If land grabbing is a crime by law, state should punish the land grabbers-What if the state itself is a land grabber? Simple! Land grabbing becomes legal and constitutional. Gilgit-Baltistan facing the legal and constitutional land grabbing from the state’s machinery again.
Gilgit-Baltistan got its independence from the Dogra Raj on 1st November 1947. The newly born state approached the nearest Muslim country Pakistan for help regarding the initial setup. Pakistan then occupied the land and the colonization is still on. UNO intervened in this area after Pakistan and India fought their first war on Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. a UNCIP (United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan) resolution stated clearly that Pakistan should evict its all civilians and armed forces from Gilgit-Baltistan and India to evict a bulk of forces (due to Maharaja’s agreement with Indian Government). Pakistan never took back its forces, rather increased the colonial oppression by different tactics. Chitral and Kohistan, the integral parts of Gilgit-Baltistan during and before independence were forcefully allotted to the the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. Kashgar (27Sq. km) area of Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan was gifted to China to strengthen Pak-China friendship. The government of the North Western Province of Pakistan claims more areas to be its parts. i.e. Phander-an integral part of district Ghizar, Gilgit-Baltistan.
The situation is getting worst after the mighty CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor) project has come under discussion in the mainstream. Since Gilgit-Baltistan is the gateway to the CPEC but people of this area are highly ignored and not considered a stakeholder to this project-this is the reason people of GB reserve major resentments on this corridor project. Any sudden outburst and resistance is expected from the common masses. The colonizer forces have gone crazy due to the fear of any sudden outburst in this highly sensitive region.
Thak Das and Maqpoon Das are the recent examples of colonial oppression in Gilgit-Baltistan. Thak Das has already been allotted to Pakistan army by government of GB. Now Maqboon Das has been razed down by the law enforcement agencies of Pakistan in association with the government of Gilgit-Baltistan to established army headquarters in order to keep a strict check on any movement against CPEC. Maqpoon Das-am almost barren land with small houses built by the local people is now completely demolished by the state forces and the residents of Maqpoon das are homeless now.
Some Video footage have been circulating on the social media by the residents of Maqpoon Das where they are showing how mercilessly their habitats have been massacred by the law enforcement agencies.
Few weeks back a dispute arose over a Maqpoon Das in Gilgit. Residents of all three villages – Haramosh, Chamugarh and Jalalabad have staked a claim to the land. Following the clash the Anti-terrorist court of Gilgit Baltistan issues arrest warrants of 216 villagers which led to more sensitivity towards a bigger clash, making a soft ground for the security forces to invade, destroy and occupy this land.
The Deputy commission of Diamer Usman Ahmed said speaking to the Express Tribune that, “The army will make its headquarters in Thak Das; this will help provide security to CPEC installations.” Another official told The Express Tribune the army will soon take over the land formally and start work immediately so it can assume responsibilities. Police and Gilgit-Baltistan Scouts conduct operation to evict warring villagers.
Also Read: Army gets land in Diamer to monitor CPEC
Photos of the razed down habitats of people in Maqpoon Das, Gilgit-Baltistan
Photos and Video Courtesy to “The Gilgit Baltistan Project” -Social Media Fan Page