Call to restore NAs’ historic name

16 June 2008
The Dawn

Skardu: Speakers at a public rally here on Sunday demanded restoration of the region’s historical name, Gilgit-Baltistan, instead of calling it ‘Northern Areas’. They also sought formation of an independent constituent assembly to draft a constitution for the region in accordance with the aspirations of the people. The speakers asked the world community to take notice of what they called human rights violations in Gilgit-Baltistan. The public meeting was organised by the Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement at Yadgar-i-Shuhada Chowk. The representatives of the component parties of the Gilgit- Baltistan Democratic Alliance (GBDA) appealed to the United Nations, European Union as well as the world community to focus their attention on Gilgit-Baltistan to help the people in achieving their basic human rights. The region’s historical name, Gilgit Baltistan, should be restored and the so-called ‘Northern Areas’ should be done away with, the speakers demanded. All the routes especially the historical route between Kargil and Skardu should be opened so that the divided families can meet each other. All land given to non-local people in Gilgit-Baltistan in violation of the State Subject Rule should be retrieved and the SSR should be enforced in the area, they added. The speakers said as per suggestion of President Pervez Musharraf, India should withdraw its forces from Kargil and Laddakh and at the same time Pakistan should pull out of Gilgit-Baltistan.