Weekly Bang-e-Sahar Saturday,June 28—-July 4, 2008
By our special correspondent
GILGIT: The Northern Areas High Court Bar Association (NAHCBA) has started preparations for long march to Islamabad to protest against the 60-year deprivations of the Gilgit-Baltistan region and negative tactics of the rulers as well as to highlight the demand for basic democratic, political and linguistic rights of the region.
The nationalist parties of the region have not only appreciated the decision of the lawyers to hold a long march but have also announced to extend all kinds of support to lawyers in time of need.
According to sources in the NAHCBA, the association has initiated preparations for the biggest ever and historical event of the region. Besides the members of all district bar associations of the region, a large number of political activists will also participate in the long march. The organisers of the march also plan to besiege the Parliament House in Islamabad and stage there a sit-in.
“The objective of the long march is to inform people of Pakistan and international community about undesirable attitude of Pakistan with regard towards Gilgit-Baltistan and the 60-year excesses being committed to the people of this region,” the sources said. “The lawyers of Gilgit-Baltistan have started collecting funds,” they added.
The long march will be the first-ever big political activity of lawyers and people for basic rights of Gilgit-Baltistan and may herald the beginning of a chance.
“If lawyers invited us, we will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them,” said Safdar Ali, a leader of Gilgit-Baltistan Democratic Alliance, while appreciating the decision of lawyers to stage a long march. “The alliance of the nationalist parties is ready to support every voice raised for the rights of the region,” he added.
Safdar Ali said that highlighting the 60-years of Pakistan’s excesses at the international level is part of the manifesto of the alliance. He said the time has come for every inhabitant of the region to participate in the movement for snatching their rights from oppressors. He said the time is not far off when the people of Gilgit-Baltistan would join the independent nations of the world.