Connect with us

Blogs

Crown on the Head of Pakistan

Justice Retired Muzaffar Ali

Published

on

Force Commander FCNA Major General Ehsan Mehmood

Recently, Force Commander FCNA Major General Ehsan Mehmood addressed a public gathering in Skardu on the eve of solidarity with people of Occupied Kashmir, illustrated Gilgit-Baltistan as “Head of Pakistan”, and hailed the people living therein with the title “Crown on the Head” of Pakistan.

The signification of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan with the words that, none other anywhere in Pakistan, is more loyal and patriotic to Pakistan than that of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. He uttered these words with a commanding and responsible impression on his face. I borrowed the words of the general for the title of this article.

Indeed, the golden words vocalized from the mouth of the Force Commander Federal Constabulary Northern Areas are recognition and admiration of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan by Pakistan Army, of their allegiance to Pakistan. The able military general, from the day first of his
posting, has shown his love and affection to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.

He is known to be in reach, to help and to meet grievances of needy people, when, and where his help is requested. The instant example I read in social media and in newspapers, seems great to help a convicted person Baba Jan who is suffering from heart disease in jail. The person was met and shifted CMH Gilgit for his treatment properly on the orders of the Force Commander FCNA himself.

The commander hugs underprivileged and poor in the streets and gives them a sense of protection. The general, in fact, act on the principle that, no army, how much strong it may be, cannot defeat the enemy unless the civil population joins in hand with the army. The positive attitude extended by the force commander is exemplary to other high ups serving in Gilgit-Baltistan. They should also behave alike and avoid a colonial mentality.

Irrebuttable, the other aspect of positive behavior of this man shines and transpires his clear concept of understanding the geopolitical importance of the region. Geopolitical location of the region makes it a gateway to the regional powers, having approaches with each other.

Gilgit-Baltistan is bounded with China, Occupied Kashmir and Afghanistan. A little strip of Pamir prevents to bound this region to south Asian states. Geopolitical importance of the region remains as important today as it was important for the British Government in India because of USSR. The Russian government might penetrate into British India through this region with the intention to spread communist ideology at that time.

Today the superpowers like the USA are worried about China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) between China and Pakistan. The burning of the Indian government and her cries are witnessed from media.

Besides all the above geopolitical importance, if the only issue of water shortage is discussed then too this region having not any less importance for Pakistan. The experts have given their opinion on the subjects that; Pakistan fastly travels towards dryness in the country. Prime minister of
Pakistan also has warned the nation in this regard. Pakistan has the only region, to which nature has bestowed with abundant water reservoirs. Lofty snow clad mountains and huge range glaciers therein are the only hope for Pakistan to meet the severe situation of a shortfall of water in future.

This region is called Gilgit-Baltistan which has been kept disputed by relating the same to Kashmir issue. The present status of GB needs to be reconsidered by the responsible quarters and think tanks in Pakistan, even if, they could not traverse from their previous stance, then; they should realize the ambition of people of Gilgit Baltistan as their fed up to the teeth with the present colonial setup. people of Gilgit-Baltistan want a constitutional status in Pakistan. At least, add power to the status
to occupied Kashmir by enemy country India or the status given to Azad Jammu and Kashmir by Pakistan.

The recent verdict given by the Supreme Court of Pakistan can be cited in this regard wherein a safe way out has been directed to follow the recommendations given by the Sartaj Aziz Committee. The federation can
make a provisional province of Gilgit-Baltistan pending disposal of Kashmir issue by amending the constitution as the Supreme Court has categorically held in his verdict that, a provisional province pending disposal of the Kashmir issue is not fatal to the Kashmir issue.

Before departing, I invite the attention of the commander FCNA and 10 core commander to use their good offices to convince federation of Pakistan and the opposition to solve this problem of Gilgit-Baltistan which is in fact the Pakistan’s own problem if deeply understood the issue, keeping in view the importance of the region in present scenario stated above.

Justice Retired Muzaffar Ali has served as the former judge of the Supreme Appellate Court of Gilgit-Baltistan. After his retirement, he regularly writes about the legal aspects of the constitutional rights of Gilgit-Baltistan.

Blogs

In Pictures: His Highness Aga Khan’s First Visit to Hunza in 1960

Imran Ahmed Hunzai

Published

on

Aga Khan in Hunza 1960
Photos: Abdul M. Ismaily

On this day in 1960, His Highness Prince Karim Aga Khan made his historic first visits to Hunza and laid down the foundation of what we know as a model valley today. Since then, Hunza has come a long way and developed into a model valley for many. Every year on 23rd October, Ismailis of Hunza Valley celebrate this day as “Salgirah” to commemorate Aga Khan’s visit to Hunza for the first time.

During the first visit of His Highness Aga Khan to Hunza, photographer Abdul M. Ismaily took numerous photos that remained unseen for decades. However, in 2016, Simerg Photos released a number of pictures of this historic visit with the permission of Abdul M. Ismaily’s family.

On this happy occasion for the Ismailis of Hunza, GBee is pleased to share some of the photographs from Aga Khan’s first visit to Hunza in 1960.

