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Showing posts from January, 2019

Gilgit-Baltistan’s Kashmir Chapter (IV)

By  Syed Shamsuddin   BUT NEVERTHELESS, a recent minute analysis and summation entitled ‘Conspiracy Not Sympathy’ by veteran journalist Muhammad Qasim Naseem from Gilgit-Baltistan – published in a reputed regional Urdu daily – causes much consternation in that it brings forth startling revelations in the context of the intent behind the resolution passed by AJK assembly on the behest of their prime minister. Surprisingly, the resolution pertaining to and aimed at demanding an AJK-like set up for Gilgit-Baltistan was anvilled and unanimously passed by the AJK assembly the other day which to its movers, was something to efficaciously address the 71-year deprivations of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. Elaborating, it is assured that all political parties of AJK – whether within or outside AJK assembly have convergence of opinion to extend their full support to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in having the resolution implemented. Extemporaneously though, a few here in Gilgit-Baltistan

Gilgit-Baltistan’s Kashmir Chapter (III)

By  Syed Shamsuddin   WITH the humility of a historian, late W.G. Abbas who had himself lived through the period spanning the historic liberation struggle of Gilgit-Baltistan – aptly chronicled in an article titled ‘Provincial Status for Northern Areas’ published in early nineties inter alia that the British established a political Agency in Gilgit in the last quarter of the 19th century, which was, later abolished. After the conquest of Hunza, and Nagar, the area was divided into various administrative units. The two States of Hunza and Nagar remained independent in their internal affairs. The British took the administration of the four political districts of Punyal, Ishkoman, Gupis and Yasin in their own hands and appointed a local ruler who held office at the will of the government except the ruler of Punyal who was hereditary. All worked directly under the Political Agency which had been re-established after the conquest of the area. A British Assistant Political Agent w

Gilgit-Baltistan’s Kashmir Chapter (II)

By  Syed Shamsuddin   THE COURT ruled: “It is, therefore patent that the people of Northern Areas have been denied their fundamental right to have access to justice through an independent judiciary as envisaged by the Constitution and enunciated by this court inter alia in the case of Mehram Ali.” While giving direction for bringing changes in the status of Northern Areas, the court kept in mind that it was not competent to direct the legislature but to the federal government only. The court noted that the geographical location of the Northern Areas was very sensitive because it was bordering India, China, Tibet and USSR. The court stated it could not decide what type of government should be provided to ensure the compliance with the mandate of the Constitution. The court also held that it had no jurisdiction to direct the legislature for giving representation to the Northern Areas in the Parliament. “Any such direction at this stage might not in the interest of the country beca

Gilgit-Baltistan’s Kashmir Chapter (I)

By  Syed Shamsuddin   QUITE INTERESTINGLY, a widely circulated regional daily editorially reported the other day, as to a resolution having been tabled in Azad Jammu & Kashmir Assembly on the behest of prime minister Raja Farooq Haider calling for a setup for Gilgit-Baltitan akin to and on the pattern of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK). It is indeed a new development insofar as Kashmiri leadership contemplative of such a demand concerning Gilgit-Baltistan for an administrative, judicial and parliamentary dispensation for the region is concerned. This is primarily in seeing that the Kashmiri leadership all along in the past, was viewed opposing any move by the Pakistan government aimed at governance reforms in Gilgit-Baltistan to assuage the simmering disillusionment and growing discontent among the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. However, the resolution under in question is referred to as vocally saying that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan literally shorn of their rights to which

Prospective Governance Reforms in Gilgit-Baltistan

By Syed Shams Uddin RECENT print media reports speculate that the present government is mulling plans to introduce yet another package to be called the ‘Governance Reforms in Gilgit-Baltistan’ to replace the Order 2018 brought out by the previous government. The draft reportedly envisages renaming Gilgt-Baltistan Legislative Assembly as ‘legislative assembly’ while vesting the authority of remission or otherwise of sentences and reprieves, in the chairman council instead of the president of Pakistan. There is no mention of Sartaj Aziz Committee recommendations. On the whole, the proposed ‘governance reforms 2018’ is said to have mainly been centered on the Governance Order 2009 with the revival of most the clauses contemplated therein. Yet another feature of the draft under reference is the enhancement of the federal quota of jobs whilst redefining the citizenship. Earlier, a deadlock between the province and the federation over the ‘reforms package’ on the anvil was reported in