Saturday, 12 February 2011

Gilgit Baltistan, The Emergence of China Speech by Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri,

Gilgit Baltistan, The Emergence of China Speech by Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, Chairman, United Kashmir People’s National Party
Madam Chairperson, Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, and respected audiences.
I’m grateful to you for inviting me at the occasion of this auspicious seminar on Gilgit Baltistan in the House of Lords today.
Madam Chair, You have contributed in the number of peace initiatives during your term as member of the European Parliament at Brussels and at London in the past. Your personal efforts have also made European Parliament to take a very clear position on this part of the former princely state of Kashmir.
Most of us are well aware that nevertheless you have received enormous pressure from different quarters, and even Pakistani Ambassador stationed at Brussels have written you a letter requesting delink Gilgit Baltistan from the European Parliament resolution and debate, and followed by Chinese embassy letter that China has no link with Kashmir conflict. Whereas china has also occupied one part of the former princely state and taken another strategically important part of the former state as gift from Pakistan in 1963.
The political forces of the state of Jammu and Kashmir, are thankful to the European Parliament that she has endorsed the integrity of the entire state and also rejected any idea of division of Kashmir on any line whether religious, lingual or ethnical.
After UN resolutions the European Parliament resolution has provided a way forward for the local actors and peace brokers to help resolve socio-economic and socio-political problems of the People of the state, particularly under the administration of Islamabad.
Today, the topic is Gilgit Baltistan and emergence of china; the topic itself sensitized the gravity of the situation.
The Chinese government has changed its role in the regional conflicts in the perspective of Pakistan and India relationship. It is irony that china has gradually accelerated its influence in Pakistani state institutions and further to the areas like so called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Madam Chair, Gilgit-Baltistan is an economically under-developed and socially fractured society. The impact of Chinese military presence is highly disproportionate on the area.
Madam Chairperson,
It has been unveiled that China has always supported undemocratic forces in Pakistan and soon after a civilian Government was came into being at Islamabad after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the government of china has signed a memorandum of understanding with Jamaat e Islami known anti-democracy group in Pakistan. It has showed Chinese tendency and foreign policy. And also its future designs in the region.
I feel that instead of playing a role of honest broker China is more interested to colonize the natural resources of the area by using her proxies in the state institutions.
Madam Chairperson,
Today the war between different forces is to control the natural resources of the former state. In the perspective of the UN resolutions Pakistan has no locus standi and these areas are part of the former state of Kashmir. Since 1949, the area was taken by Islamabad; the people are subjugated and marginalized. The basic social sector infrastructure is very poor and except Karakorum High way which provides access china to the Pakistani Market the people are kept backward.
The greatest number of the population is below the poverty line, the local culture has been overwhelmed and undermined by Punjabi culture, by settling none locals in the area the demographic changes are also one of the greatest concern of the local people and civil society in the region.
In last 62, years under Islamabad’s direct rule only one university was established and some colleges for the entire population. Only Agha Khan Foundation and some other international NGOs are working in the health and education sector. The women education ratio is regrettably very low and it needs special focus.
Madam Chairperson,
Pakistan has completely surrendered before Beijing. And the Chinese are advancing their geo strategic agenda through Islamabad. The contracts of Mega projects like building dams in the area are taken by Chinese companies in Gilgit Baltistan and also in Pakistani Administered Kashmir.
And to safeguard those projects the Chinese army is also stationed there which has created greater concern and resentment within the political parties, human rights activists and civil society of the entire region.
Madam Chairperson,
Our emphasis on the occasion is that until final settlement of the Kashmir conflict, the people of the region should socially, economically and politically be empowered. Their legitimate human rights and constitutional rights be protected. We appeal to the world community that the people of both regions must not left at the mercy of Islamabad and world community should discharge its responsibilities regarding these areas.
We also request that world community should ask Pakistan to comply with the UN and European Parliament resolution and especial attention be given to the development and economical well-being of the people of its administered regions. I thank you,
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1 comment:

South Asia Democratic Forum said...

"Xinjiang and Gilgit Baltistan
The Politics of Exploitation"

On 13th July 2011,
Room No. ASP 5G - 1
European Parliament
10:30am - 12:30 pm, followed by Lunch

o Mr. Jurgen Creutzmann,
Member of the European Parliament,
Chairperson Friends of Gilgit Baltistan in the EP

o Ms. Kristiina Ojuland
Member of the European Parliament
Member of the Friends of Gilgit Baltistan in the EP

o Mr. Mehmet Tohti
Special Representative of World Uyghur Congress to the EU

o Mr. Mumtaz Khan
Executive Director,
International Centre for Peace and Democracy, Canada

o Mr. Roy Strider
Writer and Human Rights Defender

o Mr. Senge Sering,
President, Institute for Gilgit Baltistan Studies

Hosted by: Friends of Gilgit Baltistan, EU & South Asia Democratic Forum
For RSVP please email to with the following details
Name, Date of Birth, Nationality, Passport Number