Tag Archives: Baltistan

Pakistan helicopter crash kills foreign envoys

An army helicopter has crashed in a mountainous part of northern Pakistan killing six people including the Philippine and Norwegian ambassadors.

It crashed during an emergency landing in the Gilgit-Baltistan territory.

The wives of the Indonesian and Malaysian envoys and two Pakistani pilots also died. They were to attend the opening of a tourism project.

The Pakistani Taliban (TTP) said they were behind the attack, but there is no confirmation of the claim.

Analysis: M Ilyas Khan, BBC News, Islamabad

This is one of the most tragic aviation disasters for the Pakistani military in decades. The last time one of its air crashes killed a foreign diplomat was in 1988 when a C-130, carrying then military ruler Gen Ziaul Haq, US Ambassador Arnold Raphel and several of the army top brass, crashed in southern Pakistan, killing all on board.
The diplomats flying in the ill-fated MI-17 on Friday were headed for a little advertised but extremely exciting inauguration ceremony of a ski chairlift, built in the breathtaking resort of Naltar, in northern Pakistan.
The 180-seat lift was donated by Switzerland and installed by the Pakistan Air Force. Its test run was completed in August, but its formal opening was delayed several times due to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s preoccupations elsewhere.
Today Mr Sharif flew to within 40km of Naltar valley, but just then the news of the crash came and he had to turn back without touching down at the regional airport in Gilgit.

“The helicopter was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile,” a statement emailed by Taliban spokesman Muhammad Khorasani said.

However military spokesman Asim Bajwa said on Twitter that the crash had been caused by a technical fault. The area is not a stronghold of the Taliban.

Read more » BBC
See more » http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-32653359

Baloch-Pashtun-Sindhi Rally in Washington DC

Press release – Wasington DC: A peaceful protest rally is being organized by the Baloch, Sindhi and Pashtun community in North America in front of the White House to draw the attention of the Obama Administration towards the ongoing operations, human right violations, arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killings, disappearances and genocide in Balochistan, Sindh and Pakhtunkhwa.

In order to defeat the Islamic Extremism and Terrorism in Pakistan, and counter the strategies of countries in the region, the US, instead of sending billions of dollars to Pakistan, should extend a helping hand to the secular Baloch, Sindhi and Pashtun people in their struggle for freedom and justice, who are the best friends of US in the region against the Islamic extremists and terrorists.

We invite all the peace and freedom loving people in the US to come and join us and show their support to the oppressed Baloch, Sindhi, Pashtun people and the people of Gilgit Baltistan in their quest for freedom and justice against the Illegal occupation of their homelands by Pakistan.

WHAT: A Protest Rally to draw the attention of Obama Administration against the ongoing military operation, and human right violations against the Baloch, Sindhi and Pashtun people.

WHEN: Wednesday September 4th, 2013 TIME: 12:00PM to 3:00PM

WHERE: In front of the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, (South West corner of Lafayette Park) Washington, DC. 20500

Organized by: Baloch Society of North America (BSO-NA), Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz (JSQM), Great Afghanistan Movement (GAM)

Courtesy: Sindhi e-lists/ e-groups, Sept 02, 2013.

India says Gilgit-Baltistan is its integral part

India asks Pakistan to seek NoCs for projects in GB, AJK

ISLAMABAD: India has asked Pakistan to get no objection certificates (NoCs) from New Delhi for building all the hydropower projects being completed in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and AJK involving funding of international donor agencies.

India has also asked Pakistan to provide detailed information about all hydropower projects being built in Gilgit-Baltistan with the funding of these international donors.

This has been communicated to Pakistan in the latest correspondence in which India has again declared Gilgit-Baltistan as its integral part. ….

– See more at: http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-21335-India-asks-Pakistan-to-seek-NoCs-for-projects-in-GB-AJK#sthash.1xRHYAzS.dpuf

Read more » The News
http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-13-21335-India-asks-Pakistan-to-seek-NoCs-for-projects-in-GB-AJK

PPP power show at Kamu Shaheed near Sindh-Punjab border

Congratulation to Sindh Chief Minister on PPP Rally.

12 May 2012: Delaware(USA), Millions of Pakistanis (estimated to be two millions) belonging to Sindh, Sarikistan, Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and other areas of Pakistan gathered in Ghotki, Sindh, to express their support for democracy, in particular for the Pakistan Peoples Party and its leaders President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Today’s public rally at Kamon Shaheed area on the Sindh-Punjab border is estimated to be one of the largest in Pakistan’s political history. The total number of people in today’s rally is estimated to be several times larger than other similar rallies organized by other political parties .

