The 72nd independence day of Gilgit is being celebrated in Gilgit-Baltistan with traditional zeal and fervor. Pakistani PM Imran Khan addressing a large gathering in Gilgit gathered to celebrate the region’s independence from Dogra rule said that he was filled with pride after getting here.
Khan said that Gilgit-Baltistan had strategic and historic significance, it had always been the bridge between the sub-continent (Pakistan) and China. The day is being celebrated to pay tributes to those heroes of liberation war and Gilgit Scouts who revolted against Dogra rule on 1st November 1947.
On India, Khan said – “Narendra Modi has played his final card in Kashmir, whenever the curfew is lifted, a sea of people will pour out on the streets to demand and take justice from the evil clutches of Indian government, no power on earth can take away freedom from the Kashmiris now.”.
Khan thanked the people of Gilgit Baltistan and the Pakistan Armed Forces for their valor and tremendous sacrifice to make the dream of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a reality.
Directing his attention toward the Maulana Fazlur Rehman lead ‘Azadi March’, Khan said that he and the people of Gilgit were gathered to celebrate independence while those that sought ‘Azadi’ are out on the roads in Islamabad with no defined motives. “Indian media is overjoyed at the ‘Azadi March’, they are hailing Fazlur Rehman as if he was an Indian citizen,” said Khan.
The territory of present-day Gilgit-Baltistan became a separate administrative unit in 1970 under the name “Northern Areas”. It was formed by the amalgamation of the former Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan district, and several small former princely states, the larger of which being Hunza and Nagar.
In 2009, it was granted limited autonomy and renamed to Gilgit-Baltistan via the Self-Governance Order signed by President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari, which also aimed to empower the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Gilgit-Baltistan is part of the greater Kashmir region, which is the subject of a long-running conflict between Pakistan and India. The territory shares a border with Pakistan administered Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh and is separated from it by the Line of Control, the de facto border between India and Pakistan.