Connect with us

News

Ups and Downs of Supreme Court’s Decision about Gilgit-Baltistan

Justice Retired Muzaffar Ali

Published

on

Supreme Court's Decision about Gilgit-Baltistan

The Supreme Court of Pakistan’s judgment about the constitutional rights of Gilgit-Baltistan was enthusiastically awaited by its people, the Federal Government, the people of Azad Kashmir and even the people of Jammu & Kashmir. Obviously, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan were considering the Supreme Court of Pakistan as their last hope to determine their constitutional status which was pending for more than seven decades on the pretext of Kashmir issue. The judgment by the Supreme Court of Pakistan finally came on 17th January 2009 which is now publicly available.

The people of Gilgit-Baltistan, since their independence, are ruled by the Federal Government either by imposing Frontier Crimes Regulation – FCR or through “administrative orders”. Persistent denial of granting fundamental rights and constitutional status to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, in fact, tantamounts to denial of aspirations of people towards Pakistan. The prejudicial attitude of Federal governments compelled people to invoke the constitutional jurisdiction of Supreme Court as last resort to address their basic grievances.

Eventually, they knocked the doors of Supreme Court and the Supreme Court, for the first time, delivered a judgment in this regard in the year 1999. Whereby, the august Supreme Court recognized the fundamental rights of GB as citizens of Pakistan and directed the federation to initiate appropriate administrative/legislative measures, even federation was directed to make necessary constitutional enactments.

Eventually, they knocked the doors of Supreme Court and the Supreme Court, for the first time, delivered a judgment in this regard in the year 1999. Whereby, the august Supreme Court recognized the fundamental rights of GB as citizens of Pakistan and directed the federation to initiate appropriate administrative/legislative measures, even federation was directed to make necessary constitutional enactments.

Also on GBee: Watch Justice (R) Muzaffar Ali’s take on Supreme of Court Pakistan’s verdict on the Constitutional Rights of Gilgit-Baltistan

The Federal Government ignored the above cited judgment and continued “administrative orders” time and again. This worse situation was enough to awake Gbians to protest against. People raised strong protest resultantly, Nawaz government constituted a facts finding committee headed by Mr. Sartaj Aziz, the former foreign minister, to submit its recommendations about constitutional status of GB. The recommendations were submitted to the government but all in vein. The government instead again framed an executive order called The Government of Gilgit Baltistan Order 2018. The people lodged a strong protest against but it was imposed anyway.

When Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf established Federal Government after the General Elections of 2018, the hopes of the people of Gilgit Baltistan were extended with an express impression, to table the point of “provisional provincial status” before the cabinet meeting in pursuance of recommendations made by Sartaj Aziz Committee.

The point was tabled twice before the cabinet meeting but turned down. Khan’s cabinet apparently surrendered before an effective protest launched by the AJK leaders and to cover this U-turn, the government introduced a new “Executive Order”. The Supreme Court attached the new order with the instant judgment calling it as “Proposed Order”.

Read: Interview with Afzal Shigri – Why do the people of Gilgit-Baltistan oppose GB Order 2018?

The “Proposed Order” attached with the instant judgment seems far better than that of previous orders, for its salient features i.e. (a) its preamble speaks about intention of federal government to make GB a “provisional province” till pending disposal of Kashmir issue. (b) It admits the new “order” to be a temporary arrangement till the time constitutional amendments are sought. Despite of above narrated good features in the order, it is again an executive one having discriminatory provisions contradictory to full fundamental rights which can be provided to the people of Gigit Baltistan under the constitution.

The petitioners almost in all petitions have assailed the vires of executive orders including the “Proposed Order” attached with judgment, with the plea that, the executive authorities including the president having no sanction of constitution to frame such orders as no article including article 157 of the constitution empowers them to frame and approve such orders in respect of Gilgit-Baltistan.

The bench while framing questions for their answer in the judgment, totally ignored this crucial issue to frame and to answer. Instead, the honorable bench went to rationalize the “Proposed Order” without going into its vires and constitutional sanction behind it. In my opinion, the honorable bench has exercised dictum of necessity once again to meet the prevailing situation rather go into the issue of vires of the order under articles of the constitution.  The honorable bench provided its auspices to it and bestowed with judicial imprimatur and permanence. The verdict in favor of “Proposed Order” would encourage the executive authorities to resile from their promise to bring a bill before the parliament in respect of a provisional province for Gilgit-Baltistan.

