Gilgit Baltistan is a region that has languished at the periphery of the country’s mainstream socio-political system for seven decades, still waiting for their due constitutional rights.

My valor ancestors had freed GB from the Dogra regime after a bloody one-year war, rendering scores of sacrifices. Finally, GB opted to side with Pakistan unconditionally. They were of the view that they would enjoy basic rights and spend lives under the umbrella of an Islamic Welfare State.

However, contrary to their envisagement, GB has never enjoyed even their fundamental constitutional rights. Since we have no representation in the Parliament, there is no advocating for GB. The recent procrastination in making GB a provisional province until the resolution of Kashmir Issue has surged the sense of resentment and alienation among the populace. People of GB now do not trust the cosmetic and ad hoc government models. They are not interested in nominal orders and packages, because such an order has failed GB in the past. Therefore, the new government should make GB a mainstream part of Pakistan by giving it a proper constitutional status.

We love Pakistan and are desperate to hear people calling us ‘Pakistani’.

ZAHID ALI ZOHRI,

Gilgit-Baltistan, March 26.