Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, April 26—-May 2, 2008
By Our Correspondent
GILGIT: Chairman of the Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement Manzoor Hussin Parwana has said Gilgi-Baltistan is passing through a critical and decisive period and its political independence and identity have become part of the international agenda.
Speaking at a press conference here, he said the world’s human rights organizations, the International Crisis Group and European Parliament are now debating and raising finger at political, constitutional and socio- economic conditions of Gilgit-Baltistan. However, unfortunately, the so-called public representatives of the area are still acting as puppets of the Pakistani government.
The 60-year-old colonial system in the region has ruined and paralyzed the indigenous economic, social and cultural life and the obsolete system imposed on the region by the government of Pakistan has completely failed to ensure basic rights of the people.
Mr Parwana said Gilgit-Baltistan is not part and parcel of Pakistan but even then Islamabad has been entering into various treaties and contracts with China and was executing various projects in the region including the widening of Karakoram Highway, Diamer-Basha Dam and lying of railway lines over the region. It is very surprising that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have completely been kept in the dark about the agreements between the two countries. “We may support such projects with our reservations and conditions.
“I want to convey the message to China through this press conference that Gilgit-Baltistan does not come under the ambit of the constitution of Pakistan due to its status as a disputed part of the Kashmir problem. Therefore, China should not inter into any agreement with the government of Pakistan without the consent of the people of Gilgit -Baltistan.”