Call to revoke Karachi Pact on N. Areas
29 April 2007
Rawalpindi: Speakers at a seminar here on Saturday criticised the rulers of Pakistan for depriving the people of Gilgit-Baltistan (Balawaristan) of all their democratic, national and human rights. The subsequent governments in Islamabad have been running the affairs of the strategically important region through remote control for the last 60 years and subjugated the over two million people of Balawaristan under state repression and bureaucratic rule. They asked the government to honour UN resolutions and give self-rule to Gilgit- Baltistan by rescinding the infamous Karachi Pact, signed on April 28, 1949 by the rulers of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir handing over the Northern Areas administration to Pakistan and declaring the region a disputed territory. The seminar on “Future of Balawaristan in the perspectives of Karachi Agreement and Kashmir issue” was organised by the Balawaristan National Students Organization (BNSO), a nationalist organisation seeking independence to Gilgit-Baltistan. A good number of youths and students belonging to Gilgit- Baltistan attended the seminar, where speakers criticised the architects of the Karachi agreement — Chaudhry Ghulam Abbas, the then chairman of Muslim Conference, and Sardar Ibrahim Khan, the former president of AJK — and said these Kashmiri leaders did not represent people of the Northern Areas. The speakers said the agreement had deprived the people of the Northern Areas of their political, democratic and economic rights. They vowed to launch a struggle for their basic democratic and human rights. Col (retired) Nadir Hassan, who was the chief guest on the occasion, supported the idea of an independent state and asked the participants that the dream could be materialised if students participated in the struggle. “Your understanding and approach to the problems being faced by the people of the Northern Areas is a good omen for the betterment of the area,” he told the students.