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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Gilgit Baltistan 72nd Independence Day: Imran Khan Promises Tourism & Development

The region of Gilgit Baltistan commemorates its 72nd Independence Day, and parades are being carried out in different valleys across the region to honour the independence heroes who valiantly fought against the Dogra Rule.

Gilgit Baltistan celebrates its 72nd Independence Day today (Friday) with a parade of traditional events and an unmatched fervor. The people are celebrating their independence by paying tributes to the heroes who liberated the region from Indian occupation and the Dogra rule.

The festivities pay a tribute to the Gilgit Scouts who had revolted against the Dogra rules and gained independence for the region on 1st November, 1947. Various social, political and literary circles across the region will hold events to commemorate the auspicious occasion.

The people will gather at the Aga Khan Shahi polo ground in Gilgit after Friday prayer for a grand Independence Day celebration function.

Imran Khan Attends Parade

Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed a mammoth crowd of people gathered in Gilgit City. Felicitating the people gathered to attend the parade, the Premier said that the people of Gilgit Baltistan bravely fought against the Dogra rule in 1947, and gained independence from the prospects of forceful Indian occupation.

The Premier lamented that very few people in Pakistan are aware of the struggle for freedom won by the people of Gilgit Baltistan against the Dogra rule in 1947, and later, the liberation of Skardu in 1948. He said that the proclamation of the oneness of Allah liberates people, and having faith in Allah’s justice allows confidence and strength.

Addressing the youth of Gilgit Baltistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that we are the Ummah of Holy Prophet (SAW) and Pakistan is the only country erected in the name of Islam, which places a great responsibility on our shoulders. He urged the people to contribute and support the vision of Riyasat-e-Madinah.

He stressed that establishing a rule of justice will shower Allah Almighty’s blessings and turn Pakistan into an exemplary nation.

Read more: Gilgit-Baltistan: “Bam-e-Dunya” – the roof of the world

He said that the Narendra Modi-led Indian government has deprived the people of occupied Kashmir of their basic human rights. Imran Khan said, “Our brothers, sisters and elders in occupied Kashmir are suffering under the brutal regime of Narendra Modi. It has been almost three months of curfew, and people are denied of their basic human rights, forced to live like animals under the brute force of 900,000 Indian troops.”

Reiterating his support for the people of occupied Kashmir, Imran Khan said that the people of Pakistan stand beside their Kashmiri brethren, and will continue advocating for the Kashmiri cause. The Premier said that if the people of Gilgit Baltistan had not stood up in revolt of forceful occupiers, they too would find themselves being oppressed by Narendra Modi.

He said, “This valour and courage to fight comes from our firm belief in Allah.”

Tourism Potential

Reminiscing his first visit to Gilgit Baltistan back in his youth, Imran Khan recounted the lack of infrastructure and the difficulties faced by tourists exploring the unpaved and dangerous slopes of the region. He said, “Today, the entire region has opened up to receive wide-scale development and tourism.”

The Premier said that he has travelled through the Gilgit Baltistan region and the entire world, and remarked that he “has never witnessed a site that could rival the beauty of this region”. Explaining the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government’s policies to promote tourism, he said that the regime has improved visa facilities and policies, and 70 countries have been allowed visa-free and visa-on-arrival assistance to further boost the tourism industry of Gilgit Baltistan and other tourist attractions.

He said, “Tourists will be provided visas on arrival at the airport, and many areas that previously required NOCs are now open and available to tourists”. The Premier said that in the upcoming days, the region of Gilgit Baltistan will witness wide-scale development and the tourism industry will continue to grow and expand.

Read more: Not just views but food too: Thai blogger enjoys Gilgit Baltistan

Earlier in the day, Ali Amin Gandapur, the Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, addressed a public gathering of PTI supporters in Gilgit. He said that the government is working towards establishing a special economic zone in Gilgit.

He said, ‘The people of Gilgit Baltistan have been neglected by the governments of Pakistan for the past 72 years, but the Imran Khan-led government will address their grievances and challenges.”

The Federal Minister announced the government’s plan to build more roads and infrastructure in the region, and also added that the tunnel work at Babusar Pass will continue in the next year. Ali Amin Gandapur also stressed that providing quality education and healthcare facilities to the locals was also amongst the incumbent government’s major priorities.