March 2017 News

Separatists Oppose Pak Plan To Annex Gilgit Baltistan

17 March 2017
DNA


Srinagar: Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), an amalgam of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani, moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, which spearheaded last year's unrest, said any proposal to declare Gilgit Baltistan as the fifth state of Pakistan is unacceptable. 'Kashmir, Ladakh, Jammu, Azad Kashmir (PoK) and Giglit Baltistan comprise a single entity. The political destiny of Jammu and Kashmir is yet to be decided. The proposal to declare Giglit-Baltistan as the fifth province of Pakistan will have a damaging impact on the disputed status of state,' said a JRL spokesman. Previously known as Northern Areas, the GB region had been part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. However, in 1970, GB was made a separate administrative entity, an arrangement which remained until 2009, when it was made a self governing territory of Pakistan with a separate Legislative Assembly and Chief Minister. 'The Jammu and Kashmir issue is a long-standing issue in international forums and the world community has agreed to decide its political destiny through resolutions acknowledged by the UN. Unless and until the people of state are provided an opportunity to decide the future through referendum, no division, alteration and changes are acceptable. Both India and Pakistan have no authority or right to alter the geographical status of the state,' said the spokesman. Declaring Pakistan as the prime party in the Kashmir issue, the JRL said people in Jammu and Kashmir have always regarded and accepted the role of Pakistan in this dispute. 'However, any step that may hamper the disputed status of Kashmir is unacceptable,' he said. The separatist trio expressed hope that Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will fulfill the commitment regarding the geographical entity of Jammu and Kashmir and will desist from this adventure of annexing GB as the fifth state of Pakistan. 'Pakistan should show wisdom and desist from such steps that may hamper the political and geographical position of Jammu and Kashmir,' the JRL spokesman said. Previously known as Northern Areas, the Gilgit Baltistan region had been part of the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. However, in 1970, Gilgit Baltistan was made a separate administrative entity, an arrangement which remained until 2009, when it was made a self-governing territory of Pakistan with a separate Legislative Assembly and Chief Minister. Now, Joint Resistance Leadership (JRL), an amalgam of Hurriyat hawk Syed Ali Geelani, moderate Hurriyat chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front chairman Mohammad Yasin Malik, which spearheaded last year's unrest in J&K, has said any proposal to declare Giglit Baltistan as the fifth state of Pakistan is unacceptable.

Line