December 2019 News

Bid To Alter Demography, Identity Of Locals By Lifting Ban On Sale Of Land In PoK

15 December 2019
The Daily Excelsior


Jammu: Pakistan Government now seems to be clearly moving ahead in its sinister plot to change demography, culture and identity of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) with Prime Minister Imran Khan's office coming out with a proposal to lift ban on sale of property in PoK as well as Gilgit-Baltistan, which are part and parcel of India. The order assumed significance as it comes close on the heels of another order issued by PoK Government changing name of the Administrative Services amidst reports that Pakistan Government was mulling to make PoK either a fifth province or merge it with fourth province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which was earlier known as North Western Frontier Province (NWFP). An official order issued by the Pakistan Prime Minister's Office, a copy of which is in possession of the Excelsior, referred to a meeting which Imran Khan chaired recently on the issues of Gilgit-Baltistan and 'Azad Jammu and Kashmir' (Pakistan occupied Kashmir). The order signed by Imran Khan's Secretary Muhammad Azam Khan has sought detailed plan from the PoK and Gilgit Baltistan Division in the Pakistan Prime Minister's Office for lifting ban on sale of State Property. Observer believed that by lifting ban on sale of State Property in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan, the Pakistan Government proposed to go for large scale purchases by the Government administration and also facilitate outsiders to buy land there to alter demographic status, culture as well as identity of Pakistan occupied Kashmir, which was legally part and parcel of India. Urgency on part of Pakistan Government to alter demographic status of PoK can also be well gauged from the fact that that it has given just one week's time to 'Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Division' within the PMO to come up with order to lift ban on sale of State property in PoK. Imran Government was also reportedly trying to rope-in some foreign companies to initiate works in PoK. The Pakistan Government move to facilitate sale of property in PoK by the Government establishments followed by the people and PoK Government decision to change name of the Administrative Services have come after the Indian Government scrapped special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the erstwhile State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. Observers were of the view that Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was frustrated by the Indian Government's decisions on Jammu and Kashmir, lack of support to him from the international community on the issue and growing internal pressure and, in such a situation, could attempt to alter status of PoK. There have been reports that Pakistan could make PoK either a fifth province after Sindh, Punjab, Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa or merge it with Khyber. The Pakistan Government's move has drawn flak from majority of political parties in Pakistan occupied Kashmir who have declared to oppose Imran's decisions aimed at altering their distinct culture, identity and demography with all their might. Protests were being held regularly in different parts of PoK to oppose Imran's decisions tooth and nail. However, according to reports, PoK 'Prime Minister' Ghulam Hyder Khan, who was affiliated with former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League-N, has also strongly opposed the decisions of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party, which is headed by Imran Khan, to alter status of PoK. He seems to have been forced by the Pakistan Government to change name of the Administrative Services in PoK and set the process in motion for altering the status of the autonomous region. Haider Khan had recently stated in a public meeting that he could be the last 'Prime Minister' of PoK dropping enough hints about vicious move of the Pakistan Government over the region. Observers were of the view that Haider was threatened that his Government will be toppled if he doesn't fall in line with Pakistan Government. According to sources, the Indian Government was watching developments in PoK especially in the wake of change in the name of Administrative Services, the PoK 'Prime Minister's' statement (that he could be last 'PM' of PoK) and Imran's attempts to change demography, culture and identity of PoK. It may be mentioned here that only PoK has separate 'Prime Minister' and 'President' while provinces in Pakistan have the Chief Ministers and Governors. Indian Parliament had unanimously passed a resolution in 1994 during the regime of PV Narsimha Rao stating that PoK is an integral part of India. In Jammu and Kashmir Re-organization Act approved by the Parliament, the Central Government has kept 24 seats reserved for Pakistan occupied Kashmir in the Legislative Assembly of Jammu and Kashmir. The same numbers of seats were reserved in the previous J&K State Assembly as well for PoK. The Legislative Assembly of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir will have 114 seats. Election will be held on 90 seats and 24 will be reserved for Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The Central Government had on August 5 scrapped special Constitutional provisions of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcated the State into two Union Territories of J&K and Ladakh. Frustrated by the Government decision, Pakistan has been resorting to heavy mortar shelling and firing on the Line of Control in J&K since then. It also tried to internationalize the issue but badly failed in the attempts.

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