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JKLF chief Yasin Malik opposes Gilgit-Baltistan merger with Pakistan

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Srinagar: Separatist JKLF chief Yasin Malik on Tuesday wrote a letter to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, opposing moves to merge Gilgit-Baltistan with Pakistan as he has “no moral authority” to make a policy that “will adversely affect the future of millions of Kashmiris”.

He said such a step will give India a political and moral right to do the same with Jammu and Kashmir. He said he was writing the letter as media reports spoke of a meeting to be chaired by Sharif on January 14 to deliberate on the future of Gilgit-Baltistan.

“Apprehensions have been raised in various quarters that your government may reach a consensus to merge Gilgit-Baltistan with Pakistan,” Malik wrote. Noting that the change in constitutional status of Gilgit-Baltistan was being debated in view of the China-Pakistan economic corridor, the separatist leader said, “Economic development is good but you have no moral right to make policy that will adversely affect the future of millions of Kashmiris.”

Asking Sharif to “stay away from such a course of action”, Malik said, “If Pakistan imposes its sovereign writ over Gilgit-Baltistan, India will then have a political and moral right to integrate Kashmir with it. With one stroke, Pakistan will be helping India to consolidate its writ on Kashmir.”

Malik, recalling a meeting with Sharif in Lahore in 2009, said “You clearly vindicated Kashmiri position on Gilgit-Baltistan and opposed any proposal that will change its legal or constitutional status. “I will also add that history is not made by small bargaining and territorial exchanges but by respecting the will of the people.”

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