Abdul Hamid Khan is the chairman of Balawaristan National Front (BNF), a nationalist political party of Balawaristan (Pakistan Occupied Gilgit-Baltistan), which Pakistan had purposefully named as Northern Areas to keep its disputed status obscured. Chairman Khan started a political struggle for the human and political rights of the deprived people of Gilgit-Baltistan, after the year 1988. However, in the depoliticized region under the Pakistani bureaucratic establishment he faced many difficulties.
Name of BNF Chairman : Abdul Hamid Khan
EARLY POLITICAL ACTIVITIES
In the words of BNF chairman, “I was mentally shocked and my conscience was shaken, during the time of General Zia-Ul-Haq’s regime in 1988, when Pakistani and Afghan terrorists attacked our brothers (specifically Shia Muslims) by using the name of religion (Jehad). Until then, I was otherwise a sympathizer and worked for Pakistani parties, like Tehrik-e-Istiqlal. I was a supporter of Nizam-e-Mustafa campaign against Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, in 1977.”
THE ESTABLISHMENT OF BNF: After extensive deliberations, Balawaristan National Front (BNF) was formed on July 30, 1992 under the unanimous leadership of Nawaz Khan Naji, Abdul Hamid Khan, Mohammad Rafiq, Shujaat Ali, and Engineer Akbar Jan. The newly born national party worked boldly and presented the manifesto for a sovereign and independent Republic of Balawaristan, comprising 3 provinces. The party was the first to enlighten the people of this region about their disputed and enslaved status, deprived of all the fundamental rights of a human. The party brought the awareness that Pakistan was the usurper and its occupation is not legal according to the UN, international law, or any other universally recognized law or principle.
On 9 April, 1993, BNF gathered all political, religious and national parties of this land on a common platform to oppose the Pakistani occupation. During those days the situation in Gilgit was intentionally made tense by ISI. People from both sects were killing each other on the instigation of Pakistan. Military Posts had been established at every nook and corner of Gilgit. Troops and police personnel equipped with machine guns were on constant patrol. Notwithstanding, we brought the political leaders of both sides to the negotiating table for the establishment of sectarian harmony. At this first meeting, formation of an alliance known as Muttahida Mahaz was announced unanimously.
The members and attendees unanimously condemned and denounced the corrupt and illegal system setup by Pakistani occupants, and chalked out plans of a protest program till the restoration of rights and achievement of freedom. An ultimatum for 23rd March,1994 was given to the occupants and a protest meeting was held on March 24, which was confronted and thwarted by the Pakistani forces by sponsoring sectarian clashes among Shias and Soonis. In April a public gathering was held at Shahi polo ground Gilgit, as a result of which the Pakistan government, having gauged the stir, hastily announced a yet another so-called package. BNF identified and declared this package to be a clear cheating at the time, but the innocent people realized this much later.
For the first time in the history of Balawaristan (Pakistan Occupied Gilgit Baltistan), we revealed before the 2 million people of this land that Gilgit Baltistan was a disputed territory alongside Jammu and Kashmir in the UN, and that it is not legally or constitutionally a part of Pakistan. We sought freedom for this colonized part of the world. We declared that we did not wish to become a part of Pakistan on religious or any other grounds. We condemned the religious and sectarian game played against our people by Pakistan and its intelligence agencies, particularly the ISI. We mobilized all the political nationalist parties and made the case for our own government through organizing many public gatherings and seminars across Gilgit and different parts of Balawaristan. Finally, on 14th August 1997, BNF along with Karakorum National Movement (KNM) observed the first public Black Jubilee in the region against Pakistan Golden Jubilee. As a consequence, Chairman Abdul Hamid Khan and many of his colleagues were immediately arrested, tortured and sent to Jail by levelling sedition charges (Pakistani section 124A) against them.
CONTESTING IN ELECTIONS
The Chairman took part in the elections of Northern Areas Council in 1992 from Yasen / Gupis constituency, but was unable to succeed due to the lack of a firm awareness and fear of Pakistani occupation forces in the public.
Mr. Khan again took part in elections of the same council in 1995, in order to serve his people and to facilitate the achievement of fundamental human rights.
THE ISI INTERFERENCE
It came as an utmost shock to the Chairman of Balawaristan National Front (BNF) Abdul Hamid Khan, as well as to the whole party and nationalist activists of the region, that the nationalist leader and founder of BNF was pressurised to surrender his ideology by the dreaded ISI. Mr. Hamid is till date facing sedition charges of section 124 A, which carries life imprisonment in the Kangaroo Court of Gilgit, where many political opponents of Hamid have been given the contract for the Highest Court by the occupation regime of Islamabad on the recommendations of ISI. This simply implies that all the political opponents of Pakistani occupying regime, including Abdul Hamid Khan, will be awarded death or life sentence apart from other severe punishments, perpetuating the denial of human rights to the people of Balawaristan.
LIFE IN EXILE
Mr, Khan was constantly harassed, stalked, intimidated and hounded by Pakistani agents belonging to the ISI. Finally, after successfully dodging the grave threats to his life for a period of over three years, he fled Pakistan in May 1999, when ISI was directed to eliminate him, because of a single letter that he had written to the UNO and UNSC Members on 4th Oct 1998. In his letter, Mr. Khan had exposed the conspiracy of ISI in collusion with the Talibaan to invade Balawaristan first, and then Jammu and Kashmir afterwards, by either forcefully converting the majority Shia and Ismailia population OR by eliminating them altogether to take over the whole region.
Abdul Hamid Khan is the person, who revealed the disputed nature of Gilgit Baltistan first time in the history, nobody had even revealed this before him.
All the literature for BNF including its manifesto and constitution has been written by him.
All the following Books and Literatures were banned by occupation regime of Pakistan and its ISI.
- The Chairman published a magazine titled “BALAWARISTAN TIMES”, in which a detail survey and analysis of the natural resources was made, and corruption of the Pakistani occupied regimes was exposed. It was banned soon after, and all the copies were immediately seized from the market.
- Pakistani regime also banned his Urdu book titled “BALAWARISTAN KA MOOQADIMA (The case of Balawaristan)”.
- The occupying regime also banned his book written in English – “THE LAST COLONY of 21st CENTURY”, published on 1st November, 2001 from Gowalmandi, Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
- Untold Story of Balawaristan (Pakistan and China Occupied Gilgit Baltistan)
- Most Deprived and Neglected party of J&K
- Published Yasen Brooshaaski book, which was banned by Pakistani regime
- Pakistan Occupying regime has also imposed a ban on our website – www.balawaristan.net. ISI agents physically monitor all the internet cafés and offices in Gilgit Baltistan on strict regular basis to ensure that the restriction on the website is implemented.