Occupying Pak-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan government hoodwinks protestors ;forms 6 member committee

POGB protest
Protestors in POGB (Photo: Social Media)

In the picturesque region of Pakistan occupied Gilgit-Baltistan (POGB), the political landscape is charged with tension as protests spearheaded by the Awami Action Committee show no signs of abating. The occupying government has initiated a deceptive response, in the form of a 6-member committee, to engage with various stakeholders and find a comprehensive solution to the burgeoning public discontent.

Copy of order constituting 6-member committee (Photo: X)

Objectives of the Committee

The newly formed committee, is tasked with engaging representatives from political, religious, social, and business communities across the region. The primary goals include seeking input and workable options on the issues and demands raised by the protestors. Regular sessions and meetings will be conducted to analyse and deliberate on emerging public issues with the aim of finding amicable and urgent solutions.

Moreover, the committee is mandated to underscore resolvable public issues, collaboratively decide on a work plan within the existing legal framework and financial constraints of the occupying government. But interestingly, this is the only bone of contention as protestors have realised that existing legal framework is there to exploit the POGB and hence any negotiation under the existing framework would eventually lead to nothing but dissent. As stated by Awami Action Committee leader Ehsan Advocate recently, the main problem is the imposition of assembly through the colonial order. Accordingly, the only intention of the Pakistani establishment to impose the Assembly was to continue the exploitation of the region, which they always did, without being answerable to the people of POGB directly. The whole intention was to keep the struggle and fight of the people up to themselves.

Clash of Agendas: Protestors Demand Autonomy

While the committee’s formation might look as a step towards addressing public concerns, the protestors affiliated with the Awami Action Committee, being aware of the consequences of such committees, remain resolute in their demands for autonomy. The occupying government’s formation of the committee is a deceptive effort to somehow deflate the protest. And hence, their Charter of Demands, consisting of 15 points, calls for the detachment of Pakistan from significant stakes in Pakistan occupied Gilgit-Baltistan (POGB).

Furthermore, the protestors had firmly asserted that without the fulfilment of their 15-point Charter of Demands, they will not disband and will continue the protest. And at the core of their demands is the call for autonomy, a proposition that challenges the very political status of POGB which led to its subjugation at the hands of the regime in Islamabad.

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