JKNIA – Save Gilgit-Baltistan Conference Declaration 26th March 2017
Jammu Kashmir Independence Alliance (JKNIA) has organised a conference in Bradford UK on 26th March 2017 chaired by Mahmood Kashmiri, chairman JKNIA. The members of all the pro-independence parties and civil society activists from Kashmiri Diaspora actively involved in the Kashmir independence struggle attended the conference and agreed on a comprehensive political and diplomatic plan of action to save Gilgit-Baltistan from becoming a province of Pakistan. Furthermore, they agreed to launch “Save Gilgit-Baltistan Campaign” and issued JKNIA – Save Gilgit-Baltistan Conference Declaration.
Ch. Ghulam Hussain, Secretary General JKNIA in a briefing to media announced the key decisions taken by the participants of the conference. He said that all the members of JKNIA and civil society activists are committed to continuing the struggle for the broader objective of achieving United and independent Kashmir where the people of Kashmir will be able to determine their future through a fair and free referendum on a permanent basis in a free environment.
We, the undersigned representative of the member organisations of the Jammu Kashmir National Independence Alliance (JKNIA), civil society, human rights activists and members of the Jammu Kashmir diaspora community resolved to extend our complete support and solidarity with the people of Gilgit Baltistan in particular and to the people of all other regions of Jammu and Kashmir in their struggle for protection of fundamental human rights, good governance and independence.
We are disappointed and concerned that the Government of Pakistan and China has not initiated any dialogue or engagement with the Government of AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan on the future of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which will run through these two regions of the J&K State.
The Government of Pakistan continues to employ colonial practices towards the people of Gilgit Baltistan. A Recent statement by Pakistan’s minister for Inter-provincial Coordination Riaz Hussain Pirzada on March 15 that the committee headed by Sartaj Aziz had recommended making Gilgit and Baltistan as its 5th province is a violation of UN Security Council and UNCIP resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir in general and with regards to Pakistan’s responsibilities under UNCIP resolutions on Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK in particular.
The International community and the European Union, in particular, has urged Pakistan to revisit its policies viz-a-viz Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK in the EU Committee on Foreign Affairs Report (A6-0158/2007) – Kashmir: Present Situation and Future Prospects.
We the members of JKNIA and the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir consider the existing governance arrangements under the Karachi Agreement of 28 April 1949 between our region and Pakistan as a draconian colonial mechanism of subjugation and control. We unequivocally reject and oppose the terms and conditions of Karachi Agreement agreed under duress and imposed upon our people by Pakistan. We actively seeking new governance and power sharing arrangements between AJK and Gilgit Baltistan for self-governance as well as economic, natural resource management and international trade and investment agreements with all nations.
We want to convey our deepest anguish and we unequivocally condemn the lack of sensitivity and prudence shown by the Government of Pakistan thus far in the devolution of powers to Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly and empowerment of participatory system of governance in the region.
We ask the Government of Pakistan to;
- Meaningfully engage in dialogue with the representative of all political parties and civil society within Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir and members of the respective constituent assemblies to re-negotiate the Governance arrangements’ for an interim period to establish equitable relations between Government of Pakistan and governments in the AJK and Gilgit Baltistan until final transformation of Jammu and Kashmir conflict.
- Respect and implement UN mechanism as recommended in UN Security Council and UNCIP resolutions in its letter and spirit in Gilgit-Baltistan.
- Give full representation to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and AJK on the China-Pakistan Joint committee for the development and execution of this project.
- Develop Muzaffarabad – Neelum – Astore road in the first phase of the project.
- Ropen immediately Ashkoman to Tajikistan and Kargil to Skardu roads.
- Give Gilgit-Baltistan should a tax-free zone status.
- Expand the Gilgit and Muzaffarabad airport and opened for international flights to enhance international tourism in the region.
- Upgrade the proposed Mirpur – Poonch – Muzaffarabad highway to the motorway and be included in the project to unlock the economic regeneration and to ensure equal opportunities for the people of all the regions of AJK.
- Engage the people resistance movement leadership and Government of Indian-administered Jammu Kashmir to incorporate all the regions of Jammu Kashmir in further extension of CPEC project.
Members of the Jammu Kashmir National Independence Alliance (JKNIA) Mahmood Kashmir, President, Jammu Kashmir National Awami Party, Ghulam Hussain, President, Kashmir Freedom Movement (UK, EU Zone), Abbas Butt, President Kashmir National Party, Sardar Amjad Yousaf, President, United Kashmir People National Party (EU Zone), Dr Misfar Hassan, President, Jammu Kashmir Liberation League (UK &EU), Ershad Malik, Jammu Kashmir Democratic Freedom Party, and representatives of other pro-freedom parties Shams Rehman and Shakil Mirza, JKLF, Javid Kakroo, General Secretary, Kashmir Voice International, former Lord Mayors of Bradford Mohammed Ajeeb and Ghazanfar Khaliq, Prof. Nazir Tabassum, Shaukat Maqbool Butt, Majid Mir and Khawaja Anwar (JKPNP) signed the joint declaration.
The Jammu Kashmir National Independence Alliance (JKNIA) is an umbrella alliance of Kashmiri Political Parties and Civil society organisations based in U.K.