Query about Gilgit Baltistan.
Byline: Hasnain Balti - Skardu Gilgit Baltistan
Gilgit Baltistan (GB) is developing with a slow pace in all field of life owing to its vague status and geographical location but its potentials in trem of natural and human capital are enough to make the area well developed and prosperous.
Gilgit Baltistan's location catches the attention of the worldwide for its geographical and strategic importance. GB shares borders with two nuclear powers India, China and Afghanistan as well. Karakurm Highway is life line for Pakistan china trade while Siachan glacier is the world highest battle field which falls in these mountainous region where two atomic giants Pakistan and India have deployed army since 1984.
Gilgit Baltistan is surrounded by the beautiful mountain ranges Karakuram, Himalya and Hindukash making the area conspicuous in the field of mountainous ranges of worldwide. The world second largest Mountain K2 "Godwin Austin" is located in these mountains. Besides these there are many peaks and glaciers like Gasherbrum, Masherbrum, Biafo and Hispar are attracting thousands of climbers and expedition groups every year. Beside that River Indus is the largest river of Pakistan which enters Pakistan from this territory providing water for arrigation of millions of acres of land that produce a great chunk of our GDP. This area is full of precious gems and minerals . These resources have always been playing active role for employment generation.
The bravery of people can be witnessed in the war fought against Dogra in 1948 where their ancestor without any outside help defeated Dogra and liberated the whole of GB.The distinguished struggle for independence will be written in the pages of Gilgit Baltistan's history with golden lines. Besides this the area is fully enriched with its own culture, language and identity as Balti, Shina and Burshaski.
There is a dire need of attention towards the plight of the local people who have been abstained from all sorts of opportunities on the fast track of progress. Once the people were subjected to abide by the FCR "Frontier Crimes Regulation" which ceased their step in development. Later on Mr. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto abrogated it but yet the locals have never availed the exact rights of being Pakistanis. The Citizenship Act 1951 of Pakistan has been extended in GB on one hand but on the other hand they are deprived of their constitutional and political rights which Pakistan 's constitution allows to its citizens . In real terms politically and administratively GB is controlled by the Federal government even though the Empowerment and self Governance order 2009 was introduced claiming self governance to the people of GB.
This initiative was warmly welcome by the inhabitants of Gilgit Baltistan as revolutionary change. The ordinance package for Gilgit Baltistan has made no effect on the lives of people as the budget is the same as it was in the past . Local governing bodies are totally irrelevant and has no role to resolve the problems and difficulties of the locals.
It is worth mention that people of GB are even today struggling for their identity even after the lapse of more than six decades. The time has come for current government to take this matter seriously and go ahead for resolving the basic and real issues of the people of GB so that long deprivation could be stopped.