Gilgit (PR): The people of Gilgit-Baltistan are not citizens of Pakistan and they are citizens of their own country, Gilgit-Baltistan. This was stated by the exiled chairman of Balawaristan National Front (BNF) Abdul Hamid Khan in a press release sent from Brussels.
“Some people repeatedly claim falsely that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are citizens of Pakistan because they have the identity card of Pakistan and its passport. If this was the case why Supreme Court of Pakistan did not accept this theory? The identity and Pakistani passport do not give us citizenship rights otherwise some of pro-Pakistan parties would have not beg again and again for the constitution rights by declaring province or by giving them seats in the parliament of Pakistan.”
He said traitor and loyalty were relative terms.“Read what 1973 constitution of Pakistan says about loyalty in article 53. ‘(1) Loyalty to state is basic duty of every citizen.’ The constitution of Pakistan also clearly defines its boundaries (4 of its provinces, capital, Islamabad and 8 of its federally controlled tribal areas.”
The BNF chief said Gilgit-Baltistan had been put in the article 257 provisions relating to the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It says that ‘when the people of the state of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the relationship between Pakistan and State shall be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State.” What government of Pakistan’s empowerment package of 9th Sept 2009 says, published on its 1st page “PART.1-PRELIINARY 2. Definition (b) CITIZEN unless otherwise expressed in this Order “Citizen” means a person who has domicile of Gilgit-Baltistan” It becomes obligation of a citizen to be loyal and remain loyal for his country, which determines by the constitution.That constitution gives him/her all the rights including the right of vote, the right to access to justice and the right to elect his/her own representative for the parliament, the highest legislative body. The constitution also determines the punishment if he/she does not fulfill his/her obligation intentionally by violating the constitution.
“We the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have no role in the constitution of Pakistan, which reminded us many times by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and Lahore High Court in the past. The highest judiciary of Pakistan decided as per its constitution that Gilgit-Baltistan is not part of Pakistan and disputed part of J&K. That decision and Zardari’s empowerment package 2009 also cleared that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are not citizens of Pakistan and they are citizens of their own country, Gilgit-Baltistan.”
He said that some people repeatedly claimed falsely that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan were citizens of Pakistan because they had the identity card of Pakistan and its passport. If this was the case why Supreme Court of Pakistan did not accept this theory? The identity and Pakistani passport do not give us citizenship rights otherwise some of pro-Pakistan parties would have not beg again and again for the constitution rights by declaring province or by giving them seats in the parliament of Pakistan.
This demand itself shows that we the people of Gilgit-Baltistan have no constitutional rights. Citizenship is a matter of constitution which cannot be provided by merely issuing Identity card or passport.The identity card tells only our identity and does not give us citizenship right and Pakistani passport is travel document nothing else. That type of identity card and passport I also have from Belgium government, which gives me more rights than even the citizens of Pakistan, except the right of vote, because I am not citizen of Belgium.
The Pakistani identity cards and passports issued to the citizens of Gilgit-Baltistan by Pakistani authorities also tell the story of double standard and hypocrisy of government of Pakistan. Treason or loyalty of a person is judged from his/her place of birth and nation he belongs, he added.
The loyalty and treason are two relative and opposite words.A person can possess both the qualities at a time, as there is no importance of good without evil. For example if a person loyal to one country, he/she has no obligation to be loyal to other one. It is necessary for anyone to be loyal to one country not two.
The meaning of loyalty and treason should be well understood, that everyone has the obligation to be loyal for his/her own motherland/fatherland of his/her citizenship or adopted citizenship and outside of that loyalty is traitor or disloyal, what some of our people commit.
A person can be treated as traitor, if he/she commits treason with his native land and paves way for others to enslave it by occupation and other means for their personal interest. Those people, who call the nationalist as traitors, know well that they themselves are traitors. Such people they are creating hurdles to get dignity for their Motherland, but they call us traitors to protect their personal interest by appeasing their masters by one means or the other. “We all nationalists are determined to remained loyal to our Motherland and do not help others to keep their occupation in spite all the discrimination, injustices and tyranny we face,” he said.