Gilgit-Baltistan: Pakistani Forces Implicated in Killings in Gilgit
The Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement has condemned all military activity carried out by the Pakistani army in the region in the wake of the recent floods. Their chairperson has expressed his concern that the civil population of Gilgit-Baltistan will suffer as a result.
Below is a press release by the Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement (GBUM):
During a press conference in Skardo on August 31, 2010, Manzoor Parwana, the Chairperson of Gilgit Baltistan United Movement expressed concern over unabated targeted killing of innocent natives of Gilgit-Baltistan. He blamed Pakistani security forces and intelligence agency personnel for their direct involvement in promoting instability in the region, which is part of the former Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir and remains under Pakistan’s occupation since 1947.
He said, “The death of four innocent residents of Gilgit city in the last week of August and destruction to six houses shows failure of so-called "province-like" administrative body in controlling the mayhem and providing security to the natives. Pakistani security agencies use such incidents as a tool to divert attention from degrading economy, the constitutional impasse as well as the destruction from the recent flashfloods. However, rampant joblessness and back-breaking expensive commodities will eventually force the people to come on the streets and rebel against the occupying forces.”
He reminded that even though the chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan has requested Islamabad to transfer control of the para-military to Gilgit; however, this will still not solve the chronic political problems. He said, “The only viable solution is immediate and complete withdrawal of Pakistani security forces and illegal settlers from the region. As target killing was introduced only after Pakistan stationed her troops in Gilgit-Baltistan in 1947; the issue will also resolve with Pakistan’s withdrawal.”
He condemned the security forces for harassing the natives and subjecting them to body searches at numerous military check posts established in the city. He said, “While the security forces disrupt normal pace of life in Gilgit-Baltistan, they provide ample opportunities to the terrorists to orchestrate target killing and escape without any resistance.”
He said that the patrons of these terrorists, found among the ranks of Pakistani bureaucrats and military officials, play the well-rehearsed colonial game of divide and rule to weaken the natives in their demands for self determination. He opined that the so-called empowerment package has enabled such Pakistani officials to tighten their grip over the land and resources of Gilgit-Baltistan. He appealed to the natives to unify to regain control over local natural resources rather than relying on Pakistani handouts.
Manzoor Hussain Parwana
Chairperson, Gilgit Baltistan United Movement (GBUM)
August 31, 2010