Self-Rule for the People of Northern Areas

The declaration of “Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009” has not only fulfilled the longstanding demand of the people of Northern Areas for self-rule on the lines of AJK type of governance, it will also frustrate the nefarious designs of Indian external strike in Northern Areas.  It is beyond doubt that the Northern Areas of Pakistan lag behind the rest of the provinces of the country.  Sectarianism, poverty, Indian connection, weak judicial system, burgeoning of small arms, and separatist forces like Balawaristan National Front (BNF), Karakoram National Movement (KNM), are some of the major concerns that had alarmed the NA Administration.  Some of the demands put across by the people of Pakistan’s mountainous Northern Areas were:  (1) Self-governance like that of AJK or as a province.  (2) Fully autonomous Legislative Assembly with Chief Minister. (3) Set up an independent High Court and Supreme Court. (4) The reforms in education set-up, e.g., affairs of Karakoram International University to be straightened, quota for Gilgit Baltistan be separated from FATA, setting-up of Medical College and Engineering College. (5) The Land allotment to non-locals, NGOs and foreign Govts should be banned. (6) Economic Developmental Package for the uplift of common people.  (7) Control over the sectarianism.

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