BY OUR CORRESPONDENT
GILGIT: Senior lawyer Shehbaz Khan has appealed political leadership of occupied and Azad Kashmir to avoid giving statements which oppose proposed constitutional status for Gilgit-Baltistan [G-B].
Khan, who is Chairman G-B Lawyers Action Committee for Constitutional Status, said that the people of G-B do not consider at all their homeland as a “Disputed Territory” which got liberated by the people themselves.
He said after a period of 82 years illegal and unlawful occupation on some of the parts of G-B “invaded and forcibly merged” by the newly established Dogra Regime of Jammu & Kashmir in 1865. “Thus the denial of fundamental constitutional rights to the people of G-B since its liberation by linking it with Kashmir Issue infact is not only an unjustified act but also a denial and disgrace to the blood of hundreds of shaheeds of this region.”
Khan questioned about the claim of the political leadership of AJK & J &K of considering G-B as part of a utopian State of J & K having no existence now on the globe and which infect became a closed chapter as soon as the Maharaja Hari Singh acceded with India on 26 October, 1947 and the people of G-B got liberated their home land on 1st November, 1947 as a result of local indigenous revolution and AJK came into existence as a result of Pak Army & Tribal Lashkaries help and assistance in 1948.
He said “if the people of occupied Kashmir Valley & AJK are desirous in revival of previous J & K State and bring back the same Dogra Regime as their Ruler” please go ahead but don’t drag the G-B in this game as the people of G-B has already got rid of that occupier as a result of local’s arms struggle and revolution and acceded with Pakistan voluntarily.
Shehbaz Khan Advocate showed his concerns on keeping G-B away from main stream status and rights and linking of independent, liberated and independent G-B with Kashmir Issue by concealing the facts of accession of strategically located Gilgit & Hunza Nagar States from UN since April 1948 & thereafter non acceptance of accessions and denial to make G-B as constitutional part is an act of gross mistake as for as national interest of Pakistan is concerned.
He said that in case of holding of plebiscite, if the people of Indian Occupied J & K can take part, despite the fact that the Occupied J&K has been made part of India provisionally under Article 370 & 35 A of Indian Constitution, the people of G-B could also take part in the plebiscite in case of G-B given the “Same Constitutional Status & Rights” under the domain of Constitution of Pakistan till settlement of Kashmir Dispute.
Shehbaz Khan Advocate said that microscopic view on the UN Security Council & UNCIP resolutions will prove the fact that the territories of G-B have never been mentioned there and these resolutions speak about a dispute between the two parties of Pakistan and India in respect of holding a plebiscite in “Jammu & Kashmir Regions” either to accede India or Pakistan under UN supervision under Chapter 6 but having no third option. The Resolutions does not speak about the revival of previous Jammu Kashmir State as well. Thus the dragging of G-B into this conflict having a different historical entity & independence since centuries and having nothing to do with the Amritsar Pact 1846 and got liberated already from the illegal occupation of the Dogra Regime is extremely unfair and unjust. Thus the present claim of political leadership in respect of G-B as part of State of Jammu & Kashmir is unfounded and illogical.
Shehbaz Khan Advocate asked the political leadership across the LOC already enjoying legal & democratic rights guaranteed under Dual Constitutions & Acts based governing systems since 1948 & 1974, to look at the sufferings of the people of G-B as a result of denial of constitutional rights to them since independence . He demanded the Kashmir leadership to give weight age to the centuries old independence based historical back ground of G-B instead of insisting on 82 years illegal & forcible merger of some parts of G-B with the State of Jammu & Kashmir established on 16th March 1846 and ended on 26th October 1947 when Maharaja Kashmir acceded with India and liberation of G-B on 1st November 1947, as legitimate ground. The time has come to consider sufferings & deprivations of the two million people of G-B since 68 years to win their hearts instead of talking about the territories of G-B all the time specifically at the time when the Federation wants to give something to the deprived people of G-B in respect of constitutional rights.