The advantageous aspect of the instant verdict is that, the Supreme Court categorically rejected the propaganda raised by the AJK political leadership holding that, quoted; “that is why we hold that the committee’s recommendations relating to the provision and enforcement of fundamental rights provided by the constitution must be implemented immediately and with full force and effect. As a matter of law as well as morality”. Unquoted, the supreme court is in full agreement with the recommendations made by the Sartaj Aziz committee and it transpires from the judgment, while reading paras 21, 22 and 23 that, a status of provisional province of GB pending disposal of the Kashmir issue is not fatal and injurious to the Kashmir issue, even after introducing amendments into the constitution.

Last but not least, the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s verdict has thrown the ball into the court of leadership in Gilgit-Baltistan who belong to national parties i.e. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf, Pakistan Peoples Party and Pakistan Muslim League. It is of their task, how they play their influence before their central leadership to motivate them to table a bill before the parliament and to seek amendments in the constitution to award a provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan.  

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.

Opinion

The League is dead, long live the United Nations

Justice Retired Muzaffar Ali

Published

on

united nations general assembly
UN Photo/Manuel Elias

Our world has witnessed thousands of wars throughout human history but World War I is described as the war that will end all wars. By the time it ended, more than 16 million men, women, children, and soldiers were dead. The League of Nations was established with the aim to prevent a repeat of such a calamitous war. However, the League of Nations neither managed to prevent invasion by Japan on Manchuria nor could stop the annexation of Ethiopia by Italy, or that of Austria by Adolf Hitler. Its powerlessness caused its demise in the year 1946. Lord Cecil closed the assembly with the last words “The league is dead, long live United Nations.”

 Nazi Hitler, fascist Mussolini caused WWII, the same end in the year 1945. America used the atomic bomb against Japan, destroyed two cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and got the title of first and last country to use atomic bomb in human history. The world leaders again think of a global forum. UNO was established. Its charter gives a mandate to the Security Council to prevent “aggressions” either through peaceful means or by using force.

The Security Council has five big countries as permanent members vested with veto power. America is a “pivot man” in. The primary role of the Security Council is to settle issues among countries, which might be a “threat” to world peace and security. UNO, under its security council, solved many issues. Alas! Kashmir and Palestine issues since 1948 remain unsolved agenda on the table of the Security Council.

On Kashmir, both India and Pakistan are claimants. India entered its army into, with the plea that maharaja Kashmir has made a “succession deed” with. Pakistan claimed over Kashmir as 98% of the Muslim population has chosen Pakistan. Both faced armed conflicts over Kashmir. Indian PM Nehru went to the UNO seeking its help. Pakistan also agreed on role of UNO in settling the issue.

Security Council probed into the issue, passed eleven resolutions. Conclusions drawn as (a) armed conflicts in Kashmir are a real threat to “world peace and security”. (b) Rejected respective claims of both countries, (c) accepted the right of self determinations of Kashmiris. (d) Both the conflicting countries waived their respective claims and conceded a plebiscite under the auspices of the UN.

Security Council failed in the implementation of its resolutions on Kashmir, since 1948. India introduced article 370 to its constitution, gave a special status in reference to the so-called “instrument of accession by maharaja”. This article was also in violation of the Security Council’s resolutions.

Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) with “Hindutva” ideology is established in India on the pattern of Nazism of Hitler. Modi leads the Bharatiya Janata Party (a wing of RSS) in government. He has thrown Security Council resolutions on Kashmir. He deleted article 370, discarded the so-called “accession instrument”, turned Kashmir into a big jail. Imposed longest curfew. He himself went to America. America received Modi as a Victor. Trump joined a public audience arranged by Modi, raising his hand in hand with Modi lauded “great people of India and America are fighting against Islamic extremist terrorism.”

What prevents Modi, from genocide and kidnapping Kashmiris and from violation of conclusions in the security council resolutions, when the top “pivot man” of Security council welcomes him, closing the eyes towards the aggression by Modi? While it was required to suspend the membership of India in UNO and disallowed Narendra Modi to attend the annual meeting for his barbaric activities, atrocities as an aggressor in Jammu & Kashmir state.

