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Kashmiris unwilling to allow govt to annex GB: by Mian Abrar in Pakistan Today, Apr 14, 2017

14 April 2017 No Comment

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may face strong resistance from various segments of society within Pakistan and from parts of Jammu and Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan itself if the federal administration goes ahead with the implementation of the recommendations of the (Gilgit-Baltistan) reforms committee.

Former Kashmiri prime minister Sardar Attique Ahmed Khan said that any such decision would be tantamount to the division of Jammu Kashmir which would never be acceptable to Kashmiri people. “Kashmiris living on either side of the Line of Control (LoC) as well as in Laddakh, Aksai Chin and Gilgit-Baltistan are party to the Kashmir issue along with Pakistan and India,” said Sardar Attique, who is also the president of the All-Pakistan Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference.

He said that any change in the status of Gilgit-Baltistan would prove detrimental to Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir. He said that Kashmiri people were the custodian of the freedom struggle and they would never allow anyone to surrender Kashmir to India. Asked if the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a major cause for the government’s plan to annexe the region into Pakistan, Attique said that the border agreement between Pakistan and China provided the basis for the CPEC and there was no need to change GB’s status.

“It seems that Prime Minister Sharif is implementing the agenda of (Indian Prime Minister) Narendra Modi and (his National Security Adviser) Ajit Doval. This effort is aimed at turning Pakistan a puppet state of India. Perhaps, this is the agenda for which worst rigging was done to help elect Sharif as the prime minister,” he said.

Attique said that the people of Kashmir would resist and foil all evil plans to divide Kashmir, adding that Nawaz Sharif would do disservice to the nation if he took a step that would be detrimental to the Kashmir cause for which millions of people had laid down their lives. “Any such step would tantamount to violation of the UN resolutions on Kashmir. Muslim Conference would launch a campaign to block any sinister plan,” he added.

Jammu Kashmir People’s Party Chairman Sardar Khalid Ibrahim said that the government was ill advised, warning that it’s haste might damage Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir. “If Prime Minister Sharif plans to do so, he would have to remove the Articles one and 257 from the constitution. Article 257 doesn’t allow Pakistan to give representation to the people in Gilgit-Baltistan in its constitution,” he added.

He said that the Karachi Accord was another impediment in this regard.

He said that another agreement which was signed by the Chinese leadership too in year 1963 was another hurdle. “This document also provides that the people of Indian-held Jammu Kashmir, Leh, AJK, Aksai Chin and GB would vote when a plebiscite is held to decide the fate of Kashmiris,” he added.

Sardar Ibrahim said that without a plebiscite, Pakistan could not annex Gilgit-Baltistan. “The PML-N regime is strengthening India’s case on Kashmir. This is tantamount to division of Kashmir which we would never allow. We strongly oppose any such move,” he added.

Jammu Kashmir Liberation League (JKLL) Chairman Abdul Majeed Malik said that after signing the Simla Accord, it was a bitter truth that both Pakistan and India wanted to turn the Working Boundary alongside Kashmir into an international border.

He said that over the past few decades, the Pakistani government did not raise the Kashmir issue at the UN Security Council, adding that from former general Pervez Musharraf down to Nawaz Sharif, all the rulers quietly decided to surrender. He said that Musharraf had made an effort to strike a deal with India over the Kashmir issue, while Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had made the same effort a number of times. “He tried to strike a deal with former Indian prime minister IK Gujral, then with (another former prime minister) Atal Bihari Vajpayee and recently with Narenda Modi, but the people of Kashmir did not allow it to happen,” he added.

The Liberation League warned that any such step would not only harm the cause of Kashmir since both Pakistan and India were bound to comply with the UN resolutions (on Kashmir).

Abdul Hakim Kashmiri, a Kashmiri scholar and author, said that by giving representation to Gilgit-Baltistan in parliament, Pakistan would repeat the mistake that India had committed in 1952.

“India did it because New Delhi claims Kashmir as its integral part. On the other hand, Jammu Kashmir is not a part of Pakistan under the Article one of its constitution. Any step to annex Gilgit-Baltistan into Pakistan would be tantamount to violation of Pakistan’s own constitution,” he added.

When Pakistan Today argued that under the proposal, there would be no amendment to the article one of the constitution, the Kashmiri leader said that any such step would weaken its own case on Kashmir. “If GB members would become a part of the Senate or the National Assembly, it would technically mean that the region has been annexed (into Pakistan),” he said.

The leader said that any such step would also be a violation of the Karachi Accord which, according to him, was the “only legal testament that provides legal authority to Pakistan’s administration of GB and AJK”.

“I understand that Pakistan wants to provide legal cover to CPEC in a bid to remove Indian objections over it. However, this would rather weaken Pakistan’s position,” he added.

Asked about the legal provision for CPEC, the Kashmiri said that the government of Pakistan should have signed an accord with the Chinese government, while the governments of AJK and GB should also have become parties to the deed.https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/02/13/kashmiris-unwilling-to-allow-govt-to-annex-gb/

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