KARACHI: A strong protest demonstration was held by the office-bearers of the Balawaristan National Student organization (BNSO) and hundreds of other people outside the Karachi Press Club against the infamous and bogus Karachi Agreement of April 28, 1949.
Pakistan took administrative control of Gilgit-Baltistan after signing the fake agreement with three Kashmiri puppet leaders completing keeping the actual people of Gilgit-Baltistan in the dark. Since then, the two million people of the disputed territory of Gilgit-Baltistan have been kept under subjugation and denied their basic constitutional and political rights.
Addressing the participants of the protest, the speakers said that on Nov 1, 1947, the Gilgit Scouts overthrew the Dogra rule in the area and forced the rulers to flee from Gilgit-Baltistan for good. After winning independence, the then political leaders of the new state requested Pakistan to come and help in administering the area. At that time, the civilian government and the military of Pakistan hatched a conspiracy and decided to help the newly-create d state of Gilgit-Baltistan and alter termed the request for the temporary administrative assistance as an accession document. Later, Pakistan linked Gilgit-Baltistan with the issue of Kashmir and made it a party in the United Nations (UN).
The speakers said that as the partition of the subcontinent was affected on the basis of religion, the rulers of Pakistan were of the misconception that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan would also decide to join Pakistan. This was the basis that even till today, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have not been given their due rights. They said that on August 12, 1947, ie two days before the partition of the subcontinent, the heads of the new states entered into a standstill agreement with Nawab Hari Singh of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. However, when in October the same year, the same agreement as violated, Nawab Hari Singh had no other option but to announce his decision to accede to India. Under Article 370 of its constitution, India reserved seats in both Lok Sabha and Rajia Sabha (parliament) for all the units of Kashmir such as Jammu, Ladakh, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Later, the then prime minister of India, Jawahar lal Nehru filed an appeal in the UN stating that Pakistan was violating the 1935 Act so it should be stopped from doing so. As a result, the UN passed resolutions about the state of Jammu and Kashmir including Gilgit-Baltistan on Aug 13, 1948, Jan 5, 1949 and April 28, 1949.
The speakers added that in all the three resolutions the UN had asked both India and Pakistan to withdraw their civilian officials and military forces from the territories in order to enable the indigenous population to decide whether they wanted to join either of the country. For this purpose, an independent commission was also to be set up under which the people of the areas would decide about their future.
The speakers said that the day the Un passed the resolution on April 28, 1949, Pakistan orchestrated the fake Karachi agreement by getting it signed through the dubious politicians of Kashmir, Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas and Sardar Ibrahim along with its own minister without portfolio Mushtaq Ahmed Gurmani to take over the administrative charge of Gilgit-Baltistan. Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas and Sardar Ibrahim were neither the natives of Gilgit-Baltistan nor the natives of the area had elected them as their representatives to take any decision on their behalf. This so-called agreement was arranged only to hoodwink the world and occupy the area which still continue.
Since the signing of the draconian and black agreement, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have been deprived of all their basic rights and ruled by Pakistan by cattle. When the people raise their voice for their basic rights, they were dealt with the draconian anti-terrorism act and put in jail where they languish for years. These brutal acts are taken against the innocent people in order to keep them silent and perpetuate the illegal rule of Pakistan in the area, they added.
The speakers also said that Gilgit-Baltistan was part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir and party to the issue of Kashmir and until the resolution of the issue of Kashmir, Pakistan cannot launch any mega project on the territory. The irony of the matter is that China, which a veto wielding power in the UNSC, does not regard for the UN resolutions and has been violating it. The first example of this was in 1963 when during the construction of the KKH Pakistan without asking the people of Gilgit-Baltistan handed over about 2,500 square miles area in the Shimshal valley of Gilgit-Baltistan to China.
Besides, the government of Pakistan also tried to hoodwink the people of Gilgit-Baltistan by promising them lollipop for the construction of the Diamer dam. A similar attitude has been seen in the CPEC projects which Islamabad and Beijing are executing through Gilgit-Baltistan but without giving the people their due shares. The chairman of the parliamentary committee on CEPC, Mushahid Husaain has said that as Gilgit-Baltistan was a disputed territory, a share out of the 46 billion dollars CPEC project cannot be given to it.
The BNSO leaders on the occasion appealed to the UN and human rights organizations including Amnesty International that all these agreements involving the territory of Gilgit-Baltistan but signed without the consent of the locals should be declared null and void and the issue of Kashmir should be decide3d in accordance with the UN resolutions.