Weekly Bang-e-Sahar August 23—August 29,2008
MARVI Memon soon after returning from a visit to Gilgit-Baltistan presented a bill in the National Assembly during its current session seeking provincial status and other constitutional rights for the region. The bill was, however, rejected soon after it was tabled in the house. Justifying the rejection, PPP leader and federal minister for Northern Areas and Kashmir Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira said the issue cannot be discussed in the house as it was a sensitive matter and the status of Gilgit-Baltistan was yet to be determined. Thank you very much Mr Kaira. Like former President Pervez Musharraf today you have also accepted the fact that Gilgit-Baltistan is not a constitutional part of Pakistan.
We think that the so-called federalist parties especially leaders of the PPP’s Gilgit-Baltistan chapter, who have been boasting that their party after coming to power will ensure all rights to the region, should realize their limitations. It should be an eye opener for all such leaders that they would achieve their objective of a provincial status for the region. Kaira’s statement on the floor of the house is also a victory for nationalist parties and leaders who were being termed a bunch of people living in fool’s paradise by the federalist parties.
Two years back former president Pervez Musharraf had also said that Gilgit-Baltistan is part of the Kashmir issue. Now the ruling party has also conceded that it is a disputed region and not part of Pakistan. The nationalist parties especially the Balawaristan National Front had for the first time way back in 1992 told the nation that Gilgit-Baltistan was the fourth party to Kashmir issue and a disputed area. On this, they were called traitors, put behind bars and tortured. Now after 16 years, a federal minister repeats the facts narrated by the nationalists and the National Assembly rejects a bill. If it is not a victory for the nationalists what is this.
It is time federalist parties particularly the PPP and the PML-N should stop hoodwinking the masses any more and join the struggle with of Gilgit-Baltistan the nationalist parties.