Condemning Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for declaring provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan, Abbas Butt, chairman of Kashmir National Party, said that Khan did not have legal or constitutional right to do so as per the Pakistan constitution.
Speaking during a virtual online programme “My Voice”, he said that the Indian government ended the Article 370 and 35A under the constitution but the Pakistan constitution has clearly stated that “you cannot make a province in this region nor make any changes and yet Khan did it.”
“India followed the law while ending Article 370 and 35A and Pakistan illegally did it. While the Pakistan constitution clearly states that you cannot make a province in this region nor make any changes and yet Khan did it,” he told Dr Shabir Choudhry, who is President of Foreign Affairs Committee of United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP).
Speaking about the Pakistan constitution, Butt said that the very problem in the issue of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan is “Pakistan constitution’s Article 257 says when the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir decide to accede to Pakistan, the relationship between Pakistan and that State shall be determined in accordance with the wishes of the people of that State.”
“The very beginning of this Article is controversial. It states that when the people of J-K will decide to go with Pakistan then the matters related to them will be decided. I oppose the very first word of this article. Whoever has written or passed this article has assumed that Jammu and Kashmir will not go anywhere else. Here the word should have been written ‘if’ instead of ‘when’,” he further said.
He said, “A leader, even the PM, who knows anything about these things, can never go anywhere and say that I have made this as a province because he does not have the legal power. If any region has to be made a province, then the people of Gilgit Baltistan have to take a decision. Any change in Jammu and Kashmir will happen only on the opinion of the region. Otherwise there will be no change.”
Slamming Prime Minister Imran Khan for his move, Butt said, “Imran Khan kis haisiyat se waha gaya”.
“His and his ministers’ visit to Gilgit-Baltistan was illegal. According to the law of the region, after the election dates are fixed no official of Pakistan can go there to campaign.”
On the granting of provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan, he said, “There is a proper legal procedure. The National Assembly’s support is needed to grant the status. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf does not have even a simple majority in the Assembly. For any constitutional changes, the majority support is needed in the National Assembly. These people did not inform the leaders in the National Assembly about it. This was also against Pakistan’s constitution.”
He also said, “Khan has stated that this is being done for the development of GB, but what about the other actual parts of Pakistan like Sindh? Have they been developed? Even after becoming the province, the resources of GB will be of the people of the region but will Pakistan give them the right?”
Abbas Butt also said that while he does not have anything against the Pakistan PM or the Army but “I think the leaders of so-called Azad Kashmir have sold their souls to get some power”.