JKLF to oppose N.As as fifth province

2 August 2008
The Dawn


GILGIT: Chairman Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Ammanullah Khan has said his party would strongly oppose if Gilgit-Baltistan was declared fifth province of Pakistan. Addressing a press conference here, he reiterated AJK-like setup of governance for the region by the time Kashmir issue was resolved. He demanded representation of this region in Kashmir council and said so far a colonial system had prevailed in the area, adding all those constitutional rights enjoyed by people in Azad Jammu and Kashmir should be extended to this part. He said the best solution to the Kashmir issue was to form a united but independent state of divided parts of Kashmir including Gilgit-Baltistan. Mr Khan said this state must enjoy cordial relations with neighboring four countries - Pakistan, India, China and Afghanistan. He said the state should continue for 15 years with full autonomy and there should be five provinces - Gilgit-Baltistan, Ladakh, AJK, Kashmir valley and Jammu. However, Baltistan should be given liberty to decide whether it wanted to join Ladakh or Gilgit.He said after 15 years a referendum supervised internationally would determine the future of the state. He said the people of the state should be given a chance to decide through a referendum whether they wanted accession with Pakistan or India. He announced that on October 14, self-determination day would be observed across the world including three parts of Kashmir.