Former AJK PM calls out 'land grabbing' in Gilgit-Baltistan.

MUZAFFARABAD -- Former prime minister of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and PML-N leader Raja Farooq Haider has warned against alleged land grabbing in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and has called for 'restoration of the state subject rule (SSR)' in the territory.

'I want to ask the government of Pakistan not to evict the people of Gilgit-Baltistan from the Khalsa (Crown's) land they have been living on since the times of Dogra rule [in the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir,' said Mr Haider at a public meeting in Hajira subdivision of Poonch district.

He made this demand in the context of mass demonstrations in GB under the banner of the Awami Action Committee - an alliance of various political, religious and trade associations - against electricity shortages, reduction in the wheat quota, taxation and alleged land grabbing by the state.

'The people of Gilgit-Baltistan had defeated Dogra forces by offering great sacrifices. They should not be ridiculed and instead should be given their land ownership rights,' Mr Haider said.

Says natives must not be deprived of their land ownership rights

In this regard, he demanded that the state subject rule (SSR) should be re-enforced in GB so that no outsider could deprive the natives of their land using the strength of wealth. The SSR was introduced in the erstwhile princely state of Jammu and Kashmir in 1927, whereby the right to jobs as well as the use and ownership of land was restricted to the state subjects alone. The rule denied this privilege to non-state subjects.

The SSR still prevails in AJK but was quashed in India-held Kashmir by the Modi government in August 2019 by repealing Article 35-A of the Indian Constitution.

'What India has done in occupied Jammu and Kashmir by...

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