Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday, May 10—-May 16 ,2008
Few explanations are necessary to make about the recent conference on Gilgit Baltistan in the European Parliament organized by IKA, as some elements have accused the IKA leaders of downplaying its significance. It is important to mention that the conference on Gilgit Baltsitan in the European Parliament was a significant step in which a large number of members of European Parliament and civil society from Europe participated and expressed their solidarity and support for rights of people of Gilgit Baltistan. This was not an ordinary step especially in terms of Gilgit Baltsitan, which unfortunately remains the most neglected part of divided state Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan. Whereas in 21stcentry people are living without their basic rights and region remains unrepresented and underdeveloped.
Pakistan’s continued apathy towards the region has created political discontentment in Gilgit Baltistan to which Islamabad repressed through oppressive means. IKA recent conference was primarily aimed at to enlighten the European leadership about the legitimate grievances of the people of Gilgit Baltistan and seek their support to pressurise Islamabad to end its discriminatory policies and grant people their basic rights and freedoms. The success of conference have certainly irked the Islamabad’s’ circles as everyone knows that during the EU report on Kashmir by Emma Nicholson, Pakistan ambassador in Brussels had tried to pressurise her to drop Gilgit Baltistan from the report by saying that Gilgit Baltistan was never part of state Jammu and Kashmir. In response to his letter, Emma Nicholson had to reproduce the map of state Jammu Kashmir of 1909 to disprove his assertions that further had put Islamabad in embarrassing situation. Now in order to avert this embarrassment, Islamabad chose to launch a malicious campaign against the IKA organized conference but not by its declared pro-Pakistan Kashmiri’s but through undeclared people those apparently claim to be nationalist but work against the interests and unity of nationalists to serve the interests of Islamabad’s establishment by accusing IKA or any activity that is conducted to promote the identity and entity of Kashmir.
Irony is that these so-called nationalists could never uttered single word on the pro-Pakistan Kashmiri’s conferences that take place regularly in Europe and America and feel no harm but they do not miss any opportunity to accuse IKA or nationalists if they conduct any activity that promotes pro-Kashmir and pro-peace politics that clearly indicates their motives behind such accusations. Their ultimate goal is to deter us from opposing the violence and advocating the pro-people and pro-peace politics that doesn’t suite to their mentors. The politics of distortions is always used to mislead the people and hide the facts.
I have personally always tried to think beyond the party prejudices, and encouraged the broader understanding among the nationalists in order to overcome the conspiracies that are orchestrated to divide the unity and especially weaken the understanding between POK and OGB nationalists. Such people are only instrumental in the hands of anti-nationalist forces to cause the misunderstanding and mistrust to implement their agenda in the shelter of nationalism. — Mumtaz Khan Toronto