Plea in SC to claim Gilgit & PoK dismissed
A bench headed by the Chief Justice of India, Ranjan Gogoi, has dismissed a plea in the Supreme Court of India which sought to establish parliamentary/assembly constituencies in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir & the Gilgit-Baltistan territories and conduct elections there.
This plea was filed by a former officer of the Research & Analysis Wing of India. The court deemed the public interest litigation “untenable” and rebuked the officer for bringing this to the court. A stiff penalty of Rs. 20,000 was also imposed on the petitioner.
What are PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan?
- The Pak-occupied Kashmir (POK) was a part of the princely state of Jammu & Kashmir which had been invaded and occupied by Pakistan in 1947.
- For ease of administration, Pakistan has divided it into two parts, which are called Azad Jammu-O-Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan in the official language.
- The chief of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is the President while the Prime Minister is the Chief Executive Officer supported by a Council of Ministers.
- Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) claims its self-governing assembly, but the fact is that it works under the control of Pakistan.
- Pakistan s claim on Kashmir is based on the declaration of 1993 which stated that Jammu & Kashmir was among those 5 states in which rule of Government of Pakistan was supposed to be established. India has never accepted this claim of Pakistan.
- Azad Kashmir’s capital is Muzaffarabad.
- The economy of PoK relies mainly on the cultivation of maize, wheat, forestry, and livestock income.
- Mineral reserves of low-grade coal reserves, chalk reserves, bauxite deposits are also found in the area.
What the future holds?
It is very unlikely as that the issue of Pak-occupied Kashmir (POK) will be resolved any time soon. The current India-Pakistan is at the Line of Control and the border remains heavily militarized by both the militaries of India and Pakistan.