MR. Khan, the premier of Pakistan, well defined Islam as a religion of peace and as “Islam is one”. These terrorist groups, unguided and ignorant Muslims were given birth to, by America initially, do not represent Islam. Muslim states encountered them particularly; Pakistan has lost at least 70,000 civil and military persons. The world knows what kind of role India played except false blame against Pakistan for the intrusion of so-called terrorists into LoK just to mislead the world opinion against the indigenous liberation struggle of Kashmiris. But Donald Trump gives a pave to India by saying that “both America and India are defending their borders from Islamic terrorist”.

Trump tried to conceal his favor to India by arranging a meeting with Mr. Khan but soon disclosed. When a news correspondent asked him a question like “Mr. President Do you give equal place to an aggressor and an oppressed?” Donald Trump got confused and turned the question into a giggling atmosphere.

The world must understand “League of Nations” could not prevent Hitler, Mussolini and other dictators from their ambition to expand their territories and also failed to prevent victors of   WWI from extraordinary claims using the league in this regard consequent upon league became dead. It is also irrebuttable that, United Nations has been made by the victors of WWII and the Security Council gives permanent membership to those countries.

At present, Modi has turned the subcontinent into an active volcano and if United Nations and superpowers remain spectators then, not only the subcontinent but the entire world might face its burst as Modi could attack even control line with the pretext of terrorism as Trump has given him the license. If the subcontinent is caught by the fire of war, the world order could be changed and the UN might lose its mandate and history could be revised with the word “United Nations Organization is dead” as lord Cecil once said, “The League of Nation is dead”.

Continue Reading

Business & Economy

Karakoram Area Development Organization (KADO) appoints its first-ever female CEO

Avatar

Published

on

Mehnaz Parveen, CEO, KADO Hunza
Cover Photo Credits: Jamil Alvi

Karakoram Area Development Organization, better known as its acronym KADO, has appointed Mehnaz Parveen as its first-ever female CEO. The vacant position of Chief Executive Officer at KADO Hunza was announced on 2nd August 2019.

Mehnaz Parveen, the new CEO of KADO Hunza, is a resident of Passu, Gojal. She has been working at Foundation for Arts, Culture & Education (FACE) as a Director and Institute for Preservation of Arts and Culture (IPAC) prior to FACE. She has also been associated with Indus Blues as a Production Designer. Indus Blues is an award-winning Pakistani documentary that focuses on the fading musical instruments in Pakistan.

Mehnaz Parveen holds a degree in journalism from Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi. She also studied documentary filmmaking from Madison Area Technical College, Watertown, Wisconsin, USA.

Mehnaz Parveen with Jawad Sharif, director of Indus Blues, and hosts of GEO New’s morning show GEO Pakistan. Photo: Jawad Sharif (Facebook).

She has been in a leading position for Music Mela events in Hunza and Islamabad. Music Mela is an event organized by the Foundation for Arts, Culture & Education (FACE) in collaborations with partner organizations and brands.

Mehaz Parveen is also the co-founder of Seabuckthorn Hunza restaurant which is based in Islamabad’s sector F8. The restaurant serves Hunza Traditional Foods.

The new CEO brings on table years of experience working with indigenous communities from Kalash to Tharparkar. Mehnaz Parveen, during her time at FACE, has worked tirelessly for improving the livelihoods of these indigenous communities and for the promotion of culture and folk music of these areas.

Karakoram Area Development Organization (KADO) is an indigenous initiative aimed at to improve the socio-economic conditions of people in Gilgit-Baltistan.”

www.kado.org.pk

KADO has been working actively since the mid-90s for the promotion of culture, entrepreneurship and giving training to differently-abled and young people across Gilgit-Baltistan and even Chitral.

With a headquarter based in Aliabad, Hunza, KADO has spent over a billion Pakistani Rupees, mostly grant and aid money, during the past two decades. KADO is currently operating projects like the Gems and Jewellery Development Centre, Karakoram Handicraft Development Project, Hunza Arts and Cultural Forum, Hunza Environmental Committee, Information Communication Technology for Development (ICT4D), Rehabilitation Center and HiMaT ILDP.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Like us on Facebook

Advertisement

Trending