way government of Pakistan had been playing a dirty game with the people of Gilgit-Baltistan for the last about six decades, making the Karachi agreement as a shield, was unprecedented in the history of the world.
The people of the region still remain in chains and they should not be further hoodwinked through the introduction of so-called constitutional packages. Similar plethora of papers prepared by the successive governments during the last many decades instead of bringing changes to the lives of the people have further added to their miseries.
He said if the present democratic government really wants to do something for the region it should as a first step transfer self-rule powers to the people and end rampant violations of human rights in Gilgit-Baltistan. Besides, he added, revolutionary steps are needed to bring changes in the socio-economic condition of the people.
He demanded that the medical, technical and intermediate colleges should be set up at the tehsil level and all intermediate colleges in the region should be upgraded to the degree level. Due to absence of job opportunities, a large number of youth after graduation remain unemployed and have become overage.
The government should create jobs for the youth and extend the maximum age limit to by five to six years, he added. Mr Shah said quota reserved in different educational institutions for the area should be increased and students from Gilgit-Baltistan should be sent abroad on scholarship for higher education.
He also demanded that Balawaristan’s history should be included in the syllabus of the Karakoram International University, so that the new generation could become aware of their history.


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