Visitors

Monday, October 17, 2011

Details of Non-locals residing, conducting business and acquiring land/property in Gilgit-Baltistan

It is considered that the 1927 State Subject Rule promulgated by the last Dogra Maharajah Hari Singh in the erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir has been violated, suspended or held in abeyance in Gilgit Baltistan, particularly since the Bhutto era in the early 1970's. The figures cited below have a margin of error not more than 10% of each figure quoted.


District wise data (%)



DISTRICT

CITY
BUSINESS

PROPERTIES
Gilgit






Gilgit
60.00%

35.00%


Jiglot
50.00%

20.00%

Ghizer

Gahkuch
70.00%

30.00%


Gupis
60.00%

50.00%

Yasin
20.00%

10.00%


Chatorkhand
20.00%

15.00%

Diamer

Chilas
35.00%

40.00%


Baltistan

Skardu
20.00%

10.00%


Ghanche

Khapulo
15.00%

8.00%


Hunza-Nagar

Aliabad
15.00%

0.00%


Sost
40.00%

5.00%


Astore

Eidgah
20.00%

15.00%

Major flour mills, petrol pumps, hotels and transport companies also belong to non-locals. While 80% of trade with China trade at Sost border (in Hunza-Nagar), 60% of timber business also belong to non-locals. Needless to add, the demography of Gilgit-Baltistan is at serious risk, if not already heavily undermined.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Being shot at by the Cheat

Indeed....the thought makes my blood boil. 


I'm only just grasping the extent of Pakistani terror in Kashmir. A limit to tragedy weaved by Pakistan there is not. 


I'm straining to avoid over-emphasising the issue for want of people's partiality to ignorance, prejudice towards non-Muslims and predilection for corruption.


Personally, I cannot tolerate Pakistan's presence here any longer.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Un-freezing public opinion (in AJK)



I'm approaching six and a half years of an un-interrupted existence in the Indo-Pak region (which I adoringly refer to as Hindustaan). The first two years were spent mainly in Pakistan's capital whilst the rest has been primarily in the erstwhile Dogra State of Jammu & Kashmir (specifically AJK). I've effectively spent a little more than a tenth of the period of this lingering dispute (between India and Pakistan at the cost of 'Kashmiri' aspirations) witnessing day-to-day a cloak of falsehood permeating our collective existence.


Notwithstanding the general civilisational trend of humanity to engage in democratic processes (to utilise the free will of public opinion to build consensus in any given society), the general response of the international community to Kashmiri aspirations - which desperately wants to engage in this process - has been lukewarm at best.


Bearing that in mind and recognising that the powers-that-be (in our case, Pakistan) have done everything to suppress this process; provides the raison d'etre behind my activities here in AJK. I've recognised our problems to be two-fold - addressing our unresolved national question and adopting the norms of good governance – integrating an outer and inner dimension if you will. To use a metaphor, freedom is our destination while good governance is our machinery; to arrive at that juncture where our aspirations can be fulfilled.


To borrow adjectives from senior activists who've engaged themselves in the pursuit of our national goals decades before I have, the following come to mind in relation to Pakistan's control over our society: stringent – stifling - selfish - crude – ad-hoc – instituting a paymaster culture – malevolent – – pay as you go - death of merit at every stage to boot. My assertion that Pakistan has kept our whole community (including Gilgit Baltistan) ignorant of it's history as well as prohibited institutional reform, particularly on matters related to our abortioned transition from 'Shaksi Raaj' (autocracy) to 'Awaami Raaj' (democracy); begs public scrutiny. One such example should suffice to emphasise my point: If any government servant wishes to introduce reform or a positive initiative into his or her department, they are threatened with dismissal, transfer to a remote location or worse.


Pakistan has had an 'easy ride' in controlling our society. It has linked our welfare to it's national security, it has cultivated the two-nation theory relentlessly at the cost of our society's creativity, development and progress. The people who have unquestioningly supported it (on the basis of Muslim brotherhood) are still stuck with a mind-set more appropriate to the 1940's. Our economy has been deprived of economic opportunity to the extent that virtually each and every individual's freedom of expression is compromised for fear of reprisal. An example from the government sector was cited above. Meanwhile, the extremely limited private sector in AJK is resigned to buying goods/services from the only market it has access to viz. Pakistan. Ostracism on the part of Pakistan is simple and swift.


Given the above scenario, it is little wonder that our society's ability to recognise 'force/s' for positive change is limited beyond reason. For example, last year (from June 2010) I had sent out a document to over 200 citizens of AJK (local and diaspora) via physical contact as well as email. I requested rs1,000 (from working locals) and the equivalent of £20 (from the working diaspora) for the development of civil society and an independent institution. Only thirteen people reciprocated.


If stakeholders do not recognise the urgent need for remedial measures to re-align and categorise our national objectives, yet more creativity and I dare say panache is in order.