The Jammu and Kashmir Pakistan does not want to talk about

DN Bureau

Amid all the focus on Jammu and Kashmir in recent times, the status of Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) consisting of the so-called 'Azad' Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) has been largely ignored.

Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi: Amid all the focus on Jammu and Kashmir in recent times, the status of Pakistan Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) consisting of the so-called 'Azad'  Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) has been largely ignored. Severe media restrictions, both local and international and even apathy has ensured that Pakistan has been able to act with impunity in this region.

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Two of Pakistan's main arguments against the removal of Jammu and Kashmir's special status under Article 370 are that it would lead to changes in demography and that it is violative of the UN Security Council resolutions. Both these arguments are not only false and malicious but it is Pakistan that has been guilty on both these counts.

Among Pakistan's machinations that have been violative of the UN SC resolutions are the following:

(i) It manipulated letters of accession from the Mirs of Nagar and Hunza even though they had no power of accession since they were under the suzerainty of the Maharaja of J&K. Yet, it suppressed these letters from the UN hoping to include these areas in the plebiscite. (iI) The Karachi Agreement of 28 April 1949, supposedly signed between a Minister in the Pak Government, the 'President' of so-called AJK and the President of the Muslim Conference under which the administrative control of GB was transferred to  Pakistan.

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The travesty was that neither was anyone from GB a signatory to this agreement nor did the so-called AJK Government have any representation from or administrative control over GB and neither did the Muslim Conference have a political presence there. Subsequently, Ibrahim Khan, one of the supposed signatories denied publicly that he had actually signed the Agreement! Despite these dubious facts, Pakistan has been exercising control over the region and lecturing India on constitutionality. 

(ii) On March 2, 1963, Pakistan further violated the  UN resolutions, when it ceded about 1,868 square miles (5,180 square kms) of GB to China in the Shaksgam Valley even though it was accepted that the sovereignty of the region did not rest with it.

Following the Karachi Agreement Pakistan governed the area through the draconian colonial-era Frontier Crimes Regulations (FCR) right up to the 1970s. The FCR, akin to martial law, did not allow any political activity and gave the authorities blanket powers to arrest and interrogate any person.

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In 1974-75, the Northern Areas Council Legal Framework Order replaced the FCR, introduced rudimentary administrative and judicial reforms, but did not empower the people of G-B. In 1982, Zia-ul-Haq proclaimed that the people of G-B were not part of the State of J& K and extended martial law to GB declaring it 'Martial Law Zone-E' (A to D being the four Provinces). In 1994, Benazir Bhutto introduced the Northern Areas Legal Framework Order that vested all executive powers with a Federal Minister. (ANI)

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