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l August 2003 l

The Kashmir Bachao Andolan Publication

l Vol 2, No 4 l

S P O T L I G H T 

Cries from PoK: Heart beats for India? 

Abdul Hamid Khan


Editor's Note: Also read, PoK: Pakistan's last colony


It would be an honour, if I may be given an opportunity to represent the 2 Million people of Balawaristan (Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan) to put forward my suggestion to resolve J & K conflict peacefully. I think there is no need to repeat the relation of Balawaristan (Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan) with Jammu & Kashmir (J & K), India, Pakistan or British. Any claim with respect to its previous history can't be accepted as legitimate any way, unless the interest of the people does not match. Because there is no such country existed on this planet, which was an independent since pre-history till now.

 

The most important thing is the common interest of the people, who live in a particular isolated society. In this context this is not a debatable subject, whether Balawaristan was a part of J & K. The important thing is that whether we have joint benefits or interests or not. Whether one accepts or not, but this is the fact that the people of Balawaristan are not Kashmiri in race, but Balawaristan is the disputed part of J & K State which was existed before Ist Nov. 1947 according UN resolutions and Pakistan and Indian stand.

 

This is different story, whether UNCIP resolution is valid even after lapse of more than half century. But the ground reality is that, India does not have any interest with UN resolution and so the UN itself. Though Pakistan verbally accepts UN resolutions but not practically. The most powerful countries of UNSC always had been emphasizing India and Pakistan to settle J & K (the whole area including Balawaristan) issue peacefully, according to the will of the effected people. In such situation the authenticity of the UN resolution is questioned, whether it has expired or still alive.

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Besides UN, the approach of India, Pakistan and the people of this disputed region to solve J & K issue is quite different, with respect to UNCIP resolution. Some UN member countries including UNSC permanent members give their suggestions and advise to India and Pakistan to settle J & K issue by mutual consensus according to the will of the people. Some people of J & K demand the complete withdrawal of Indian forces from Indian occupied Kashmir (IOK ) while remain mum in case of Pakistani forces present in Balawaristan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (POK). Some people demand for third option (for the whole J & K), while other parts of J & K demand f or their own independence. While we the people of Balawaristan (Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan) demand for our own freedom. All these demands do not coincide with the resolution of UN. While UNCIP resolution demands India to withdraw bulk of its forces. It means India has the right to keep 3 lakh (0.3 Million) of it's forces in whole state of J & K by withdrawal 5 lakh (according to Pakistani claim of 8 lakh i.e.0.8 Million Indian forces is accepted valid ). While Pakistan has to withdraw all it's forces and civilians, who have entered the state (Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir) after 1947. According UN resolution there is no third or any other option except to vote India or Pakistan. In this ambiguity, there is no chance of complete implementation of the 56 year old UNCIP resolution.

There is also flaw in this long-standing issue because of the lack of leadership and mutual understanding among all the parts of the disputed region. The state of J & K (85000 Sq. miles) mentioned in UN resolution has been occupied by three countries (i.e. India, Pakistan and China). Further more the people of IOK psychologically divided in to 3 parts viz Jammu (Hindu dominated area, Kashmir (Muslim dominated area) and Ladakh (Buddhist dominated area). Pakistan occupied areas divided in to 2 i.e. Balawaristan (consists of 28000 Sq. Miles Area of Occupied Gilgit Baltistan) has the mix population of (Shia, Sooni, Ismailia and Noor Bakhshi Muslims dominated area) and Pakistan occupied Kashmir (consists of 4000 Sq. miles area of Sooni Muslims dominated area). Pakistan further divided Balawaristan in to 2 by ceding 2500 Sq. Miles area of Shoomshaal, Hunza to China illegally for its personal interest. All the above-mentioned parts of disputed J & K have different ideas, theories and concepts to solve the issues of J & K according to their own will and experiences.

Now may I call your attention towards one of its part s to which as we call Balawaristan, which is best known to you as Gilgit Baltistan, to whom the people of J & K call Northern Kashmir, while government of Pakistan calls Northern Areas (to engulf this disputed GOLDEN SPARROW) . We the 2 million people of Balawaristan have our own grievances being most deprived people of not only this region but throughout the world.

Now I would like to put some glimpses on its Political, Judicial, Human, Economical and Cultural issue one by one so you may com pare it with IOK and POK. There is a highest elected body name Northern Are as Legislative council, which has no power to legislate even like a local body of any city of Pakistan or elsewhere. Pakistan has imposed it's own Minister to preside over this Council as well as to perform his duties like a King of ancient age. Who has the power to dismiss this elected body at any time, who can also employees any body from Pakistan as Chief of Judiciary o n contract basis. Who has the power of legislate to make laws by direct orders without consulting N. As. Council or any person of Balawaristan. All political. economical and administrative powers rest to the Minister of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas affairs (KANA). Recently when the Council has passed a resolution to finish the control of KANA, they were banned to enter any government office in Balawaristan by Pakistani Minister officially. This council has no power even to criticize Pakistani bureaucrats who have been deployed in the region.

