GILGIT TRIBUNE

Voice of the Mountain People

Mockery of democracy

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on November 7, 2009

By Karrar Ali

Electioneering is at its full swing in Gilgit-Baltistan as NOV, 12 polls are nearing. These elections are unique and distinguished in the history of the region as all major national and regional parties have thrown their strength into it.

Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is leading the election campaign of his party  while front liner of PML-Q, Dr Sher Afgan Niazi too has plunged into the foray along with Marvi Memon, the party’s in-charge for Gilgit-Baltistan. MQM chief Altaf Hussain is addressing the election rallies of his party every other day while a whole squad of the MQM’s coordination-Rabta committee has been deputed in Gilgit-Baltistan to lead election campaigns. Even leaders like Liaqat Baloch, of the far right wing party have camped in Gilgit-Baltistan to lead the election campaign of their respective parties in person. In these circumstances the boycott of the only nationalist alliance is indeed a sad incident and the grotesque indifference of the local administration towards the allegations of the alliance-GBDA on the basis of which it has decided to boycott the polls has added enormously to the fears of the already grieved nation.

Harassing the nationalist candidates for their ideologies and alienating them from the democratic process doesn’t makes much sense and will only add to the distress and distrust that is gaining roots in the region. Deporting of nationalist leaders from their own homeland is a severe violation of the basic human rights and is condemnable in every civilized society.

Alienation of nationalist forces from the democratic process has always proved to be a misadventure in the history of the country either it be the crackdown on nationalists during the Musharaf regime or the 80s army operations in Sindh and Balochistan.  Given that the disputed status of the region in the United Nations and the weak position of Pakistan on its Kashmir stand, such measures by the state machinery will only weaken the grip of the country over Kashmir issue and it will ultimately give way for a Balochistan-like situation in the region.

It was PPP that abolished the state system and black laws like FCR in order to bring the region in par with other parts of the country and it was none other but PPP that introduced the political parties in the region to lay foundations for democracy and representation of the common men. These are the very basic reason that even today people from far flung areas like Ganchy go all the way to Gari Khuda Bakhsh to pay homage to Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto.

This deliberate attempt to alienate the nationalists from the democratic system may be another ploy of defaming PPP that has stronghold in the region by the forces that are always on-the-go to hunt down the party. It is responsibility of the government to probe into the matter before elections such as to save itself from any blame.

Another eye opener is the nationalist’s stance on the candidates from Gilgit city. It is no hidden secret that the state machinery has always backed clerics in the region and used them as weapon against each other but it should now come to an end. This is no less a dilemma that the public representatives are chosen not by the public but by religious clerics in mosques. The mingling of religious with politics has always produced the worst type of dirty blood and this should be avoided in the region.

If the silence of the government and state machinery towards the said incident is not broken on time, the hopes of peaceful future will fade away and no doubt the coming days might not be pleasant enough but they neither should be haunting nightmares.

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One Response to “Mockery of democracy”

  1. Dear Sir,
    TheMy vote to a candidate for the GBLA seat will be based on the answers to the following questions:
    a. Do you know the views of USA, UN, EU, India, China, Russia and GOP on the status of Gilgit and Baltistan? What are your views and how do you think you will go about implementing your views?
    b. What is your knowledge on the current statutory and customary laws on Natural resources? What does the UN Universal Declaration on this topic contemplate? Are you aware of any local attempts and how will you go about ensuring the economic interests of present and coming generations?
    c. What are the burning issues confronting GB today? Do you have a statistical analysis and how do you propose tackling them?
    d. What is your vision for the society for the next 5 years, 10 yrs, 20 yrs and 50 years? What collective targets would you set and with what priority?
    e. What is your commitment on the improvements of KKH and proposed energy corridor/railway line? What are the reasons for the slowdown? What would you do to overcome the slowdown that you see?
    WHAT QUESTIONS WILL YOU ASK BEFORE VOTING FOR A CANDIDATE?

    following questions are equally applixable to all candidates of GBLA:

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