MIRPUR (AJK) - The Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government has decided to oppose the possible move to merge Gilgit-Baltistan with Pakistan as its province.
“A resolution will be tabled in the AJK Legislative Assembly’s upcoming session scheduled to commence from January 12 to register a protest against any possible move to declare Gilgit Biltastan as fifth province of Pakistan by the parliament of Pakistan,” said AJK Minister for Finance, Planning & Development Latif Akber while addressing a press conference at Prime Minister House, Muzaffarabad. The AJK minister declared that Gilgit-Baltistan is the historic and geographical part and parcel of the state of Jammu and Kashmir. “Any attempt to merge it into Pakistan as a province will resort to a fatal blow to our stand in the light of United Nations resolutions on Kashmir envisaging the birth right to self-determination for the people of Jammu & Kashmir,” he warned.
He said that Gilgit is the constitutional part of Jammu & Kashmir state. He maintained, “Pakistan is strengthening its ties with China at the cost of division of Kashmir, but China is at good terms with Jammu & Kashmir and Beijing always entertains Kashmiris in their country without visa.” China, he added, has done trades worth trillions of rupees on silk route and it has spent a great deal on Kashmir. “We will not let a division of Kashmir at any cost,” he warned, saying that such a step would be more damaging than the dismemberment of the country in 1971. “I call upon the National Assembly of Pakistan to refrain from taking any such decision that does not fall in its jurisdiction. The parliament of Pakistan cannot take such decision unless we, the people of Jammu and Kashmir, take it,” AJK minister said.
He said that Gilgit/Baltistan had been given in the administrative control of the government of Pakistan on temporary basis. Thus, he advised the federal government not to think beyond that. He underlined that according to Karachi agreement and Supreme Court of Pakistan, Gilgit/Baltistan is the invincible part of the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Latif Akber maintained that the blames of India will be verified and it will have a bad effect on Kashmir issue if Gilgit-Biltastan is made and declared a province of Pakistan. Pakistan People’s Party, he declared, will not let it happen. He called upon the government of Pakistan to give rights to Gilgit-Biltastan at par with AJK and the provinces of Pakistan.