Pakistan PM Imran Khan grants provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan

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The announcement comes amid massive protests in the country against Imran Khan’s govt over the issue, including reports of Saudi Arabia removing the region from Pakistan’s map.

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ANI 1 November, 2020

Islamabad: Despite the ongoing protests against the Pakistan government over its decision to change the status of Gilgit-Baltistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced the granting of provisional-provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan, Geo News reported.

“One of the reasons for me coming to Gilgit-Baltistan is to announce that we have decided to grant Gilgit-Baltistan the provisional provincial status,” Khan said while speaking during his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan. This comes following Saudi Arabia removing Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan from Pakistan’s map.

Massive protests have been taking place against the Imran Khan-led government over the issue of Gilgit Baltistan.

This announcement is likely to spark massive outrage as it will have much wider implications which will set the tone for exacerbating tensions, that is already being played out in the east along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on the India-China border.

On October 8, in Muzaffarabad city of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK), a massive protest was organised by the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and Student Liberation Front against the government’s decision to make Gilgit-Baltistan a province.

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Political activists said that they will sacrifice themselves but will not let Pakistan alter the status of the region. People from Gilgit-Baltistan, who have been living in other Pakistani towns, have also taken to the streets against Islamabad’s arbitrary decision.

Gilgit- Baltistan, earlier known as Northern Areas has been governed by the “Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order of 2009”, which established an electoral framework. Elections have been held in the region under the Order that provides for only limited autonomy.

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The people accuse Pakistan of systematically exploiting the region of its resources and sharing no dividends with them.

Any resistance they say meets brutal government reprisal with activists and leaders hounded, arrested and tortured.

source: https://theprint.in/world/pakistan-pm-imran-khan-grants-provincial-status-to-gilgit-baltistan/535016/

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