Muzaffarabad, March 21: 'Bacha-bacha katt marega, par ye suba nahi banega' (every child will die, but will not allow changing the status of Gilgit-Baltistan region), slogans were raised during the massive protests called by lawyers across the Pakistan occupied region of Gilgit-Baltistan against Pakistan’s illegal move to declare it as the fifth province.
However, Pakistan’s illegal plan to declare the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region as the fifth province has got a major setback as it has triggered a massive protest across Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). Notably, lawyers and people across the Pakistani occupied region of Gilgit-Baltistan since Saturday have launched mass protests in the region against Pakistan’s plans to make it the fifth province of the country.
Lawyers carrying mass strike over Pakistan's illegal move demanded the amendment to the POK interim Constitution Act 1974. Lawyers during protests alleged that Pakistan is selling off a part of Kashmir to China just like it gave it the area of Aksai Chin and the Shaksgam Valley. Lawyers called it a dark move by the Pak government to use the land for China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Importantly, earlier Pakistan has already handed over Aksai Chin and the Shaksgam Valley to China. Recently, in a bid to accommodate the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a joint project between the two countries that passes through the occupied territories, Islamabad had proposed to integrate Gilgit-Baltistan as a main province of the country.
Earlier, Pakistan's minister for inter-provincial coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada told Geo TV that a committee headed by Advisor of Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz had proposed giving the status of a province to Gilgit-Baltistan. He also said that a constitutional amendment would be made to change the status of the region, through which the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes.
Notably, the four provinces of Pakistan are Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while the federal territories include the Islamabad capital territory, Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir and the federally administered tribal areas.
It is nor for the first time that the voices of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan region have raised, but previously also the whole region raised its voice against Pakistan’s human rights violations. Because of Pakistan’s worst rule and apathy towards GB and giving a free hand to China to suppress the people of GB and loot the natural resources, the common man in GB is now pitching his voice against Pakistan. There are two voices emerging. One is to be separate from Pakistan’s rule and become an independent nation, second is to go with India. Both voices are formed to get detached with Pakistan immediately. Feared by those voices and China’s rising pressure, the rulers of Pakistan are on a way to gulp the region of Gilgit-Baltistan by making it a legitimate part of Pakistan by announcing it the fifth province.
India has also objected to this unholy act of Pakistan and raised the issue in the UNHRC meeting yesterday. Indian Representative Nabanita Chakrabarti told the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva said, Pakistan must fulfill its obligation to vacate illegal occupation of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
Notably, Pakistan is the biggest violator of United Nations resolutions as it did not withdraw its army from Gilgit-Baltistan ever. According to the resolution passed by United Nations in 1949, both Indian and Pakistani government supposed to withdraw their army from the state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan agreed that “its troops are to withdraw from the state; and that it will use its best endeavors to secure the withdrawal of tribesmen and Pakistan nationals not normally residing in the state who entered the purpose of fighting.”
Later, Pakistani government also promised to the United Nations Organization for respect free political activity in Gilgit-Baltistan. But Pakistan, as usual, didn’t keep its promise and violated all the human rights rules. Pakistani army killed innocent peoples of Gilgit-Baltistan, kidnapped those who raised their voice for the freedom of state etc.
Gilgit-Baltistan is a legitimate part of Jammu and Kashmir when the accession document was signed by Raja Hari Singh in 1947. But the betrayal of some British officers and raised communal sentiments hijacked the Gilgit-Baltistan at that time. The map of Jammu and Kashmir features the area as part of India.
In 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded the Shaksgam Valley of Gilgit-Baltistan to China in a 1963 border agreement. The area is significant to both Pakistan and China as the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes through the region. Interestingly, it is also believed that due to China’s pressure Pakistan is planning to declare Gilgit-Baltistan its 5th Province.
The Gilgit-Baltistan occupied by Pakistan covers 85,793 sq km and is treated as a separate geographical entity by Pakistan. It has a regional assembly and an elected chief minister. The area was divided in 1970 into two: Mirpur-Muzaffarabad (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and the Federally Administered Gilgit-Baltistan.
Interestingly, this step of Pakistan clearly shows that it is violating all the resolutions passed by United Nations on the Kashmir issues.