The leaders PPP USA, Shafqat Tanweer President, Mian Basharat Yousaf Chief Organizer, Shoukat Ali Bhutta Secretary General, Syed Iftikhar Zaidi Senior Vice President, Zafar Iqbal Chattha, Co ordinator Jahingeer Buttar Finance Secretary and Masood Zakria Choudhary Add’l Secretary General,PPP USA. Congratulate Chief Minister of Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah and PPP Leadership for this rally.

Jeay Bhutto, Jeay BiBi, PPP Zindabad.

Pakistan is in denial over spreading sectarian violence

After decades of turning a blind eye, the government seems helpless in the face of attacks on Shias and other minorities

By: Mustafa Qadri

While banned political groups preach hatred towards religious minorities in Pakistan’s major cities, a conflict along sectarian lines is spreading across the country, even to areas not previously associated with violence. Having spent decades turning a blind eye to the calculated violence of groups with a clear agenda based on hatred and intolerance, Pakistan’s government appears helpless in the face of continuous attacks on Shia Muslims and other minorities.

Sectarian attacks are not new in Pakistan, but there has been an upsurge, especially in Balochistan since at least 2010, in the Khurram and Orakzai tribal agencies bordering Afghanistan, the port city of Karachi and across the Punjab. Now the frosty, picturesque mountain ranges of Gilgit-Baltistan, on the northern border with China, are seeing an increasingly violent sectarian conflict pitting Muslim Sunnis against Shias.

Continue reading Pakistan is in denial over spreading sectarian violence

Why India can’t give up Siachen

By: Vikram Sood

The nation cannot afford to repeat the strategic mistakes of the past — like halting our advance at Uri in 1948 or not capturing Skardu; or giving up Haji Pir in 1966; or returning 93,000 troops and territory in 1972

The strategic advantage accruing to India in Siachen should not be given up for apparent short-term political gains. Giving up Siachen as a gesture of friendship would also mean that its recapture would be extremely expensive to India in men and material, says Vikram Sood.

Continue reading Why India can’t give up Siachen

Curfew continues in Gilgit Kidnappers free 34 hostages

By Farooq Ahmed Khan

GILGIT, April 10: Thirty-four people kidnapped from Hunza on April 3 in the wake of violence and bloodshed in Gilgit and Chilas were released on Tuesday as a result of successful talks between kidnappers and cleric Aga Rahat ul Hussain, police said.

Member of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly Deedar Ali Shah said the 34 hostages had been released unconditionally.

The kidnapped men — the district health officer, a civil judge, truck drivers, cleaners and labourers working in flour mills — had been taken to Nagar valley.

On Tuesday, they were brought to Gilgit where they were received by the deputy speaker of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, home secretary, finance secretary and the DIG. …

Read more » DAWN.COM

Digging our own graves – By Kamran Shafi

As we Pakistanis heap more ridicule on the American action to place a bounty on Hafiz Saeed’s head, derisively pointing out to the world how he is living openly in known residences; attending rallies in the open; addressing announced press conferences, and how he is thumbing his nose at his adversaries, we lose sight of the fact that (most of) the world is not on the same page as us.

No matter what defence we trot out: there is no evidence that he is a terrorist, the Lahore High Court having given him a clean chit; he heads a charity, the Jamaatud Dawa (JuD), and not a militant group, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT); that he has even asked the United Nations to strike the JuD off the terrorist organisations list, and so and so forth, we lose complete sight of the fact that the United States is a power that can exert its influence anywhere in the world.

Continue reading Digging our own graves – By Kamran Shafi

Elections in Pakistani colony – Azad Kashmir

by Dr Shabir Choudhry

28 June 2011 – In a parliamentary form of government a party that gets majority forms the next government; and the party leader becomes a Prime Minister. This happens in every democratic and civilised country. However, rules in a Pakistani occupied territory known as Azad Kashmir (independent Kashmir) are different.

PPP emerged as the winner in the elections. It was expected, as always is the case, a ruling party in Islamabad gets the desired results in Azad Kashmir to suits its needs. Barrister Sultan Mehmood, former Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir and a leader of the PPP was interviewed by a Pakistani TV. He happily claimed to have got the majority to form the government. The TV journalist asked him who is going to be the Prime Minister. Barrister Sultan Mehmood with a fake smile on his face said: Zardari Sahib will decide who is going to be the Prime Minister’ (of Azad Kashmir). ….

Read more: → Dr. Shabir Choudhry

The Chinese Cozy Up to the Pakistanis

by Selig S. Harrison

China’s expanding reach is a natural and acceptable accompaniment of its growing power—but only up to a point.

Beijing is understandably challenging a century of U.S. dominance in the Pacific and the South China Sea immediately adjacent to its shores. But the aggressive effort to block Indian hegemony in South Asia, reflected in its growing ties with Pakistan and its territorial claim to the adjacent northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh (for which there is no historical basis) is more ominous.

