Conspiracy against Gilgit-Baltistan
By Sajjad Shaukat
With the assistance of anti-Pakistan powers, India which has already been supporting separatism in Balochistan has also accelerated conspiracy against the province of Gilgit-Baltistan by backing the minority nationalist elements which claim an independent Balawaristan there. These external entities are also behind target killings and sectarian violence in these areas.
Notably, especially, Indian secret agency, RAW has played a key role in the Northern Areas in organising a number of nationalist groups such as Gilgit-Baltistan Democratic Alliance (GBDA), Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement (GBUM) etc.—and particularly Balawaristan National Front (BNF) which plays a leading role, claiming that Chitral and Kohistan are inseparable parts of Gilgit-Baltistan, known as Balawaristan.
RAW which performed a major role in forming BNF in 1992 has been providing it with political and financial support including arms and ammunition. The sole aim is to promote the agenda of an independent Republic of Balawaristan from Kohistan to Chitral and Khunjrab to Skardu which also includes Ladakh.
BNF is also organising students so as to instigate the sentiments of separatism among them. For this aim, on July 29, 2008, BNF had created Karakuram Students Organization (KSO) at Karakuram University Gilgit, and also decided to form Balwaristan National Students Organisation (BNSO).
With the help of foreign entities like parliamentarians, media anchors, scholars and human rights groups, India manipulate the petty matters and local rivalries to damage the national interests of Pakistan. In this regard, with the diplomatic support of Indian officials and RAW agents, on October 18, 2008, BNF leader Abdul Hameed Khan had held meetings with Emma Nicholson, the Vice Chairperson of the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the European Union and member of the European Parliament. In that meeting, Abdul Hameed blamed Pakistan for human rights violations in Gilgit and Baltistan, exaggerating regional disparities which are very common in the less developed countries due to a number of problems like lack of resources, finance, high population growth etc. Surprisingly, India, itself, is facing these problems.
Ms. Emma Nicholson visited Islamabad in February 2008 and had meetings with Shafaqat Inqalabi of BNF and advocate Muhammad Iqbal of Karakurum National Movement (KNM). Both the leaders requested her to initiate a resolution in the European Parliament about human rights violations in Gilgit-Baltistan. They also submitted basic data regarding political, economic and social disparities including alleged human rights violations in connection with those areas to Ms. Nicholson. In fact, statistics were already prepared by these organisations with the instructions of RAW.
In this respect, Indian conspiracy could be witnessed from the self-contradictory statement of BNF leader Abdul Hameed Khan. In his exclusive interview with Indian Hindu Sitah (india.indymedia.org), he advocated total independence of Gilgit-Baltistan (Balawaristan), but emphasised integration with India. He also requested New Delhi for more political, diplomatic and media help for his movement.
However, India and its foreign collaborators have started propagating against Pakistan, targeting the people of Gilgit-Baltistan to pollute their minds by distorting the historical truths through their wicked write ups, articles and seminars held at foreign soil. The aim is to accord more credibility to their propaganda campaign and also to muster external support for their nefarious designs against Pakistan.
In this context, the lethal role played by Imtiaz Hussain, President of Gilgit-Baltistan National Congress and a Virginia-based Satellite Engineer, and by Senge H. Sering President of Washington-based Institute of Gilgit-Baltistan Studies is significant. Their propaganda contents not only distort the historical truth about Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan, but also instigate separatist notions for the target audience. They also advocate resumption of traffic and trade across the Line of Control from Gilgit-Baltistan to Ladakh, while opposing building of dams, expressways, railways and gas pipelines by Pakistani government—spreading disinformation that it will damage the ecosystem, causing environmental ramifications.
Sering is currently based in New Delhi and is a visiting faculty for Indian Institute of Defence and Strategic Analysis (IDSA). His intent can well be understood, as real perpetrators, particularly, RAW assign him the task. His design is based on wicked efforts to confuse and complicate the status of Gilgit-Baltistan province in the eyes of the world opinion builders, while creating sense of separatism and feelings of dissent among the loyal people of Pakistan’s this province.
Particularly on the direction of RAW, nationalist elements of Pakistan’s Northern Areas have been making efforts for opening of Kargil-Ladakh road. It is part of Indian conspiracy to fulfill its covert agenda. For this purpose, refugees from Indian-held Turtuk, Tiaqshi, Nabar and other towns—now settled in Gilgit-Baltistan are being exploited through various tactics. In this context, a Kargil-Ladakh Refugee Committee of Skardu has already been formed to propagate the issue. RAW agents, diplomats and related-organisations have been inviting various delegations intermittently from the Northern Areas to New Delhi for implementation of Indian secret agenda.
While Gilgit-Baltistan is integral part of Pakistan, and its native population is very loyal and patriotic. The people of the area derive inspiration from Pakistan’s national anthem and feel highly privileged in holding the Pakistani flag as high as possible. They are simple and straightforward people blessed with good features, tough physique, good mannerism, psychological warmth, self respect, and sense of sacrifice. They love their land as much as they adore the entire Pakistani nation.
At the time of partition, they bravely fought against overwhelming Indian forces and got the region freed from Britain-backed Indian Army. Ever since, they have remained loyal to Pakistan. During three wars with India, they offered numerous sacrifices to save Pakistan. Hence, the entire nation is proud of their bravery, vision and devotion.
Nevertheless, besides other hostile elements and RAW’s physical aid, Indian media has also been misleading the masses of Gilgit-Baltistan by promoting anti-Pakistani nationalist voice.
In response, Pakistan’s media must expose real designs of Indian propagandists who use foreign soil in inciting these people for separatism, and in distorting facts about Pakistani province of Gilgit-Baltistan. Our media anchors must also inform the people regarding conspiracy against Gilgit-Baltistan.
Sajjad Shaukat writes on international affairs and is author of the book: US vs Islamic Militants, Invisible Balance of Power: Dangerous Shift in International Relations