Islamabad: Asserting that Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) is also part of the Kashmir dispute, Awami Workers Party (AWP) president and Supreme Court advocate Abid Hassan Minto pointed out that when asked about its legal status, the Pakistan Government has no answer to it.
Speaking at a seminar titled ‘Gilgit-Baltistan: Democracy or a Colonial System?’ Minto asserted that anyone who speaks against the establishment’s policy is made to face the consequences.
“Just one secretary has the power to run the affairs of Kashmir and GB and now the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is passing through GB. However, controversies are arising which are harming the project,” Dawn quoted him as saying.
Minto said that the UN, India and Pakistan were not interested in resolving the Kashmir issue.
Talking about the agreement between Quaid-i-Azam and Jawaharlal Nehru at the time of partition, he said that states had the right to remain independent if they wanted and that heads of states also had the right to decide on the matter.
“Pakistan has been talking about Kashmir and holding a referendum but has not contacted any international body in the last 70 years to address the issue. If the Kashmir matter is solved, there will be no tension between Pakistan and India and the establishment will not get one-fourth of the country’s budget,” he added.
He said that the Army has ruled the country for 35 years but never bothered to take the issue to the International Court of Justice.
“Some elements just want to keep the issue alive and don’t want to solve it. On the other hand, India is an emerging power and no one wants to go against it,” he said.
Meanwhile, other speakers at the event demanded that Baba Jan, a social and political activist and the other 11 political activists who were sentenced to 70 years in prison be released.
Representative of the Jammu and Kashmir National Awami Party, Professor Mark Khaleeq said that instead of allowing the people of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan to decide their future, the establishment has been taking decisions for them.
Awami Workers Party, Gilgit-Baltistan President Zahoor Elahi said the problems in the region will increase if state agencies continue to interfere in the matters of Gilgit-Baltistan. (ANI)