Chief Minister Mehdi Shah has said the directive of the Supreme Court of Pakistan regarding repatriation of inspector general of police (IGP) Hussain Asghar to Islamabad to take up a corruption case did not apply to the official because he was an employee of the government of Gilgit-Baltistan and the region is outside the ambit of the constitution of 1973.
The chief minister also said the government of Gilgit-Baltistan was not bound to implement the verdicts of the apex court of Pakistan. The chief minister, though without knowing the repercussions of the issue, has spoke the truth, at least, but his latest assertion belies his earlier statements and claims on many important national issues. He is apparently refusing to accept the orders of the Supreme Court but when Pakistan's former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was summoned by the same court he was among those in the fore front of the prime minister accompanying him to the court. He does not accept the apex court but takes with open arms the package given by Islamabad under which today he is enjoying all grandeur with perks and privileges with great pride. He also has no objection to the establishment of the council and legislative assembly but when it comes to the apex court, he takes cover under the disputed nature of the region. The chief minister also receives billions of rupees from the federal government but is not ready to implement the court verdicts. The chief minister should stick to his decision to resist the Supreme Court order to repatriate the former IGP in order to move on his stance on the disputed nature of the region and resolve the issue in accordance with the United Nations resolutions and the aspirations of the indigenous people. He should also now announce that Gilgit-Baltistan cannot be made the fifth province of Pakistan because its geographical and political status is yet to be determined under the UN resolutions. The misfortune of the people of the region is that people like Mehdi Shah and their cohorts have always danced to the tunes of the federal government in order to achieve their own vested interests and would continue to do so in the future as well. It is also a fact that the so-called political leaders before Mehdi Shah and company also worked for the agenda of Islamabad since 1947 but could not get the rights for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan which are available to those in all parts of Pakistan as well as in AJK.
It is also strange that the assembly and council of Azad Kashmir have the powers to amend the interim constitution of the state but Gilgit-Baltistan has been kept deprived of this right too. Here both the council and the legislative assembly are toothless and they cannot even change or insert a sentence in the Gilgit-Baltistan so-called self-governance and autonomy order of 2009. Besides, the people of Azad Kashmir have also the right to vote inside Pakistan and elect their 12 representatives to the assembly and council. On the other hand, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan even cannot think of getting such types of facilities. Under such a situation, should the people of Gilgit-Baltistan not consider themselves as the second grade citizen of the country? The other day, PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar during the meeting of a standing committee said when the people of Gilgit-Baltistan use Pakistan's currency and national identity cards why they are not being the rights available to other citizens of Pakistan?
This is a very important and big question for the rulers of Pakistan who have usurped the rights of the indigenous people of Gilgit-Baltistan for the last over six decades and even today not ready to accept the reality on the ground. If Mehdi Shah realizes that Gilgit-Baltistan is out of the ambit of the Supreme Court of Pakistan then he should approach the United Nations and win collaboration with the people of Kashmir should struggle for getting self-determination. For the last over three years, Mehdi Shah and his cohorts have hoodwinked the people of the region for safeguarding their own personal interests. The masses of the region are no more ready to be fooled at the hands of these foolhardy and would snatch their rights from the usurpers.
About Author: Dj Mathal is from Gilgit Baltistan (Yasin) and is Editor at Baang Sahar News.He/She can be reached through email@example.com