Srinagar : Senior Seperatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani on Saturday urged the “Government of Pakistan to rethink the decision granting provisional status to Gilgit & Baltistan.
The statement shared on the Twitter handle of the Geelani and his representative Abdullah Geelani reads, ” keeping in view all aspects, particularly the possible determinal repercussions it would have on future of Kashmir as a dispute and consequences on its final settlement.”
“The entire territory of the state of Jammu and Kashmir including Kashmir valley, Jammu, Ladakh, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit & Baltistan is a disputed region and it’s permanent status can be determined only through a free and fair plebiscite under the aegis of the United Nations. This is the position the United has taken and maintained through its several resolutions and all the parties to the dispute, that is, Pakistan, India and Kashmiri people have also agreed to it. over the years, while India backtracked from its commitment and continued to keep Kashmir under its control, Pakistan and Kashmiri People have firmly stuck to their position and removed on the same page in respect to the resolution of the Kashmir dispute.”
It also reads, “Pakistanis policy to abstain from consolidating any part of the Kashmiri territory under the control and maintaining the status quo has been in line with both the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and the spirit of the UN resolutions. In fact, it has played a vital role in keeping the Kashmir dispute alive on the UN agenda. However, the recent unfortunate decision to grant Gilgit & Baltistan the status of a provisional province represent a major shift in Pakistan’s so far consistent policy,” it said.
“While the local population in Gilgit & Baltistan, may have some genuine grievances and concerns and Pakistan is duty bound to address them. We believe the purpose could have been efficiently and sufficiently served without altering the status quo.
The move in our view, is laden with disastrous consequences. Pakistan is handing a baton to beat it with. India would welcome this opportunity as a blessing in disguise and use it to justify its August 5, 2019 decision of revoking Kashmiri status and merging it,” statement reads.