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Islam and Politics ( 9 Nov 2009, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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Kashmiri leaders reject Pakistan's move to give Gilgit-Baltistan a province-like status

London: The United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) has unequivocally rejected Pakistani government's move to give Gilgit-Baltistan a province like status and branded it the colonisation and further occupation of one of the integral parts of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Calling it a stab in the back of Kashmiri people by the Pakistani authorities, the leader of UKPNP Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri asked the Kashmiris of all stripes and their friends and sympathizers all over the world to raise their voice against the subjugation of Gilgit-Baltistan in the name of so-called package announced by the Pakistani regime on 29th of August 2009. Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri was delivering a telephonic address from Geneva, where he is busy these days arranging a series of meetings to oppose the Pakistani move and to raise awareness on the issue, to the UKPNP demonstrators who gathered here outside the High Commission of Pakistan to protest against the clear violation of the United Nations resolutions which state that Gilgit-Baltistan is an integral part of the united state of Kashmir and its constitutional and political future status is yet to be resolved.

UKPNP’s UK based leaders Jamil Latif, Mujatba Ali Shah, Usman Kayani, Sardar Asad Khan, Akhtar Kashmiri, and Sardar Afzal Tahir led the demonstration. Shaukat Ali Kashmiri said the move by Pakistan had fully exposed the fact that Pakistan was only interested in grabbing the land of Kashmir and only interested to plunder its natural resources  and it’s propaganda of being a friend and well-wisher of Kashmiri people was a drama all-along.  The governor and the assembly, Kashmiri said, will be a rubber stamp body and it will have no legitimate authority in the eyes of Kashmiri people and it will only serve the interests of Kashmir’s occupiers in Islamabad.

The UKPNP leader stated that he would continue to expose the true face of the Pakistani establishment and the different guises, including the exploitation of religion and creed, they use in order to fight a proxy war and advance their objectives and expansionist designs. He said the opposition to the Gilgit-Baltistan package in Pakistan’s intelligentsia was a proof that Pakistan’s civil society realises the dangers of such a dangerous move. He welcomed the various statements from Pakistani civil society opposing the annexation of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Jamil Latif told the gathering outside the Pakistan embassy that the UKPNP considered the Pakistani government’s package detrimental to the fundamental political stance of the Kashmiris on the Kashmir issue. He said Kashmiris had waged a war to create a secular and independent state and Pakistan had worked everything it can to divide the Kashmir on permanent basis. Jamil Latif asked the Diaspora Kashmiris to unite on the platform of the UKPNP and create unity to achieve the goal of a state which can a model of peace and prosperity for the entire south Asian region.

In his address, Mujatba Ali Shah demanded international community to pressurise Pakistan to honour the UN Resolutions on Kashmir and stop it from implementing its colonisation agenda. Pakistan should be asked to recognise Gilgit-Baltistan as the part of the historic Kashmir entity and it must be asked to stop its destructive policies which have only heaped miseries on the people of area.“Pakistani establishment has always exploited the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. It has never hesitated to fund jihadi and sectarian Taliban in the region for a long time.

“Thousands of indigenous Shia Muslims have been killed by sectarian groups, who are agents of Pakistan’s secret services, but Pakistan carried a blanket ban on Gilgit-Baltistan so that the world could not know about the genocide of local people.“Now it has crossed all limits in going ahead to annex the Kashmiri areas into it’s own territory. There is no pretence anymore.”

He said the move was aimed at giving China an upper hand in the region by giving it full-fledged access to the area and its resources, adding the United States and other countries with influence on Pakistan must ask Pakistan questions.

Gilgit Baltistan Administrative Package as an attempt to pave the way for permanent division of Kashmir between India and Pakistan and said the move has negatively affected Kashmiri peoples' struggle for right to self rule and independent state.  Sardar Asad Khan said that Gilgit Baltistan constitutional Package was an attempt to pave the way for permanent division of Kashmir and it must awaken those Kashmiris who had always thought Pakistan was their elder brother and legal counsel. He said Gilgit-Baltistan is historically and geographically integral part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir those who plan to annex taking steps contrary to the historical facts which will have dire consequences for the existence of Pakistan itself.

He demanded of the government of Pakistan to immediately withdraw the package and consult the United Nations before taking any decision which can prove detrimental to the peace of the region. Sardar Asad Khan appealed to the Kashmiris from all sides and school of thoughts to unite in raising their voices to the conspiracy to divide the unity of our motherland.  “We will not let the forces of division win in their mission. We will resist this unilateral move and our struggle for a united Kashmir will continue.”Usman Kayani, the president of the UKPNP, handed over a memorandum to the representative of the High Commission of Pakistan and informed the Pakistani mission about the high level anger of Kashmiris.

September 24, 2009

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