November 10, 2011

Kashmiri music - Gilgit-Baltistan wants no less than Parliament

The Terrorland Report

HOW the 'oppressed' Kashmiris have become an 'oppressor' in the case of Gilgit-Baltistan, locals say, that can be witnessed by the statements of Kashmiri leaders especially from the Azad Kashmir. And the socio-historical background of this notion has been discussed in detail by bloggers of The Terrorland, particularly in the popular post: Gilgit-Baltistan in search of hijacked independence for 64 years.

Pakistani military establishment is trying hard to ignore the demands for constitutional rights in Gilgit-Baltistan, and the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) along with the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) uses traditional media propaganda in this regard. According to locals, the culture and languages of Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir are different but still the state-run PTV presents them as one for political reason.
A reporter from Gilgit says that the ISI with a dozen other secret agencies always boosts the Pakistan Army at the cost of national integrity in the region through the fear-and-terror strategy. He narrated a story that when Muhammad Ayub a 28-year-old soldier from Hunza, who was member of the Special Services Group of Pakistan Army and died during a terrorist attack on the GHQ in Rawalpindi the ISPR, instead of Pakistan or the Army as an institution, used it to boost the personal image of Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani. He has sent a dubbed national song considering it the first propaganda literature in Burushaski language.

"This kind of 20th-century-communist-like-propaganda can't work in the Cyber Age, and it often backfires," says a media analyst from Islamabad. "The military should go back to the barrack and stop policy-dictation to successive elected governments."  

A politician from Baltistan says that the genuine demands of the people can't be rejected any more. The so-called Chief Minister (CM) is unable to transfer even a clerk in his hometown Skardu. "What kind of a government is this which has no mention of legality in the Pakistani Constitution. One toothless local has been made Governor and the other CM... but the authority lies with the non-local key officials: Chief Secretary, IG Police, Chairman Chief Court, and Force Commander (a serving major-general). The claims of empowerment of locals is nothing but another big fraud with us." 

Public believes that the ministers, advisers and members of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly are powerless. "Most of them belong to mainstream Pakistani political parties like the PPP and PML-N, and they can't raise their voice for constitutional rights due to  fear of party leaders and the military establishment,"  says a student from Astore.

A nationalist student organization's member said that those people who can raise their voice for the people of the region are currently out of the country. "People like Abdul Hamid and Senge Seringl should be allowed to return to Pakistan honorably to solve the issue through dialogue. They are activists not militants," he added.  

Sources say that Abdul Hamid Khan, leader of Balawaristan National Front (BNF), was harassed by the ISI and he fled Pakistan in the late 1990's. He runs a website from Brussels, Belgium. He is from Yasin valley of Ghizer district and is believed to be the first person from the region who suffers in self-exile for over a decade. His wife and children are in Pakistan.

Mr. Khan often writes letters to the UN and other international organizations and global leaders regarding human rights violations in Gilgit-Baltistan. His friends say he is creating awareness among the members of the European Union regarding the plight of the over two million people of the region. 

A co-founder of BNF, Nawaz Khan Naji is currently member of the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly. Mr. Naji is being accused of playing in the hands of the ISI... while Mr. Khan has been declared an 'agent' of Indian secret agency RAW.  So today the two friends seem apart from each other. 

Senge Hasnan Sering, according to his website, is director of Gilgit Baltistan National Congress. “Born in Skardo district, Baltistan, Sering finished an engineering degree from Pakistan and eventually earned a Masters in Development Studies from England. A cultural activist during his college days in the early 1990s, he was instrumental in reviving the indigenous Balti script, and went on to work as a language expert with the Baltistan Cultural Foundation. In 2009, he was selected as a fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, Delhi. Over the past 12 years, he has presented papers on cultural and political issues of Gilgit-Baltistan at several international universities, think tanks and rights organizations.”

Mr. Sering is said to be working on three books, pertaining to human rights violations and Chinese projects in Gilgit-Baltistan, and Baltistan's quest for cultural identity. His statements and articles are said to be tilting towards India, where he has also worked. Therefore, he has also been declared an "Indian agent" but his friends say he is just advocating for the people according to the UN resolutions. 

Intellectuals from Gilgit-Baltistan region say both Mr. Khan and Mr. Sering should be allowed to come back and work for the right of the people of the region like Mr. Naji. However, they add that there is no guarantee of life as the ISI is not ready to change its criminal mindset, which has forced many patriotic people to leave the country.

"Huway tum dost jinkay, dushman unka asman kiyon ho!" a writer recited this line from an Urdu poem and added: "If the Pakistan Army had not killed Akbar Bugti, the Balochi separatists would not have the portrait of a martyr to unite under it for a separate nation state. Violence can't solve a problem rather itself is a problem. Therefore, the assassination policy of political leaders, intellectuals and journalists should be abandoned, now!"

The Kashmiri music on PTV or private channels can't make the people of Gilgit-Baltistan to forget their decades-long suffering. The people now want no less than representation in the Pakistani Parliament. "If the Pakistani military establishment does not allow the [Zardari-led] government to bring constitutional changes regarding the status of Gilgit-Baltistan, then there can be demands for a separate Constitution and Parliament in the region!" fears a political worker. 
Here are some videos:

1- ISPR propaganda video in Burushaski glorifies Gen. Kayani

2- ISPR tries to mix up Gilgit & Azad Kashmir - singer with military cap 

3- Nationalist leader Abdul Hamid on Gilgit-Baltistan & Kashmir

4- MLA Nawaz Naji presents case of Gilgit-Baltistan on Pakistani TV

5- Senge Hasnan Sering presents case of Gilgit-Baltistan in U.S. Congress [9:5]

Posts on Music Therapy of nations!  
  1. Pashto music can improve Af-Pak-US relations!
  2. Balti music can do what the bloody 'strategic assets' can't
  3. Wakhi music: don't doubt strength of bridge to China & Central Asia 
  4. Shina music & resistance literature in Gilgit-Baltistan 
  5. Burushaski - a unique language & music in Gilgit-Baltistan
  6. Khowar music unites people of Chitral & Gilgit-Baltistan


  1. Mr Senge Hasnan Sering has left this comment on this post at Facebook

    "Mr. Rehman...I am grateful to the author for mentioning my name but as said, my loyalty rests with my land and the people. What ever the majority of the people decide should be the final decision. I am grateful to Mr. Hamid Khan for his services to the land and the sacrifices he has made. Because of people like him, other activists like myself got the courage to speak out. In the end, time is the best judge."

  2. Transcription of the testimony (video-5) of Senge Sering before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission United States Congress is available here: