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HomePoliticsWorldImran grants provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan amid protests

Imran grants provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan amid protests

Imran said one of the reasons for me coming to Gilgit-Baltistan is to announce that we have decided to grant Gilgit-Baltistan the provisional provincial status

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Despite the ongoing protests against the government over its decision to change the status of Gilgit-Baltistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan on 1 November announced the granting of provisional-provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistani media reported.

“One of the reasons for me coming to Gilgit-Baltistan is to announce that we have decided to grant Gilgit-Baltistan the provisional provincial status,” Khan said while speaking during his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan. This comes following Saudi Arabia removing Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan from ’s map. Massive protests have been taking place against the Imran Khan-led government over the issue of Gilgit Baltistan.

This announcement is likely to spark massive outrage as it will have much wider implications which will set the tone for exacerbating tensions, that is already being played out in the east along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the India-China border.

On 8 October, in Muzaffarabad city of occupied Kashmir (PoK), a massive protest was organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Student Liberation Front against the government’s decision to make Gilgit-Baltistan a province. Political activists said that they will sacrifice themselves but will not let Pakistan alter the status of the region. People from Gilgit-Baltistan, who have been living in other Pakistani towns, have taken to the streets against Islamabad’s arbitrary decision.

Gilgit- Baltistan, earlier known as Northern Areas has been governed by the “Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order of 2009”, which established an electoral framework. Elections have been held in the region under the Order that provides for only limited autonomy.

The people accuse of systematically exploiting the region of its resources and sharing no dividends with them. Any resistance they say meets brutal government reprisal with activists and leaders hounded, arrested and tortured.

Earlier in September, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had stated that they have seen reports regarding elections to the so-called “Gilgit-Baltistan” Assembly to be held on 15 November and took a strong objection to it. “The Government of India conveyed strong protest to Government and reiterated that Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the so-called Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India,” the MEA had said.

Massive anti-Paksitan protests hit PoK

The Muzaffarabad city in PoK had earlier on 8 October witnessed a massive protest was organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Student Liberation Front against the government’s decision to make Gilgit-Baltistan a province.

Political activists said that they will sacrifice themselves but will not let alter the status of the region. People from Gilgit-Baltistan, who have been living in other Pakistani towns, have taken to the streets against Islamabad’s arbitrary decision.

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