Thu, 30 Mar 2023

Vienna [Austria], January 28 (ANI): The deteriorating condition of Gilgit-Baltistan is a matter of great concern as the region has lost its political and constitutional identity in the past seven decades, reported Voice of Vienna.

Gilgit-Baltistan is currently in a serious financial crisis and seeking the release of funds from the federal government.

Gilgit-Baltistan Governor Syed Mehdi Shah highlighted the region's financial crisis and asked for financial aid from the federal government, reported Dawn.

Sources told Dawn that the federal government had not released the annual financial development grant of the GB as the region depends on the financial grant of the federal government.

Meanwhile, the region is facing a serious shortage of wheat. However, due to an increase in the wheat price across the country and GB, the GB government had to purchase less wheat which resulted in the wheat shortage in the area as additional funds from the federal government are required to purchase the required quantity of wheat for the area people.

The total budget is Rs 13. 6 billion. The federal government provides Rs 8 billion annually to GB to subsidize wheat for the region's people.

GB stand deteriorated in multiple aspects - socio-political conditions, the sectarian and lingual dissension caused obstacles to the development of the region, however, no attempt to strengthen socio-economic and political arenas has ever been made, reported Voice of Vienna.

Gilgit-Baltistan has the potential to be an attractive destination for travellers, and tourists due to its unique topography as well as geostrategic position. This mineral-rich place has also been the target of foreign occupiers.

China devised a mega road map to transport its goods and commodities to the rest of the world through its new giant OBOR "One Belt One Road" project, also known as BRI, reported Voice of Vienna.

GB is the gateway of Pakistan's part of the BRI project viz., CPEC "China- Pakistan Economic Corridor". Pakistan's secret land deals with China in a mineral-rich area of GB raised protests against the projects because the people of the region were never taken on board as stakeholders.

The deal allows Chinese companies to mine in the GB region without debarring locals' jobs. Residents of GB believe that Pakistan has in fact leased out the entire region as thousands of Chinese nationals are already employed at CPEC projects in the region, reported Voice of Vienna.

The region is deprived of the revenue generated by trade with China -- valued at about half a billion dollars. The feeling of neglect and exploitation has pushed the locals to demand Independence.

In June 2013, Taliban insurgency spilled over into the territory, when about a dozen heavily armed Pakistani Taliban executed 10 foreign mountaineers at Nanga Parbat, reported Voice of Vienna.

On the pretext of the terrorist threat to CPEC, Pakistan has amended its Army Act and established military courts in this region, thereby further terrorizing the community, reported Voice of Vienna.

Despite the Anti-Terrorism Courts (ATC) to prosecute terrorists, it has instead been used politically to prop up a colonial system. The military first promoted extremists to counter secular and nationalist groups and then used the spectre of extremism to justify increased military presence to maintain law and order.

It is a win-win situation for the military at the expense of locals. It is baffling as to how military courts can be extended to GB, leaving aside the criminal justice expected from military courts, reported Voice of Vienna.

Pakistan's Army Act, of 1952 provides for a four-tier structure of military courts at the field, district, and general levels.

The district level comprises three commissioned officers with at least two years of experience. The military will be responsible for the preparation of a summary of trials, evidence, and other groundwork for the terrorists to be tried in these courts.

It is questionable as to how can a GB court extend its jurisdiction to proceed against a citizen of Pakistan when Pakistan itself claims that GB is not a constitutional part of Pakistan and its Constitution is not applicable to it, asked Voice of Vienna. (ANI)

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