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Gilgit-Baltistan contractors go on strike over pending dues

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Asia | March 30, 2023 11:05:27 AM IST
The construction contractors in Gilgit-Baltistan, which is illegally occupied by Pakistan, have stopped work over pending dues from the Government as reported by vernacular media Himalaya Today.

The contractors have stopped work on development projects because their dues of 13 billion rupees have not been paid by the government of Pakistan.

The Chief Secretary has stopped issuing notices for new tenders due to the lack of funds. Thousands of workers connected with this sector have become jobless and high inflation and unemployment are forcing them to starve, Himalaya Today reported.

Due to the closure of this sector, many workers from Pakistan's Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are going back to their homes. The business of electrical items, hardware, paints, and other items needed for construction work has been reduced to half.

No one knows, how long the present condition will continue because the economic situation of the country is at its worst. The national exchequer is empty and no monetary organization or country is willing to give a loan, Himalaya Today reported.

Gilgit-Baltistan gets grants-in-aid like alms. Currently, the Developmental and Non-Developmental Grant in Aid is Rs.18.48 billion, which is less than the budget allotted to some districts of the federation. The vernacular media wrote that despite this, Gilgit -Baltistan is threatened with stopping the funds.

The main reason for this situation is the political leadership, whether it is those in power or in the opposition, both act as facilitators of the federation, the report further said.

Today, the condition of Gilgit-Baltistan is very bad and its economy is on the verge of collapsing, according to vernacular media.

Not only this, but Gilgit-Baltistan is also witnessing a rise in human rights abuses.

While giving an intervention during the 52nd Session of the Council, Nasir Aziz Khan, the central spokesperson for the United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP), said, "Our organization would like to draw your attention to the serious human rights abuses that are taking place in Pakistan and its administered Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan. Human rights violations have been reported in Pakistan for many years, with a range of issues including extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, torture, discrimination against minorities, and limitations on freedom of expression and assembly.

"UKPNP Chairman, Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, in his intervention, informed the UN Human Rights Council that Article (19)-1 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights guarantees everyone the right to hold opinions without interference.

"The people of Pakistani-administered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, however, have not had this freedom since 1947. Pakistan is systematically violating the land rights of the people of Pakistan in its peripheries," he said. (ANI)

 
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