Youth Protest Against Pakistan’s Role In Gilgit Baltistan

Youth Protest Against Pakistan’s Role In Gilgit Baltistan

30 August 2012
Eurasia Review
Zafar Iqbal

London: In Pakistani Administrated Kashmir a pro independence student organisation marched on the roads against the sectarian killing of innocent people in Pakistan Controlled Gilgit-Baltistan. Activists of the hard-line National Students Federation (NSF) staged a rally and marched barefooted to registrar their protest over alleged occupation of Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB). Agitators feared that the government of Pakistan is going to declare Giligit-Baltistan region as its province. Location of Gilgit-Baltistan (red), without Siachen Glacier in Pakistan Location of Gilgit-Baltistan (red), without Siachen Glacier in Pakistan “But Kashmiris will foil the designs of Pakistani rulers”, protestors vowed. They called upon India and Pakistan to quit their troops from Jammu and Kashmir to pave the way for the emergence of an independent state of Jammu and Kashmir. Student organisation NSF known for rejection of both Indian and Pakistani control over disputed State of Jammu and Kashmir, has been protesting since the self-rule reforms were initiated by Islamabad in the GB. Pakistani PPP-led government has changed the administrative status of the GB through a controversial Constitutional package-“Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self governance Order-2009” which established a Legislative Assembly headed by Chief Minister. In Pakistan administrated Kashmir all political parties and students groups have opposed this new status of the GB. However, hard-liner NSF has mobilized the public opinion over this issue thought frequent protests. Meanwhile, the GB area has been hit by a wave of violence following massacre of 25 Shia passengers before the Eid festival by Sunni gunmen in Northern Pakistan. However, in Pakistani Administrated Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) where majority of religious and political parities consider Gilgit-Baltistan as inseparable entity of State of Jammu and Kashmir, no noticeable protest has been observed over recent mass killings of the GB. In the meantime, Pakistani Interior minister Rehman Malik has announced to start operation against the criminals in the GB. Pakistan’s Parliament has also announced to send a fact-finding mission to the GB to ascertain the human rights situation.