In contrast to its studied neutrality on the Kashmir issue in past decades, Beijing is now openly supportive of Pakistan and is establishing its economic and political influence both in Pakistan-occupied Azad (Free) Kashmir and in the Himalayan state of Gilgit-Baltistan. …

Read more : The National Interest

SOUTH ASIAN PERSPECTIVE ON REGIONAL STABILITY

Toronto, Canada : International Center for Peace and Democracy (ICPD) is a Toronto based think tank advocating secular democracy and peace in South Asia . Executive Director of ICPD, Muhammad Mumtaz Khan, who comes from Pakistan, administered Kashmir (PAK), has a thirty-year experience in the field of rights’ advocacy. Currently, he also represents International Kashmir Alliance (IKA) and All Parties National Alliance (APNA) in the European Parliament, North America and the United Nations.

Continue reading SOUTH ASIAN PERSPECTIVE ON REGIONAL STABILITY

Plight of Kashmiri militants in ‘Azad Kashmir’

– by Dr Shabir Choudhry

Story of Kashmiri struggle is a long and tragic story of suffering of human beings on both sides of the forcibly divided State of Jammu and Kashmir. During our study tour of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, I met a ‘leader’ of Kashmiri militants who still live in Azad Kashmir. Before giving details of their plight it is imperative to give short summary to the on going armed struggle.

They were young, energetic and full of life; but they were frustrated and not satisfied with what life had to offer them. They wanted change; and they were led to believe that the change could only come from a barrel of gun, which did not grow on Kashmiri trees. The gun and training needed to bring about the desired change could only be gained from Azad Kashmir and Pakistan, so they crossed the Line of Control to get guns, training and ammunition that they could fight the Indian forces stationed in Kashmir.

Between 1989 and 1991 tens of thousands of Kashmiri youths crossed over the Line of Control and went to a land of their dreams – Pakistan, which many of them thought was a place where there was justice, peace and tranquillity. Pakistan, for many of them, was just like a second Makkah, a country established in name of Islam and where, according to them, all was well.

Many of them thought their Kashmiri brothers living under control of Pakistan were living in heaven; and enjoyed life much better than them. Their dreams were shattered when they crossed over. Many of them lost their lives while walking to land of their dreams. Those who made it across the LOC reached there exhausted and in some cases needed urgent medical help.

On arrival they were not greeted with flowers. They all had to go through rigorous security checks, interrogation and, at times, humiliation. Many soon got frustrated and went back empty handed. On way back, they either got killed or adapted to new life style in presence of gun culture, oppression, large army, fear and intimidation.

Continue reading Plight of Kashmiri militants in ‘Azad Kashmir’

Pakistan: Kalabagh dam threatens livelihood of millions

by Ray Fulcher

GREEN LEFT

… construction of a massive dam in 2016 on the Indus river at Kalabagh, near the border between the Punjab and North West Frontier provinces. Opponents of the World Bank-funded dam project see it as another grab for water by the Punjabi ruling elite, which dominates federal politics in Pakistan.

The government claims that the dam is necessary for Pakistan’s economic development, that it will provide 3600 megawatts of hydroelectric power and 35,000 jobs.

Musharraf has said that the dam project will proceed against any opposition and that the federal and Punjabi governments will topple any provincial government that opposes the project. Of Pakistan’s four provinces, three provincial parliaments — North West Frontier (NWFP), Sindh and Balochistan — have passed resolutions opposing the dam.

On December 31, four progressive parties in Punjab united to protest against the proposed dam. The rally, held in Lahore, was charged by police, and activists of the four parties — the National Workers Party, the Labour Party Pakistan (LPP), the Pakistan Mazdoor Mehaz and the Mazdoor Kissan Party — were beaten.

Farooq Tariq, an organiser of the rally and national secretary of the LPP told Green Left Weekly by phone: “The LPP opposes the dam because it will deny Sindh its share of water and turn it into a desert. We oppose the construction of big dams on environmental grounds. Furthermore, this dam will benefit the Punjab ruling class and will add to the exploitation of Sindh. All provinces except the Punjab have repeatedly opposed the construction of this dam. This democratic verdict should be taken as a referendum and the dam abandoned.

Continue reading Pakistan: Kalabagh dam threatens livelihood of millions

China’s Discreet Hold on Pakistan’s Northern Borderlands

By SELIG S. HARRISON

While the world focuses on the flood-ravaged Indus River valley, a quiet geopolitical crisis is unfolding in the Himalayan borderlands of northern Pakistan, where Islamabad is handing over de facto control of the strategic Gilgit-Baltistan region in the northwest corner of disputed Kashmir to China.

