11 December 2019 12:18 AM

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JEHANGIR ALI | 18 MARCH, 2017

Salahuddin and Hurriyat Oppose Pakistan Move on Gilgit Baltistan


SRINAGAR: The Hurriyat Conference and PaK-based United Jihad Council, a conglomerate of over dozen militants outfits, have opposed the move of Pakistan to grant provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan region following Chinese concerns.

"Political destiny of J&K is yet to be decided and any proposal to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as the fifth province of Pakistan is unacceptable. Any such move tantamounts to changing the disputed nature of Kashmir,” the Hurriyat said in a statement on Friday.

The Hurriyat's objection follows Chinese concerns over its investment in multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor which connects its Xinjiang region with Gwadar port, running through the areas of Kashmir contested between India and Pakistan.

According to a joint statement issued by the Syed Ali Geelani, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and Yasin Malik Friday, Kashmir, Ladakh, Jammu, Pakistan administered Kashmir and Giglit Baltistan "is a single entity" whose final settlement has not been worked out. Describing Pakistan as "prime party" to Kashmir issue, the Hurriyat said the people in J&K have "regarded and accepted" the role of Pakistan in the issue.

“But any step which may hamper the disputed status of Kashmir is unacceptable. We hail the role of Pakistan for raising the issue at the international forums. But any deviation in its stance about Kashmir and its geographical entity is improper and will prove detrimental for Kashmir cause,” the Hurriyat said.

The Hurriyat said that J&K is a disputed territory and the global community has "agreed to decide its political destiny through resolutions acknowledged by UN". “Unless and until the people of state are provided an opportunity to decide the future course of state through referendum, no division, alteration and changes are acceptable. Both India and Pakistan have no authority or right to alter the geographical status of state," the trio said.

The leaders hoped that Pakistan Prime minister Nawaz Shareef will fulfill his commitment regarding Kashmir issye and desist from "this adventure of annexing Giglit-Baltistan as fifth province of Pakistan".

Meanwhile, the United Jehad Council (UJC) chief Syed Salahuddin has also urged Pakistan not to declare Gilgit-Baltistan as fifth province of the country. "Such step would impact the Kashmir dispute at the United Nations and give India a legal and moral pretext to lay claim on Kashmir," the UJC Chief said.

“Pakistan should stop the process of making Gilgit-Baltistan as its fifth province. Such an act on part of Pakistan will have serious ramifications on Kashmir issue as well as Kashmir centric UN resolutions. Pakistan’s move will give India justification in taking over parts of Kashmir. Instead of making Gilgit-Baltistan a province, the problems of the people there should be addressed on priority basis and corruption free administration should be given to people there,” Salahuddin said in a statement to a local news agency.

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