LAHORE: In the facade of exoticisation of Gilgit Baltistan , people of GB have become irrelevant and nobody talks about their rights and time is high to open a discourse on strategic importance of GB with respect to billion dollars project China Pakistan Economic corridor.
Speaker said that at a panel discussion organized by Rotaract Club of Forman Christian College Lahore yesterday on ‘Strategic Importune of Giglit Baltistan in China Pakistan Economic Corridor’. A large number of students from various departments attended the session. The session was moderated by Haidar Buluk.
On the occasion a mesmerizing musical performance was staged before a jam packed hall. Number of students hails from Gilgit Baltistan danced on the folklore tunes.
Zaigham Abbas, an expert on Gilgit Baltistan Affairs said there is mindset in GB about a social discourse which is much fractured as there is no representation of GB people in senate and parliament of Pakistan.
“Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009 gave more powers to GB council. HRCP report of 2016 stated that there were 189 suicides in GB. This needs to be open that out of 50 memorandums of CPEC none of them was about GB, he said.
There have been a Haqe Malkiyat movement (people’s rights movement) and for three days Karakorum highway was closed but no coverer in mainstream media, he concluded.
Dr Yaqoob Bangesh, Assistant Professor at the Department of History FC College that it was important to know history of the Gilgit Baltistan in order to understand the current strategic importance of GB region with respect to CPEC .
“British India created Gilgit Agency in 1877 and it was different from Gigil Wazarat, Hunza and Nagar independent princely states and tribal areas including Chilas and rest of Gilgit Baltistan area which we see now.
“There has been confusion between Gilgit Wazarat and Gilgit Agency which were actually two separate things. Government of Pakistan took it as same things and there was no clue what was happening in the area right after the partition.
“It was strange that even Major Brown cabled who gained control of GB on November 1, 1947, cabled that the control of Gilgit is his hands and the whole area ready to become part of Pakistan. The state of Pakistan sent a representative after 16 days despite assurance and the accession occurred on November 16 1947,” he said.
Professor of Sociology Dr Julie Flowerday said colonial British India did not resolved the territorial issues of GB as well which later complicated the scenario.
Ammar Ali Jan, assistant professor of sociology Punjab University that CPEC is part of very big development taking place in region. He said canal colonies in British India and green revolution in Ayub Khan’s era needs to be reexamined as all people got equal opportunity or not.
He said GB has been paying and compromising environmentally for CPEC and this is like a mirror for the rest of Pakistan and we all have to put efforts to raise the importance of the Gilgit at global level.__The Nation