Attached by pulley to the third cable was a wooden box, five feet square, with sides rising 18 inches. This was the only way to Hunza. The five journalists which included two Americans were horrified, and despite urging from Pir Ali Allana, the Aga Khan’s advance man, none would get into the box. Far across the river, men pulled on a rope, and, swaying and shaking, the box shot out over the swift-flowing stream of Hunza River. Today, the Nasirabad Bridge stands in this place.
Ismaili Volunteers with community leaders during the preparations to receive H.H. The Aga Khan at Baltit Polo Ground in Karimabad, Hunza.
Col. Ayash Khan, the brother of Mir Jamal Khan, the last royal ruler of Hunza, is seen standing in a uniform with members of the royal family of Hunza outside the royal palace in Hunza where His Highness the Aga Khan resided during his visit in 1960.
Aga Khan first visit to Hunza Valley 1960
Aga Khan in Hunza 1960

H.H. Aga Khan in conversation with Mir of Hunza.
Aga Khan in Hunza 1960
Continue Reading

Blogs

Federation of Pakistan has no way but to implement Supreme Court directives

Justice Retired Muzaffar Ali

Published

on

Supreme Court's Decision about Gilgit-Baltistan

The constitutional status of Gilgit-Baltistan is as old as the Kashmir issue. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan liberated their motherland from the illegal occupation of Maharaja Regime. People constituted a local government in the region thereafter, newly created Muslim country Pakistan extended its de-facto jurisdiction over the region but again attached Gilgit-Baltistan to the Kashmir issue.

State of Jammu & Kashmir, ruled by Maharaja before the partition of Indo-Pak, divided into three parts main portion was captured by the Indian army which is still called occupied Kashmir. A small portion thereof was liberated by the Kashmiris with the help of tribal men, which is called Azad Jammu and Kashmir. The third is GB region which is also considered disputed under Security Council resolutions.

Since all the above mentioned three parts were claimed by both the countries, Pakistan claimed entire Jammu & Kashmir state to be its part as per partition agenda agreed upon by the parties while India claimed the Kashmir state as per so-called accession deed made between India and Maharaja Kashmir.

Kashmir issue prevented the two neighboring countries from friendly relations rather thrown them into wars against. That is what the situation became hurdled for both the countries to declare, the parts of Kashmir state in their de-facto control, to be their integral parts.

India gave a special status to occupied Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian constitution while Pakistan also awarded special status to AJ&K through an Act of parliament. People of AJ&K have their own Constitution but unfortunately, Gilgit-Baltistan ruled by executive “Orders” imposed from time to time by the Federal Governments in Islamabad, despite a persistent protest against.

The Federal Governments deprived people of Gilgit-Baltistan from their fundamental and constitutional rights, as such there remained nothing but to invoke the jurisdiction of “Supreme Court of Pakistan” hence the issue was taken to Supreme Court and got a verdict from there with the directions to provide fundamental rights safeguarded by an independent Judiciary guaranteed by constitution even if needed to emend the continuation of Pakistan but the verdict given by august “Supreme Court” in well-known case “Al-Jihad Trust” was turned no ears by the Federation for decades.

Thereafter, many petitions under Article 184(3) were submitted before Supreme Court even the federation itself filed a petition before against an order passed by the Supreme Appellate Court GB whereby, “Executive order 2018” was suspended. The Supreme Court heard all the petitions about the constitutional status of Gilgit-Baltistan pending before, after getting legal assistance of learned Attorney General, counsel for petitioners and even getting the assistance of senior jurists as “amicus curiae”.

During pendency, a committee headed by learned Attorney General submitted a new “proposed order 2019” before august Supreme Court. The honorable Court with the assistance of all the jurists appeared in the case and honorable Attorney General once again visited through the proposed “order” modified and sanctioned it by annexing the same with the judgment announced on 17-01-2019 as part of it and directed forthwith promulgation of the same by the President of Pakistan on the advice of the Federal Government and in any case within a fortnight hereof;

The Federal Government, either on one or another pretext did not comply the mandatory directive of august Supreme Court and used delay tactics to abuse the process of law apparently submitting applications to get an extension of time to advice President of Pakistan to promulgate the attached order.

The honorable Supreme Court did not extend any further time on the application submitted before the Court and during the pendency of the application the Federal government again has taken a U-turn by filing another application to amend the “annexed order 2019”.

The situation jolted bar counsel and other bar associations in GB to resist mala fide move of the Federation and their representatives appeared before on the date of hearing.

The plain reading of the judgment, I have come to the conclusion that the federation cannot introduce an amendment to the “GB Order 2019” unless the same is promulgated by the President, thereafter to the Federation can introduce amendments within the ambit of the directive (II) of SC in its judgment. The amendment application submitted without first compliance of the directives issued by the Supreme Court amounts to contempt of court.

The situation, in this case, is parallel with that situation once has arisen in judicial history when PM Yousaf Raza Gillani using executive tricks impliedly refused to comply the directives issued by the august Supreme Court and had to face contempt of court and resultantly lost his premiership.

During proceedings on 22-05-2019 although the honorable judges (as reported in the newspapers) showed their annoyance through their remarks it seems honorable judges acted upon the principle of judicial restraint, otherwise the Federation might be taken for contempt of court.

In further proceedings, if the Federation insists its plea of the amendment and also requests for getting further time to send its advice to the president for the promulgation of the proposed order which is annexed to the judgment that the legal status may turn towards contempt of court.

The federation must understand that the honorable court has provided judicial imprimatur and permanence to the proposed “order” and restrained the executive from their whimsical interferences and awarded unassailable judicial protection to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in the cited judgment.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Like us on Facebook

Advertisement

Trending