Kashmir cause: AJK govt opposes provincial status for Gilgit-Baltistan

Treasury members table resolution against proposed move; say it will damage the Kashmir cause

Agencies/MA Mir January 09, 2016
PHOTO: AFP

MUZAFFARABAD:


The government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) has decided to lodge a protest against any attempt to convert Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) into a province of Pakistan.


Treasury members tabled a resolution against the proposed provincial status for G-B in the AJK Legislative Assembly Secretariat on Saturday. The assembly members will debate the resolution in the session scheduled for January 12.

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Talking to The Express Tribune, AJK Minister for Rehabilitation Abdul Majid Khan said that making G-B the fifth province of Pakistan will dent the Kashmir cause. “Giving provincial status to G-B will serve the interests of the enemies of Jammu and Kashmir and will therefore be counterproductive,” he said.

AJK Minister for Finance, Planning and Development Chaudhry Latif Akbar endorsed Majid. “G-B is part and parcel of the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he told a news conference at the AJK Prime Minister’s House. “Any attempt to merge it into Pakistan will deal a fatal blow to our stance in the light of the UN resolutions envisaging the right to self-determination for the Kashmiris,” he said.

Terming Gilgit a constitutional part of Kashmir, Akbar said, “We will not allow division of Kashmir at any cost.” He pointed out that Pakistan had been given administrative control of G-B on a temporary basis, and advised the federal government to “not think beyond that”.

He called upon the government to give the same rights to G-B that AJK and other provinces enjoy. He said the establishment was conspiring against the nation and did not want to see it united.

Majid also urged the federal government to empower the people of G-B.

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In recent days, there has been speculation on changing the constitutional status of G-B, which is historically claimed by India. This comes in the wake of Beijing’s concerns about building a section of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor through the disputed area.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 10th, 2016.

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COMMENTS (18)

Sher Shah | 4 years ago | Reply | Recommend We have nothing to do with Kashmir. We need our rights in Gilgit-Baltistan!
Shafqat Hussain | 4 years ago | Reply | Recommend Why discrimination with Kashmir? "It is very Sad, That Govt and Pakistan Army is doing with Kashmir, Why don't they let other telecom operator like(Mobilink, Telenor..etc) to provide 3G in that area. Those operator already have setup in those regions. I know the only reason is SCO(Army owned telecom operator) which is only working in AJK and GB. they don't want any competitor because of their poor quality and limited areas. This Auction drama is not much useful for AJK and GB which happened recently. These new operator will take time to expand networks and they might. Please let already setup telecom operators to operate in that area. This is clear discrimination with Kashmiries, why Kashmir is being treated different? Border area and security is not reason, Those telecom companies are already working in AJK and GB. there is also direct border between Pakistan and India why companies are allowed there. When Govt is building dams in Kashmir they don't need any permission but for 3G. Please treat Kashmir equal or Leave it."
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