JK News Commentary
People’s Conference chairman Sajjad Gani Lone’s wife Asma Khan Lone has raised a pertinent question about the rights and privileges of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan the part of Jammu and Kashmir that is under illegal occupation of Pakistan since 1947.
This question gains extraordinary importance now when the political groups in Kashmir , People’s Democratic Party and National Conference have raised a strong pitch for preserving the special status of the State by giving a call for the unity of all the groups to resist further erosion of the special status granted to the State in the Indian Constitution .
While their worries have typical political orientation that has been pitched harder ahead of the Assembly elections due now after the November 21 dissolution of the Assembly by Governor Satya Pal Malik, they are silent about the fate of the State’s territories under the illegal occupation of Pakistan . This is sheer double standard because this leadership will have to first decide which state are they talking about – the whole of Jammu and Kashmir is part of India because of the State’s accession to the country by last Dogra king Maharaja Hari Singh in October 1947 , within days after Pakistan sponsored tribesmen invaded Jammu and Kashmir.
Asma Khan Lone , whose family originally belongs to Gilgit Baltistan that Pakistan is bent upon incorporating on its political and geographical map with the help of army and has practically handed over to China , has sought answers about the people living under the repressive regime of Pakistan that has denied right to land and resources to them.
Ms Lone has tweeted : “ Oppose any changes to the special status of J&K (the little left) yet ironic that Gilgit-Baltistan was stripped of similar rights in early 1970’s. As renewed debate over its status erupts need to reclaim indigenous rights over natural resources, land ownership & fiscal autonomy.”
It is time for the political groups in Kashmir Valley to speak about the whole of the State, the parts of occupied by Pakistan deserve more attention because Pakistan is ruling ruthlessly over them.