[Editorial] At the Back of Independence Day

November 1 as Independence Day is a sacred for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan the same way as almost all nation states of the world today consider their independence day sacred such as Pakistan on August 14 and India on August 15.  It is a day that reminds people of Gilgit-Baltistan the sacrifices and the objectives of those priceless scarifies of human lives and material for a cause.  Many hundreds of people martyred, people put all their valued resources on the way of Independence from Dogra Raj and successfully attained their independence with the objectives of living in a free, fair and progressive society.  Independence day celebration is a ritual process where people want to go back once more each year to the time of origin and rejuvenate the zeal, enthusiasm and happiness of the day when it was appeared or recognized first time in the history either known or unknown.

Obviously the objectives of living in a free, fair and progressive society have been crashed under heavy feet and buts for a long time backed by the forces of oppression and tyranny. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan have been ritually shifted from one prison to another with different masters.  During the period of confinement all resources have been put on test to destroy the self-agency of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, either they been bogusly being called Kashmiries or Pakistanis without a name for more than six decades without provision of fundamental human rights.

Of course it is never too late to start any good deed and neither the people of Gilgit-Baltistan remained lazy and silent during their confinement and imprisonment rather they kept on trying to struggle for their rights. As a result today the people have got their name ‘Gilgit-Baltistan’ as a fruit of their struggle, of course the name alone is not enough and people have to walk on the long journey to achieve the set objectives on the day of November 1, 1947.

However, the recent crackdown on the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and expulsion of the citizens of Gilgit-Baltistan is a gross violation of the human rights and democratic norms.  Detaining people belonging to the political parties ahead of elections is the prime proof of the evil motivations of rigging the elections. Protests and expressions of views and ideas are the soul of democratic system of governance, where crushing it is brutality, and heinous crime in a true democracy. What the government of Pakistan is trying to show is its true face of oppressive regimes, camouflaged in the sacred guise of democracy. The arrest of leaders and workers of Gilgit-Baltistan Democratic Alliance (GBDA) is a highly condemnable act, it is required to free those all who have been detained and imprisoned and the government should publicly apologize for this heinous and unlawful act.

The sacred day of November 1, and the sacred month of November for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan provides an opportunity to think and act on the holy objectives of the cause of their independence. It ask for unity among all citizens only as Gilgit-Baltistanies and shedding behind the dividing lines of religion, race, lingual, geographic and any other sought of dividing factor.  It also needs to have strong resilience and sacrifices for the cause of the establishment of a free, fair, and progressive nation and society for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.

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