Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday,June 28—-July 4, 2008
By our correspondent
GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan region cannot be given the status of a province because it is a disputed territory, therefore, the Pakistan government should given the people of the region self-rule right.
Dr Muzaffar Ali Khan Rellay, member of the Northern Areas Legislative Assembly and secretary-general of the Gilgit-Baltistan National Alliance, in an interview with ‘Bang-e-Sahar’. He said that people of Gilgit-Baltistan are in a fix because neither they have an identity or recognition nor has the status of their region been decided.
“Our two million straightforward people have been deprived of their identity for the past 60 years in the name of Islam and Pakistan. Neither this treatment is legitimate in accordance with Islam nor does the Constitution of Pakistan allows this,” he said. “It is clear that the Gilgit-Baltistan region is being kept in an ambiguous position, which is neither favourable for people of this region nor is it in the benefit of Pakistan,” he added.
Dr Rellay said that in principle Pakistan should have recognised the Gilgit-Baltistan region in its constitution under any provisional accord just like India declared the whole of Jammu and Kashmir including Gilgit-Baltistan as its part under a provisional agreement. But, he said, Pakistan not only accepted Gilgit-Baltistan as disputed territory in the United Nations but also signed a written agreement to provide travel documents and expenses thereon to people of the region.
“Presently, Gilgit-Baltistan is at such a juncture that has been desire of the global powers because they can accomplish their dreams through this region. Whereas the economic survival of China is linked to Gilgit-Baltistan, the region can also help the US in accomplishing its dream of ruling the world. We are afraid that China and the US may use this region as a battlefield to subjugate each other,” he said.
The member of the Northern Areas Legislative Assembly said that if the rulers want Pakistan to survive, they should completely rid Gilgit-Baltistan of the influence of global powers and recognise it as a ‘buffer state’ where no outside power could interfere or have influence.
He said the region should be declared non-military territory like Dubai, Singapore and Switzerland. He said the region should be given the status of an impartial state and foreign investment should be allowed therein because it would help stabilise Pakistan economically as well as militarily.