UN should protect people of Gilgit Baltistan and prevent imposition of Urdu, says Gilgit leader

Geneva : In a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Abdul Hamid Khan, the Chairman of the Balawaristan National Front (BNF) has claimed that the Government of Pakistan is doing its utmost to destroy the traditional local identity of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan by imposing the Urdu language which is spoken by only eight percent of the country’s population.

The continued use of Urdu as the language of instruction has contributed to political tensions in Pakistan, he said.

Maintaining that 72,000 square kilometres of Gilgit-Pakistan was currently under Pakistan’s illegal occupation; Khan said this was a blatant violation of UNCIP resolutions of April 28, 1949. He accused Islamabad of fabricating a fraudulent non-inclusive agreement on April 28, 1949, on the very day when UNCIP had asked Pakistan to withdraw its forces from this disputed part.

“Pakistan has been constantly violating the fundamental human rights of the people of PoGB, including their civil rights, right of vote to choose their representatives for the parliament, right of free speech, right to have a share in the revenue from the natural resources (including water, gold, Uranium and various mines like copper and molybdenum, which is used by China in its space technology), and the right to seek fair justice. The entire two million population is a victim of Pakistan’s relentless violation of UNCIP resolutions and Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the BNF Chairman said.

In his letter, Khan listed six points derived from the official records of UN Security Council on Gilgit Baltistan and Jammu and Kashmir, under The United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP):

. All persons (other than citizens of the State) who on or since 15 August 1947 have en­tered it for other than lawful purposes, shall be required to leave the State;

. There is no threat, coercion or intim­idation, bribery or other undue influence on the voters in the plebiscite;

. No restrictions are placed on legitimate political activity throughout the State. There shall be freedom of press, speech and assembly and freedom of travel in the State, including freedom of lawful entry and exit;

. All political prisoners are released;

. Minorities in all parts of the State are accorded adequate protection; and

. There is no victimization.

He said that what has happened is instead of forces being withdrawn immediately, Pakistan has multiplied its military personnel in the region by thousands of times more.

There is no freedom of speech, right to peaceful political assembly, right to free travel and political activities. Issuing death threats and intimidation to politically affiliated human rights activists in the region has become a daily routine of Pakistani occupation regime, he added.

Reminding Secretary General Moon of the UNCIP truce terms agreed upon on April 28, 1949, the BNP chairman said article 177 clearly stated that “territory evacuated by the Pakistan troops will be administered by the local authorities under the surveillance of the commission.”

But, what was actually taking place was administrative management and governance by a fraudulent organ named GBLA (Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly) that was befooling the international community.

“GBLA has so far submitted all of its resolutions to the Ministry of GB and J&K Affairs Islamabad, which is not even bound to respond,” Khan said in his letter.

“Despite the fact that Pakistan has no right to establish its own political and religious parties in this disputed part, it continuously encourages, promotes and supports its own political and religious parties while actively discouraging, threatening, and arresting indigenous nationalist political parties with full state power. Pakistan occupation regime also actively engages in running their rumour-mills to malign every influential nationalist person, by labelling them as agents of RAW, CIA, or Mossad,” he added.

“We also want to let the world community know that the deployment of Pakistan Army in Gilgit-Baltistan by forcefully evicting indigenous people from their lands in Chilas and other areas to construct more and more Military cantonments is serious violation of UN resolutions,” he said.

“There is no legal, constitutional and judicial mechanism in place in Pakistan Occupied Gilgit Baltistan (PoGB) to protect people from human rights violations, except the UN and civilized world,” Khan said.

“The BNF appeals to the UNSC, UN, and the EU to put pressure on China and Pakistan to end the occupation of Gilgit Baltistan and to abandon the so-called CPEC by following their obligations under UN resolutions. The UN should also ask Pakistan to end its illegal occupation of Chitral and Shenaki Kohistan, allowing the local people to rule their Motherland as their birth right,” he concluded. (ANI)