Once when a newly elected lady member dire to criticize for her husband SSP Amir Hamza’s suspension by KANA Minister; immediately after her speech in Council meeting, her husband was dismissed. While another member N.As. Council Mr. Saif-llr-Rehman was sent behind bars by charging treason section, when he rebuked a non-local (Pakistani) employee on his rude attitude against the local indigenous people. Later Rehman was killed by a terrorist on the instigation and direction of ISI, when the late member tri ed to bring harmony among the two sects against the will of the Pakistani occupying forces. More than 100 political leaders and workers are facing sedition charges after undergone severe torture and Jail agonies. Their fault was to protest peacefully against the atrocities and occupation of Pakistan. While we are observing that there are no such cases against the political leaders of I OK instead of the fact that they are struggling against India with arms. In spite of that Indian forces are providing security to these supporters of militants (APHC).

As far as Human Rights matter is concerned, Balawari stan (Occupied Gilgit Baltistan) is a unique place of the world, where local indigenous people have no right to file a writ petition in Balawaristan or any where of the world against Human Rights violation. Where head of Judiciary is appointed on contract basis. As many as 5 terrorist training camps (besides locals, Kashmiri, Afghani and Pakistani nationals) have been est ablished throughout Balawaristan, as a result many of our youth have lost t heir lives, many families lost their properties and became homeless but nothing was paid to them in return. Our youth (Northern Light Infantry) were sent to Kargil as mercenaries by Pakistan as a result more than 900 NLI youth were lost their lives, 1000 wounded and became disable and 40 missing. T he most barbaric role of both Pakistan and Indian Army was that, Indian Arm y caught more than 50 NLI soldiers at different places of Kargil in 1999 war and asked, if Pakistan Army accepts NLI soldiers, they will be treated prisoners of war per Geneva convention. But Indian Army shot them on the spot when Pakis tan Army denied accepting them. Indian Army buried 300 dead bodies of NLI soldiers on Kargil heights, when Pakistan refused to accept their bodies by accepting 2 bodies of its own nationals.

Pakistan has also occupied the vast areas of Balawaris tan (Chitral and Kohistan) due to apathy of the world community. Economics: Pakistan earns more than 20 Billion Rupees from the Mineralm Tourism, Water, custom, forest and Indirect tax from Balawaristan annually and pays only one billion annually (development, salaries and the to meet the expenditures of occupying forces) The people of Balawaristan are the poorest people of the world, because their resources are being usurped by Pakistan in spite of its disputed nature.

Culture: Unlike other parts of J & K, Pakistan intentionally abolished "ESTATE SUBJECT RULE" to settle its nationals, terrorists and drug smugglers to change the demography of this part. Just like Talibaans, Pakistan Army headed by a Pathan general demolished our historical places and built Markets for Pathan drug and arms smugglers. As a result the rich culture and history of Balawaristan has been vanished in mostly towns.

I would like to elucidate one thing, which confused so me intellectuals and writers about the accession of Balawaristan. Unlike IOK, there is no accession with Pakistan ever taken place. There are many grievances of other parts of J & K against Pakistan and India. But you can Judge yourself and compare the hardships we the people of Balawaristan are facing.

I think, we must take an advantage of this dialogue process step forwarded by India, so as to create mutual consensus on at least minimum points by maintaining the will of our respective parts people by accepting the large differences of each part. This is a moral duty of our large populace Kashmir (Valley) to accommodate all 4 parts of J & K (Balawaristan (Pakistan Occupied Gilgit Baltistan), PoK, Ladakh and Jammu) by endorsing their demands and apprehensions as far as the future fate is concerned; otherwise this conflict will not be resolved forever. Of course today the turmoil is going on in Valley (the are of 80 KM long and 28 KM width) of Indian side of J & K. It can be shift to other parts of disputed J & K tomorrow, if the civilized world doe s not give proper attention of their peaceful demands today. That is why, there should be multiple options to solve the J & K issue forever.

Now, I would like to conclude my submission and grievances by putting forward a formula for your kind consideration, to solve J & K long outstanding issue, according to the will and wishes of all five parts {(i.e. Kashmir (Valley), Jammu, Ladakh, POK and Occupied Gilgit Baltistan (OGB)} by following the guidelines of UN. The will of the people should be ascertained in two phases. 1). First, ask the 5 parts of disputed J & K, whether they want to vote for FREEDOM or to merge with India or Pakistan. If all 5 parts votes come in favour of India or Pakistan then no need to adopt second phase, this is done . If all 5 parts votes are cast in favour of FREEDOM, then second phase of vote/plebiscite/ referendum starts. In second phase, the question: 2. (a) To vote for the whole J & K state (Consist of 85000 Sq. miles App.). If all 5 parts vote in favour of the whole J & K, it is done OR (b). To vote one part with other one, two, three or four parts (c). To vote for their own part (individual part). Each and every part of J & K unit (i.e. OGB, POK, Ladakh, Kashmir and Jammu ) should be considered as individual voter as well as candidate, but both Pakistan and India should be considered only candidates not voters. After withdrawal of foreign forces, terrorists and citizens according UNCIP resolution, elections/plebiscite/referendum should be held within the period of 5 years under the supervision of UN forces. Within the period of 5 years India and Pakistan should be allowed to campaign by media only, but the people of all 5 regions of disputed J & K should be allowed to campaign by all peaceful means. I think this formula will lead towards peace and tranquillity among the people of all 5 parts of J & K particularly and India and Pakistan usually, if this is implemented.

Author is the Chairman Balawaristan National Front (BNF)



Copyright © 2002-2003 Shyam Lal Watt Foundation

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