Gilgit-Baltistan has a unique history. The GB territory was liberated by its own people under Dogra domination on November 1, 1947 without any external help. The people of GB on their behalf ruled the state with their own setup for 16 days and they were defending their territories from the invaders.
At that time, the Muslims of GB demanded the new dominion to provide them military aid to tackle the invaders entering the territory again. Initially, Pakistan provided its support to the new independent state but with the passage of time, it took over the administrative charge and formed its own setup, acquiring GB as well. Pakistan still rules the territory.
GB is a part of international dispute which has remained unsolved for 71 years.
In April 1948, by its resolution 47, the council decided to expand the membership of United Nations Commission for India & Pakistan (UNCIP) and to recommend various measures including the use of observers to stop the war. In July 1949, India and Pakistan signed the Karachi Agreement establishing a ceasefire line to be supervised by military observers on both sides of the territory. But they never did this and manipulated the rights so on March 30, 1951, following the termination of UNCIP, the security council, by its resolution 91 decided that the UN Military Observer Group for India & Pakistan (UNMOGIP) should continue to supervise the ceasefire in Kashmir). UNMOGIP’s functions were to observe and report, investigate complaints of ceasefire violations and submit its finding to each party and to the secretary general.
The Pakistani government has always tried to manipulate the facts that are/were concerned with GB. April 28, 1949 saw one of the decisive behaviours that Kashmiri and Pakistani leadership had adopted. The Karachi agreement was signed between Kashmiris and Pakistani leadership with the consent of the people of both sides. It should be kept in notice that no official leadership was involved in this pact from GB and on behalf of GBm Kashmiri leadership also signed the pact. The reason of the pact was basically to accede Kashmir with Pakistan.
Different political parties of GB have different views regarding the disputed territory. They sometimes declare it a disputed territory when people of GB demand their rights and when they see their own interest, they call it a Jewel of Pakistan
International organisations have different research reports on GB and Kashmir. On June 14, 2018, the office of the United Nation High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNCHR) clearly manifests that the people of GB have been tortured by Pakistani government which has tried its best to manipulate their basic human rights which has been stated on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The report says that Pakistan’s prime minister, the federal minister for Kashmir Affairs & GB and the federal civil service have full control over all government operations in both Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) and GB. According to an international non-governmental organisation, federal intelligence agencies are deployed across the two regions and have considerable powers over locally-elected representatives and officials. Given such a constitutional relationship with Pakistan, residents of AJK and GB do not enjoy all the rights and protection available to those under the Pakistan Constitution.
Such an influence has challenged a person to express his views that demand his rights.
Like a short honeymoon, the federal parties of Pakistan have played their cards to achieve their national interest and enjoyed every benefit from this. Different political parties of GB have different views regarding the disputed territory of GB. They sometimes declare it a disputed territory when people of GB demand their rights and when they see their interest, they call it a Jewel of Pakistan. GB 2009 Ordinance was one of the official harassments they did with citizens and violated the rights under which they were unable to express their rights and likewise Pakistan’s establishment issued 2018 order which under its full impact manipulated the basic rights of the people.
In September 2018, former chief justice Saqib Nisar visited GB for holidays. The people welcomed him warmly and also demanded their basic political rights. He assured them that he will do his best for these people and so on his return, he studied the case of GB in terms of international dispute and so on January 17, 2019 on his last official conference in Lahore, he clearly mentioned that it’s not under the control of Pakistan to decide the decision of GB. The only solution will be handled through international means.
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published originally in Daily Times, January 27th 2019.