BY AMJAD HUSSAIN AZAR
During the preceding month of November a debate was generated regarding legal constitutional status of Gilgit Baltistan [G-B], due to the contradictory statements given by Pervaiz Rashid, Minister Information and spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which resulted heartache for the two million people of G-B.
The reason behind the controversial statement of the minister information was that on 25 November Anti terrorism court G-B had passed judgment convicting Mir shakil ur Rehman, owner of media house, with others on charges of blasphemy.
Minister information Pervaz Rashid came on the media without wasting a single moment. While commenting on the judgment of Anti terrorism court G-B, he stated that G-B is geographical part of Pakistan and not a constitutional part, and declared it as a disputed part between India and Pakistan, whereas spokesperson for Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tasleem Aslam while addressing a press briefing declared G-B as an undisputed part of Pakistan.
The two contradictory stands of the Government of Pakistan made the situation confusing, which become more complicated when Senator Aitizaz Ahsan and Asma jahangir while commenting on the judgment of Anti Terrorism Court G-B stated that “there is a jungle rule prevailing in G-B”.
The whole situation has given rise to many questions in the minds of people of Gilgit Baltistan, but here I want to ask some questions.
I, being son of my motherland G-B, want to know name and address of the parents of my mother (Gilgit Baltistan), because my mother is consistently claiming Pakistan to be her parents and Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, and K-P to be her sisters from the last 66 years, but neither father (Pakistan) is accepting her parentage, nor her sisters are ready to share rights, privileges, and facilities available to them under constitution of Pakistan.
I need answer from Government of Pakistan, intelligentsia of Pakistan, media of Pakistan, authorities of Pakistan, and people of Pakistan having identity and rights under the constitution of Pakistan.
"Please give my mother and her sons a clear and unequivocal answer without wasting further time about her status."
Whether you're, or, aren't accepting the claim of my mother because my mother and her sons have been waiting for your answer since 1947, if you think her claim to be true accept her parentage and give constitutional status to my motherland, guaranteed under constitution of Pakistan, otherwise reject her claim if it is not true or impossible to accept, because the patience of her sons had reached up to maximum level.
The idlest attitude of the rulers of Pakistan towards G-B, and policy of maintaining status quo for indefinite period is giving birth to hatred in the minds of the educated sons of my mother.
It is worth mentioning here that majority of the sons of my mother are still favoring father (Pakistan) and still having great respect towards father by saying that Pakistan has grown up us and developed the motherland despite refusal to give equivalent rights available to the sisters and step sisters, but this notion is reducing its popularity day by day. Some of my brothers, although they are in minority had started saying that now we have attained age of majority to take our own decisions.
It is also pertinent to mention here that India is also adversely claiming parentage of my mother whom we both are refusing to acknowledge as parents of my mother (G-B).
The next issue which strikes me to write this article is the prevalence of jungle rule over Gilgit-Baltistan as stated by two prominent leaders and legal experts, while commenting on conviction of Mir shakil ur Rehman and three others.
The system of the governance given by government of Pakistan to my motherland functioning under G-B empowerment & self governance order is having no legal coverage.
The judiciary functioning under it is neither constitutionally guaranteed forum nor the two million people of my motherland are having constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and protections. My motherland has been kept under jungle rule since 1947, despite making valid accessions with Pakistan and acceptance of same by Mohammad Ali jinnah in 1948 as governor general of Pakistan.
My motherland and my brothers are being punished for their love and affection.
"The question arising here is that, despite acceptance of accessions in 1948, why my Gilgit-Baltistan has been kept in jungle rule without any identity? Who is responsible for it?"
Why the political leaders kept mum over the decades on continues prevalence of jungle rule in Gilgit Baltistan, and its identity?
The fact of prevailing jungle rule, and dispute regarding parentage of my motherland ever first came under the discussion in national media of Pakistan when, Mir Shakil ur Rehman, a privileged person having parentage and protections guaranteed under constitution of Pakistan, becomes victim of jungle rule.
Every one stood-up for him, but nobody came forward to speak for the rights of two million people of Gilgit Baltistan living miserable life under jungle rule from more than five decades. My motherland has been kept in jungle rule since 1947 by the rulers of Pakistan, my motherland and her sons are sacrificing for the sisters (provinces of Pakistan) and step sister (Kashmir) of my mother.
The citizens of the provinces of Pakistan are enjoying various fundamental rights with constitutionally guaranteed independent judiciary for enforcement of their rights, the step sisters are also enjoying same rights guaranteed under constitution, but these fundamental right have been denied without any reason and cause to my motherland.
Why these rights have been denied to my mother, and her sons?
Now it will be the last chance to the Father (Government of Pakistan) to take decision without wasting further time regarding the parentage of my mother (Gilgit Baltistan), otherwise her sons will take their own decision regarding the parentage of mother and her rights.
The author is a senior lawyer and member of G-B Council. He is also a senior leader of Pakistan Peoples Party in G-B.