SRI NAGAR: Hardline separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani has opposed Pakistan’s move to make Gilgit Baltistan (GB) one of its provinces, saying it is part of disputed Jammu and Kashmir and cannot be made a part of the neighbouring country.
“I want to make it clear to Pakistan that Gilgit-Baltistan belongs to Jammu and Kashmir,” Geelani said while speaking at a seminar titled ‘Jammu Kashmir - A Single Geographical Entity’ at his Hyderpora residence, here.
He said unless Kashmir dispute is resolved as per the United Nation resolution, Gilgit-Baltistan cannot be merged with Pakistan.
Geelani advised the Pakistani government not to take any decision that could change the disputed nature of Jammu and Kashmir.
“When we talk of Kashmir dispute, it includes all the five regions. It is not wise on part of Pakistan to take any step that can challenge the resolutions passed in the UN which is the base of our struggle for the right to self-determination,”Geelani said.
A proposal has been sent to Nawaz Sharif Government in January 2014 by Pakistan’s Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan that the regions of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan be made the fifth and sixth provinces of the country.
All the other separatist outfits in Kashmir have also raised their voice against the merger move of Gilgit Baltistan.
Moderate separatist leader and cleric Mirwaiz Umar Farooq has already warned that Pakistan should not take any steps to undermine the disputed nature of Kashmir.
“Until Kashmir dispute is resolved, Gilgit-Baltistan should be provided all the facilities. But its future lies only with Jammu and Kashmir,” Mirwaiz had said.