JAMMU, Mar 19: Reacting strongly to the Pakistan’s designs with regard to Pak occupied Jammu and Kashmir, Dogra Saddar Sabha (DSS) today said that India must scuttle the mis-adventure of Pakistan in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Addressing a press conference, former minister and president Dogra Saddar Sabha, Th Gulchain Singh Charak after holding a meeting of its Core group here today said that Govt of India and `think tank’ of the country must work out a strategy to scuttle the mis-adventure of Pakistan in Gilgit Baltistan which is legally a part of India.
Charak pointed out that Pakistan had under its illegal occupation the Gilgit Baltistan area of PoJK which covers 72,496 sq km. It was divided in 1970 by Pakistan into two separate administrative divisions: Mirpur-Muzaffarabad (which Pakistan calls “Azad” Kashmir) and the Federally Administered Gilgit-Baltistan. Gilgit-Baltistan which was earlier referred to as the “Northern Areas” in Pakistan. Pakistan illegally ceded the Shaksgam Valley, around 43,180 sq km, to China in a 1963 border agreement. Now, it intends to legalize and annex this area as her `5th Province’.
DSS leader said Pakistan’s recent move to declare Giligit-Baltistan as its 5th Province is to further ascertain her position, possession and occupation. The Indian declaration of its being “entirely unacceptable” and other related objections may end in only a war of words. The Ministry of External Affairs have to look for stronger and more effective ways of not only rhetoric but a meaningful approach.
Charak recalled that DSS pointed out on September 11, 2009, that “Pakistan has passed a Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and self Governance order 2009 ” on 30 August, 2009. By doing so unilaterally Pakistan had once again violated the status quo of Jammu and Kashmir by imposing its direct authority over Gilgit-Baltistan since the region is not part of Pakistan but an integral part of India.
On the insistence of DSS, meetings were held with the highest authorities in the Ministries of Foreign Affairs at New Delhi during 2009. India re-affirmed that Pakistan had been in illegal occupation of parts of the Indian State of Jammu and Kashmir since 1947. New Delhi’s objections to Pakistan’s plan of holding elections in PoJK’s Gilgit-Baltistan region in 2009 were a mild afterthought and a belated assertion instead of expressing strong objection.
DSS proposed in 2009 to have a seminar by inviting representative from PoJK, Gilgit-Baltistan and leading members of society from Jammu and Kashmir. This proposal couldn’t see the light of day due to lukewarm reactions by the Central and then State Governments, hence the matter was put in cold storage.
Charak asserted that National leadership should pronounce a firm claim to serve Gilgit-Baltistan and its people better by exposing Pakistan’s illegal occupation, its military and its apparatus of terror networks.
Prof Neel Kanth Sharma, PS Gupta, GA Khawaja and Col (Dr) Virendra Sahi were also present.