On 01 November 2020, the Indian government strongly reacted to the Pakistani Prime Minister’s statement in Gilgit to hold elections in “Gilgit-Baltistan”, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir(PoK).
Official Spokesperson, Anurag Srivastava said, “The Government of India firmly rejects the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory, under its illegal and forcible occupation. I reiterate that the Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the area of so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan”, are an integral part of India by virtue of the legal, complete and irrevocable accession of Jammu and Kashmir to the Union of India in 1947″.
Additionally, he went ” The Government of Pakistan has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it. Such attempts by Pakistan, intended to camouflage its illegal occupation, cannot hide the grave human rights violations, exploitation, and denial of freedom for over seven decades to the people residing in these Pakistan occupied territories. Instead of seeking to alter the status of these Indian territories, we call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.”
Gilgit Baltistan Assembly elections are scheduled to be held on 15 November 2020, while Pakistan Army Brass has chosen dates very carefully, in the eve of regions coming under the winter freeze, so that majority of campaigning and voting is according to Pakistan Army’s desirous political outcome, and sealing any possibilities of substantial and effective protests by the locals.
While terming it as “Cosmetic exercises intended to camouflage its illegal occupation. We call upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation,” A statement, may sound rhetorical, however, the aspect of Cosmetic Exercise is not missed on anyone.
After all the election of 2018, of PM Elect(by Pakistan Army) Imran Khan was the most notorious of being manipulated and rigged to the hilt, in the already murky Political history of Pakistan.
What stops Pakistan Army to belt out the same treatment to Gilgit-Baltistan, in the same manner, they did to awam of Pakistan two years back?
Radical Islamic Organizations
The Cutting Edge in Elections in Pakistan
Pakistan in 2018 elections, saw an unprecedented number of extremists and militant sectarian groups, even an international terror figure with a $10 million U.S. offered a bounty on his head, on the campaign trail.
Take the small political party known as the Milli Muslim League or MML. In 2017, the US placed the MML on its list of foreign terrorist groups, calling it a front for the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group, co-founded by the U.S. wanted militant Hafiz Saeed, to stage terrorist attacks against India.
Mohammad Yaqoub Sheikh, the winner for parliament from the Punjab provincial capital of Lahore, openly admitted that the Allah-o-Akbar Tehreek and the MML “are one party.” Also, Sectarian groups like Sipah-e-Sahaba aka Ahle Sunnat Wahl Jamaat fielded candidates, who openly attack and kill minority Shias as heretics
By bringing the often toxic views of these groups into the political mainstream, Pakistan’s already affordable environment for extremism risks becoming all the more permissive.
Pakistan Taliban has increased their influence in Gilgit-Baltistan, and no one forgets when the TTP militants simultaneously torched and bombed 12 girls’ schools in Chilas district, 130 kilometers from the provincial headquarters in the city of Gilgit. Shias in Gilgit Baltistan have been subjected to violence and terrorism from Sunni Radical Islamic groups, which shall be used to subvert the electoral process this time.
Is it a state-sponsored policy? Yes, it is. Shall it permeate to Gilgit Baltistan in the same forms? All indications point to this inevitable end.
China approves list of PTI Candidates
Vultures vie for Kickbacks directly from Chinese companies
Pakistani Army Business Ecosystem has been stalled of funds by China regarding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) since most of the projects are falling behind schedule. Hence, the Chinese precondition of getting a Gilgit Baltistan government elected, that dances to the tunes of its Pakistani military and the new Chinese colonial masters.
This is why a list of all the approved 20 election candidates was handed over to the Chinese ambassador in Islamabad to get his consent.
Failure in mustering up enough candidates and support in Gilgit Baltistan, China has had a crucial role to play, as the Chinese ambassador brokered a deal between the Shia Majlis Wahdat e Muslameen, Tehreek e Islami and the pro-Taliban Sunni PTI, using all similar tool of bribing.
The deal was brokered using Iranian Shia connections, who then convinced the two religious parties to join PTI in an electoral joint campaign. Therefore, PTI is now contesting the elections in coalition with the above mentioned two religious parties. This in itself shows the hollow support of army sponsored PTI in the region, which is the ruling party in Pakistan.
Already questions are being asked on the validity of the elections, from within Pakistan. Raising the questions on transparency in the upcoming Gilgit Baltistan election, the Pakistan People’s Party(PPP), warned of street protest in Gilgit Baltistan and Islamabad if the election were rigged as before.
Accusing the Chief Election Commissioner Gilgit Baltistan of facilitating the federal government for rigging the upcoming elections, the PPP questioned why the Chief Election Commissioner Gilgit Baltistan did not check the role of the federal ministers and prime minister in interfering in the elections.
Pakistan Army and its ISI is now targeting leaders from Gilgit Baltistan, who have taken political asylum in US, Belgium, Canada, and Austria. ISI succeed in gagging the voice of Abdul Hameed Khan, BNF leader (Hameed Group)from Ghizer Valley. He turned against Pakistan, went to Nepal in 1999, and later stayed in Brussels (2008-2015) where he exposed Pakistan’s atrocities at the international level.
The ISI tracked him and quietly brought him back to Pakistan on Feb 8, 2019. He has been put in a safe house in Gilgit to use him against the growing separatist movement, as and when needed.
It is definite that Pakistan Army and controlled government functionaries shall rig the Gilgit Baltistan elections, to bring out a result that both the Pakistani military and the Chinese desire to continue to implement their corruption and colonization respectively.
At a time when resentment against the corrupt generals and the Mullah-Military nexus, can be felt in every corner of Pakistan and when ex-Prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s speech via video link from London, to the All Parties Conference (APC) held in Islamabad on 20 Sept, in which he condemned the interference of army in civil matters has gone viral, it will be a very difficult task to crush a popular uprising in the two provinces.
The bugle of the anti-Pakistan Army establishment revolt has been blown by Nawaz Sharif at the APC and in the months to come, small towns and cities will begin to come out in open with violent protests, that would resist the fake elections and literal gifting of Gilgit Baltistan to Chinese, on a platter.
Such a legislative assembly will lack credibility and more and more people will become alienated from Pakistan. It should not belong, before we witness extensive participation in the march of the oppressed people, demanding the opening of Skardu-Kargil Road and joining with the Union of India.
Full-scale manipulation of voters list, postponing the date of the election to November to let winter set in and snowfall block the roads that lead to far-flung polling stations, causing low voter turnout, and using the Radical Islamic terrorist groups to subvert the Shias are only a few of the tricks up the sleeve of the Pakistan Army and controlled civilian establishment, to influence the results of the elections.
A Farce yet again.
11 Nov 20/Wednesday Written By: Fayaz