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Friday, 16 July 2010

JKLF chief opposes self-governance

GILGIT: Amanullah Khan, chief of his own faction of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) has said that any move to make Gilgit-Baltistan a province of Pakistan will damage the struggle of millions of Kashmiris fighting Indian rule in the disputed Himalayan state.

“If the liberation movement in the Indian occupied Kashmir fails, the people wishing to make Gilgit-Baltistan part of Pakistan will be held responsible,” Khan told The Express Tribune in an exclusive interview late on Tuesday night in Gilgit.
Amanullah Khan, who originally belongs to Astor district of Gilgit, said that the G-B Self-Governance Order 2009, has caused irreparable loss to the Kashmir cause as giving a province-like status to the region means burying the Kashmir issue for good.
“Bringing G-B under Pakistan’s Constitution will mean that the region isn’t disputed and that India has the right to continue its rule over its part of Kashmir against the wishes of its people,” he elaborated.

The JKLF chief urged the Pakistan government to make the G-B council independent, withdrawing representation of the prime minister and five other federal ministers from it. He added that the area should have a prime minister and a president in the style of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). Khan described the G-B Self-Governance Order 2009 “a sugar-coated pill whose bitterness will feel once its surface melts.”
Khan said the process of “slow poisoning” initiated by the Pakistan government would seal the fate of Kashmiris who have rendered innumerable sacrifices for getting independence from Indian occupation.

“The day G-B is given the status of a province in Pakistan, the longstanding Kashmir issue will come to an abrupt end, leaving no opportunity for anyone to defend it anymore. And I am sensing a change in the thinking of people too, which is suicidal, to say the least,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 15th, 2010.

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