RAWALPIDI: For the last 68 years, successive governments of Pakistan have been ruling the people of Gilgit-Baltistan by giving them just lollipops. How long this fake system would continue.

The people of the region were given under the rule of Pakistan under the bogus Karachi agreement in which the locals had no representation. And since then, Pakistan has been ruling the area through proxies only under this piece of paper signed by a representative of Pakistan and two so-called leaders from Azad Kashmir who had no mandate of representing the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.

These views were expressed by prominent nationalist leader Dr Ghulam Abbas Astori while addressing a press conference here. He said that Gilgit-Baltistan is a disputed territory and a party to the overall issue of Kashmir. Unless the issue of Kashmir is resolved, the area can be given a constitutional set up so that its residents can enjoy basic human rights under the charter of the UN but its status cannot be determined.

He complained about the nationalist leaders in the area and said due to their approach he was now feeling trepidation to call himself a nationalist. He said that he had been working for the cause of the people of the region without joining or forming a political party.

In reply to a question. He said that after sensing dangers from the nationalists, the leaders of the awami action committee in collusion with the government handed over the committee to maulvis. Even then, he added, he was still a part of the committee without becoming a tool of somebody. He said he had the sentiment to work for his people and even for the humanity at large.


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