Deputy Speaker of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, Jafarullah Khan (File Photo)
Deputy Speaker of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, Jafarullah Khan (File Photo)

Pakistan's policies failed to generate employment in Gilgit-Baltistan: Jafarullah Khan

ANI | Updated: Jan 28, 2019 18:37 IST

Gilgit [PoK], Jan 28 (ANI): Deputy Speaker of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, Jafarullah Khan hit out at Pakistan on Monday for its failed policies to generate employment for the youth of its occupied territory.
“We had a lot of hope but we don’t seem to be getting anything from Pakistan. They have also weakened the Gilgit-Baltistan order 2018 by transferring the powers of the region to the Federal government of Pakistan. People are angry over this,” Khan said during an interview.
“So we need to find ways to placate them. Employment could be provided to them. Skilled youth of this region could also be provided a quota amongst those who go out and serve in different countries. Then, they will not just be able to send remittances back to the country but will also be able to run their family,” Khan added.
Both skilled and unskilled people in Gilgit-Baltistan, the part of erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, are affected due to failed policies of Islamabad.
People say that a dwindling economy, poverty and denial of fundamental rights coupled with rampant corruption have further worsened the situation.
The mounting crisis is not a resultant of the Pakistani economy that has witnessed an unprecedented slump lately but perennial cruelty which has marginalised locals, who have been subjected to ever since the invasion of the region, the deputy Speaker  said.
Khan further noted that the locals have made repeated demands seeking the consolidation of the private sector in the region. However, all their pleas have fallen on deaf ears of authorities who do not want to let the region get developed.  
“The region doesn’t have much of agriculture land. There are no industries there. The private sector is still at bay from the region. So employment is largely dependent at the government departments. A large number of employees from Pakistan are working in the government offices of Gilgit-Baltistan, at least 25 per cent of them. So, our endeavour is that our youth which is largely unemployed should get employment through different channels and means,” said Khan.
“Firstly the private sector should be set up there, industries should be there. And along with that the small agricultural land, mining and minerals, they can also benefit from”, he added.
The status of the region has always been in a limbo with Islamabad, which has been ruling the region through ad hoc executive orders.
These orders are basically used as a suppressive tool to keep the indigenous people of the region under check and are aimed at curtailing the fundamental rights of the citizens of Gilgit-Baltistan.  
Latest in the list, the Giligit-Baltistan order 2018, which transferred all the powers vested with the Giligit-Baltistan authorities to the Federal government of Pakistan, was introduced to facilitate the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), an ambitious multi-billion economic project that had hit multiple roadblocks owing to earlier status.       
Activists who have dared to resist the joint ambitions of Pakistan and China have been slapped with sedition charges.
The draconian Schedule IV which in reality brought to bring such situations control has been used indiscriminately.  (ANI)

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