"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong; they are the ones to attain felicity".
(surah Al-Imran,ayat-104)
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User Name: Mathal
Full Name: Dj Mathal
User since: 14/Apr/2008
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Hollowness of the system

While introducing the provincial set-up in Gilgit-Baltistan, Islamabad had assured the local, non-local people as well as the international community that the new system would compensate for the slavery and deprivation the people of the region had gone through during the last 63 years. Not only that, the local people would also enjoy self rule and autonomy and the package would be a giant leap forward towards socio-economic development in the region which had so far remained mired in poverty, unemployment and backwardness. Moreover, after introduction of the system, the region would be opened up to the world and its rich culture, traditions and languages would be introduced at the international level. In short, through tall claims and flattery, the cunning rulers and the bureaucracy succeeded in temporarily trapping the gullible people of the region to achieve their vested interests. However, after a short span of time the conscientious and well informed people of the region have realized the reality and objectives of enforcing a non-elected and outsiders-dominated Council on the elective assembly of the region that has now exposed its .  
According to well-informed sources, three main sources of earning that in the economic term are called 'blue chips' - water, minerals and tourism - have been handed over to the non-elected and outsiders-dominated Gilgit-Baltistan Council. And as a result, the council will be formulating policies paving ways for investment and awarding contracts etc., to the blue-eyed boys and favorites and the income generated from these sectors which amounts to billions of rupees will be transferred to Islamabad every year. On the other hand, the region of Gilgit-Baltistan will remain in the same state of poverty, backwardness extending the begging bowl to others for even meeting its basic needs of food and other items. And as the income would be transferred to Islamabad, there will be no auditing of the cash and if any it would be carried out by those picked up by Islamabad. It may be noted here that in its recent issue this newspaper had warned that the KANA Division in Islamabad was trying to even snatch the Rs3 billion allocated to Gilgit-Baltistan and so far there has no clarification or denial of that report.
History tells us that no nation in the world has ever been eliminated through war no matter how forceful and strong the attacker was. We also know that even after ruling a nation for hundreds of years, the occupiers could not destroy the culture and traditions of the subjugated people and for that they had to take help of traitors among the subjugated nations. These collaborators and conspirators have a long history of conniving with the occupiers deceiving their own people for vested interests. When we come to Gilgit-Baltistan we see that there has been no shortage of such elements who have been more loyal than the king and looted the resources of the nation in connivance with the occupiers. When last year the rulers sitting in Islamabad were trying their level best to make tall claims and hoodwink the two million people of Gilgit-Baltistan, we had warned that the aims and objectives of the so-called package was not aimed to give autonomy and other rights to the region but to perpetuate the rules of Pakistan and continue robbing the region's natural resources. But the so called leaders of Gilgit-Baltistan claimed that the destiny of the region lay in the package and after its implementation the region would see revolutionary socio-economic changes. They also claimed that those opposing the package were the enemies of the nation and did not want progress and prosperity come to the masses.
However, soon after the implementation of the fraud package, the masses in the region realized that there was no change in their life and the claims were just another political gimmick. Soon after giving the package to the people, the first thing the rulers did was to impose tax on all vehicles plying in the area. Unfortunately, the masses in the region showed complete lack of understanding and resistance against the unjustified tax after which the rulers were so emboldened that they altogether took control of the three highly profit giving sectors of the region by handing them over to the un-elected and non-representative Council. We understand that one of the main reasons behind handing over of these three sectors to the council is expression of no confidence on the elected legislative assembly and the supreme appellate court of Gilgit-Baltistan. The court has very recently ruled that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have the full right on the royalty of the proposed Dimer dam.
At this time we consider it our duty to warn the nation that we must do something to stop the open robbery on our natural resources and safeguard our socio-economic, political and cultural rights and raise the issue at the international level. It is also a fact that there are also people who have been opposing the self rule ordinance and working along side us to safeguard the rights of the two million people of the region. This was one of the reasons that a reasonable section of the elected members of the GB legislative assembly had opposed the formation of the Council and termed it against the interests of the nation.
They were of the view that if the council was so indispensable its members should be directly elected and if its chairman was to be taken from Islamabad he should have only a supervisory role. At the moment, six of the members of the council have no relation of whatsoever with the region while its chairman is also not a resident of Gilgit-Baltistan. In short, seven of the 14 members of the council are non-local and non-elected.
In such a situation when the nation has no say in decision-making process and its natural resources are being plundered by both hands, is there any responsibility on the shoulders of the nation, especially the youth to cerate awareness among the masses and protect the rights, for the sake of our coming generations? This is a question we should ask ourselves, because if we fail we will be answerable before the next generation. And it is also important that we rise to the situation before it is too late.


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