Balawaristan National Front - Activities

Activities

In 2000 the party accused Pakistan of settling 'terrorists, drug and arms smugglers, and Taliban activists in Balawaristan to convert indigenous people into a minority.'

In June 2002 in an interview with Yoginder Sikand Abdul Hamid Khan accused Pakistan of treating people of Gilgit-Baltistan as virtual slaves and blamed Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence of fomenting sectarian violence between Shias, Sunnis and Ismailis.

Khan claimed that dozens of Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders were hiding in Balawaristan with the help of Pakistani military and ISI. He released a list of 30 militants who he believed were in Balawaristan in a letter to Kofi Annan of the United Nations.

On November 3, 2003 Nawaz Khan Najee who was then chairman of party participated in a rally demanding United Nations intervention regarding the status of Gilgit and Baltistan.

In a letter dated November 24, 2004 party Chairman Abdul Hamid Khan presented a peace proposal for Kashmir to President Musharraf and Manmohan Singh. This was however not accepted by any party.

On January 3, 2005 Nawaz Khan Najee spoke at a seminar in Rawalpindi demanding an independent Bolor state.

On April 25, 2007 European Union published a report entitled 'on Kashmir: present situation and future prospects'. Section 2 of the noted the absence of democracy in Gilgit Baltistan region and in section 32 deplored the human rights violations in this region. Partly as a result of this President Pervez Musharraf announced a package for the Northern Areas

A 2-day conference on Gilgit Baltistan was held on April 8–9, 2008 at the European Parliament in Brussels under the auspices of International Kashmir Alliance. Here several members of the European Parliament (MEPs) expressed concern over the human rights violation in Gilgit Baltistan and urged the government of Pakistan to establish democratic institutions and rule of law in this area of northern Kashmir. Abdul Hamid Khan, Chairman Balawaristan National Front speaking at the same conference said "no democratically elected representative (from Gilgit Baltistan) was included when Karachi Agreement was signed between Pakistan and Muslim Conference leaders in 1949."

On June 8, 2008 the present Chairman Abdul Hamid Khan who currently lives in exile telephonically addressed a gathering at Gahkuch. He reiterated the demand for independence from Pakistan and deplored the sectarian violence and accused Pakistani intelligence agencies of creating sectarian tension.

In 2009 Pakistan government implemented autonomy package for the people from Gilgit-Baltistan. This package was rejected as an eyewash by Balawaristan National Front whose spokesperson stated β€œIt’s meant to detract the international community from the violation of human rights in this region.” The party later decided to field two candidates for the 33 member assembly - neither was voted into power. However, the package, for the first time in the history of Gilgit-Baltistan, addressed the political grievances of the local population who had felt discriminated against as they were ineligible to vote in Pakistani elections (Pakistan regards the area as a disputed territory - and any attempts to incorporate the region into the Pakistani state would jeopardize its claim vis-a-vis India). The people of the region were granted self-rule, citizenship within Pakistan, and an elected legislature to administer the region.

In February 2011 Abdul Hamid Khan criticized the move to raise the issue of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan's assembly. He said "Marvi Maman's move in the Pakistan National Assembly is another trick of Pakistani hidden rulers to diffuse the international pressure about Gilgit Baltistan, her unwanted move by presenting herself as the representative of GB (Gilgit-Baltistan) is nothing but a drama on behalf of Pakistani hidden hands. Pakistan has only one option according to UNCIP resolutions, that is to withdraw its forces and civilians and handover the control to the people of Gilgit Baltistan under the supervision of the United Nations until a final settlement of the whole Jammu and Kashmir issue is reached."

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