Fed up with Pak, oppressed Gilgit Baltistan residents will vote for India, says Abdul Hamid Khan

ANI | Updated: Oct 02, 2017 17:20 IST

Brussels [Belgium], Oct.2 (ANI): Chairman of the Balawaristan National Front (BNF), Abdul Hamid Khan, has said that the oppressed people of Gilgit Baltistan will vote in favour of joining India as they are fed up with Pakistan's colonial rule.

"There are only two options - either you can vote to India or you can vote to Pakistan. After the long 69 years of experience, we the people of Gigit Baltistan believe we are living under Pakistani occupation and we live like in a prison of 72,000 square kilometers (area). By keeping that in our mind, if we have only two options, we will not give our vote to Pakistan, we will vote for India" said Khan, who lives in Belgium in political asylum.

Criticising Islamabad for violating the UNCIP Resolution and for falsely framing political activists, religious persons and students of Gilgit Baltistan under the controversial anti-Terrorist Act of Schedule IV, Khan said access to justice is denied because there is no legal, constitutional high court or Supreme Court in the region. He claimed that the judicial system of Gilgit Baltistan is under Pakistan and its armed forces 's firm control.

"Pakistan is the first country which violated the UNCIP resolution. If you are demanding a UN resolution, first you perform yourself, your obligation - you withdraw your forces from the area, and then, you can ask the United Nations to ask India to withdraw the bulk of its forces from that area. But, Pakistan is violating the rights of the people of Gilgit Baltistan. We are not allowed free speech, we are not allowed to free walk in our area. If you say anything, you will be detained under the terrorist law and booked for sedition, you will be detained under Schedule IV. People have no freedom and people of Gilgit Baltistan have no access to the justice system", Khan said.

He added that the lives, properties and freedom of the people is under serious threat due to Pakistan and China's joint conspiracy to strengthen their occupation under the garb of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The corridor, which starts in China's Xinjiang Province enters Pakistan via Gilgit-Baltistan.

Calling Gilgit Baltistan as victim of multi-billion dollar CPEC project Khan said, "Gilgit Baltistan is the first victim of CPEC because the Chinese government did not talk with the representatives of the Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly, the governor or the chief minister and take them into confidence. Before the CPEC agreement was done during the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) government and Asif Ali Zardari, who was known as "Mr. 10 Percent", he takes his own share. Also, the whole Pakistan Army is backing the CPEC because they have got a lot of money, they are defending the CPEC. Nobody in Gilgit Baltistan was consulted before the CPEC and even after".

"We are totally against the CPEC. If you are doing some development or some good thing for the people of Gilgit Baltistan, why don't you talk to them? Without taking them into confidence, its violation of their rights, it's a violation of the UNCIP resolution, it's a violation of the Pakistan Constitution and it's a violation of all norms of international law," Abdul Hamid Khan told ANI.

People from across Pakistan and China are now settling in Gilgit Baltistan as in 1974 the Government of Pakistan abolished State Subject Rule in the region.

In an utterly disgraceful move to ensure its own colonial control over Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan has deployed its citizens in all departments, including administration, police and judiciary.

Abdul Hamid calls it a deliberate attempt by Pakistan to grab the resources of Gilgit Baltistan by making the indigenous people into minority.

He added, "In whole Jammu and Kashmir, including Ladakh and Gilgit Baltistan, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir imposed State Subject Rule in 1927 to protect the people, their history, their culture, resources and their land from outside invasion. India is respecting the State Subject Rule. No Indian citizen from other state can buy any land in J&K and cannot acquire any permanent employment there and their rights are protected. But on the other side, in Gilgit Baltistan, this law is totally violated as Pakistan is sending on daily basis its citizens by violating the State Subject Rule. Pakistanis are not a democratic loving people as they don't listen to the people's voice".

"Now the people of Gilgit Baltistan are becoming a minority in their own land. Tomorrow, if the CPEC is completed after the construction of six mega dams in that area, six Pakistan Army divisions will be deployed to protect those dams, the ISI and Chinese people will also be there. After the completion of the CPEC, you won't find any indigenous people in the area. Even today, in Gilgit city, you will hardly find any local residents. That has become like any other Pakistani city" said Khan, who demanded serious international intervention to protect the rights of the local people.

People in Gilgit Baltistan are living under constant fear as Pakistan and China continue to indulge in violating all international norms by exploiting the resources and land.

A large number of political workers in Gilgit Baltistan are facing death sentences in fake cases without right to appeal in any High Court and Supreme Court.

Those who raise their voice against the forceful occupation are being crushed. (ANI)