The entire Pakistan-occupied western portion of Kashmir stretching from Gilgit in the north to Azad (Free) Kashmir in the south is closed to the world, in contrast to the media access that India permits in the eastern part, where it is combating a Pakistan-backed insurgency. But reports from a variety of foreign intelligence sources, Pakistani journalists and Pakistani human rights workers reveal two important new developments in Gilgit-Baltistan: a simmering rebellion against Pakistani rule and the influx of an estimated 7,000 to 11,000 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army.

China wants a grip on the region to assure unfettered road and rail access to the Gulf through Pakistan. It takes 16 to 25 days for Chinese oil tankers to reach the Gulf. When high-speed rail and road links through Gilgit and Baltistan are completed, China will be able to transport cargo from Eastern China to the new Chinese-built Pakistani naval bases at Gwadar, Pasni and Ormara, just east of the Gulf, within 48 hours.

Many of the P.L.A. soldiers entering Gilgit-Baltistan are expected to work on the railroad. Some are extending the Karakoram Highway, built to link China’s Sinkiang Province with Pakistan. Others are working on dams, expressways and other projects.

Read more >> The New York Times

Baltistan : MQM’s Fake Rally Picture

Courtesy: Pkpolitics & Cafe Pyala

It has been discovered that a recent picture of MQM’s rally in Sakardu, which was published in Daily Express was actually photoshopped to exaggerate the number of participants in rally. The modified picture was discovered by Cafe Pyala blogger, where he questions:

With Sultan Lakhany about to bring out an English paper – called the Express Tribune – married to the International Herald Tribune, is this the sort of objective, unbiased journalism we can all look forward to? The picture was published on the front page of Daily Express of 6th November 2009. [To see above subjected photo in dialy Express, click here]

This attempt is similar to the Fake World’s 2nd Best Mayor story published..

Gilgit Baltistan Democratic Alliance (GBDA) Leaders Detained before Election in Gilgit

GBDA Leaders Detained before Election in Gilgit

Brussels : 31st Oct. 2009 – Detention of hundred GBDA Leaders and workers exposed fraud Elections of Pakistan. The so-called election after announcement of a fraud package has been exposed. Top leaders of Gilgit Baltistan Democratic Alliance (GBDA) have been detained by regime in Gilgit today. Wajahat Hassan Khan Chairman APNA and Engineer Amanullah Khan Chairman GBDA along with all the 3 candidates of Gilgit constituency have been arrested by Police on the direction of Pakistan security forces today on 31st. Oct. at the occasion when they announced public gathering tomorrow on 1st. Nov against the illegal occupation.

The Gilgit Police have arrested Engeer Amanullah Khan Chairman GBDA, Burhanullah General Secretary, Shahid Hussain GBDA candidate for LA 1 Gilgit 1 constituency, Adv. Mohammad Farooq. GBDA candidate for LA2 Gilgit 2 Constituency, Afsar Jan GBDA candidate for LA 3 Gilgit 3 constituency, Adv. Ehsan Ali former President of Gilgit Baltistan Bar Council, Wajahat Hassan Khan Ex Member of Gilgit Baltistan Council and Col. (Retired) Nadir Hassan, Mohammad Javed former member of District Council and Akbar. Dozens of Balawaristan National Students Organization (BNSO) and Karakorum Students Organization (KSO) members havealso been detained by Gilgit Police when they start to organize public gathering.

This is the only indigenous nationalist Political Alliance (mainly consists BNF and KNM) of this disputed region which is under Pakistan occupation, has been barred in taking part in election process, by giving all the facilities with huge funds to the Pakistani parties, who are taking part in the coming elections on 12 Nov. 2009. Though according to UNCIP Pakistan has to withdraw its forces and civilians, but in practice forces and its intelligence agencies have been suppressing the whole indigenous population of Gilgit, Baltistan. The 2 million indigenous people are not allowed to raise their voices by political process and they don’t have access to Justice, Education and economical progress instead of huge natural resources. The regime does not allow GBDA to hold election rallies and public gatherings, which is the clear indication of unfair and partial elections in the coming days, where GBDA is contesting Elections instead of not endorsing elections under occupation.

We condemn of this act of occupying regime and we are going to tell the international community that government and its behind hidden and actual government (Security Forces) has decided to elect all the Pakistani backed candidates including PPP ; PML, JUI, JI and MQM. The MQM has been sent to this disputed region by primer spy agency first time with huge funds and other facilities, while the government is backing PPP. In such situation we don’t have trust in the elections.

Abdul Hamid Khan

Chairman, Balawaristan National Front (BNF)

November 02, 2009