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Current judicial system can’t protect rights of the two million people of Gilgit-Baltistan: Asma Jahangir

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GILGIT: Opposing the the current political and judicial system of Gilgit Baltistan, rights activist and senior counsel Asma Jahangir wondered how would the establishment continue the system in the future. It is time for bold decisions regarding the future of Gilgit Baltistan, she said.

The views were expressed by Asma Jahangir on Saturday in a High Court Bar meeting. She said that the current political and judicial system can’t protect the rights of  two million people of the region. The people of the region needed an independent and powerful assembly and judiciary to be able to decide about their future without the interference of outsiders. She urged the Gilgit-Baltistan High Court Bar to make a charter of demands, saying the Supreme Court Bar Association will support their rights and jointly struggle for the cause.

Speaking at a welcome reception hosted in honor of the visiting lawyer, senior lawyer and provincial president of PPP Amjad Husain Advocate said that Gilgit-Baltistan region has been neglected in the landmark CPEC project. He said that not even a single project has been earmarked for the region under the CPEC initiative. He said that the Supreme Appellate Court has been approached against the federal government for neglecting the area, but so far no hearing has been held in this regard.

The PPP leader said that Gilgit-Baltistan has no representation in the National Assembly, Senate and Council of Common Interests (CCI). “We seem to be here only for the defense of the country”, he complained. He further said that as per the Constitution of Pakistan, G B is still a disputed territory and thus the government cannot implement the CPEC Project in the region without the will of the people, and without giving them their due shares in the project’s benefits.

Asma Jahangir is visiting the region to meet key government and law figures. Members of a Senate committee are also likely to visit the Gilgit-Baltistan to hold consultations to address the complaints and grievances of the region’s people with regards to representation in the 44 billion dollar CPEC initiative. There’s a growing sense of deprivation in the region.

A conference about the CPEC project is also being held in Gilgit on 28th August, which is likely to be attended by the Prime Minister of Pakistan and the Chief of Army Staff.

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