The rising cases (most of them go unreported) of suicide among the people between the ages of 14 – 35 is alarming. Reasons amongst the youth are the failure or not performing too well academically, unable to pursue further studies to improve career prospects due to financial instability, lack of support to discuss everyday stresses, etc. Depressive and suicidal thoughts are still considered a major taboo in our society, and people feel utterly reluctant to voice their anxieties and troubles. Families are still hesitant to speak and hide or twist factors about their beloved’s death because of the stigma it causes.
The recent development in making Gilgit-Baltistan a province is a faint ray of hope for the 2 million population of Gilgit Baltistan. It has been the misfortune of Gilgit-Baltistan that the educated young generation here is still unable to think of the homeland. If the nation’s youth are deprived of the ability to think, and the purpose of education is only part of the employment. It is useless to pin hopes on the future of this nation. But even today, there is no shortage of people in this nation who have pain for the region who can play a savior role in the region’s future deprivations.
The question of provincializing Gilgit-Baltistan has haunted Pakistan time and again since the former’s unconditional accession in 1948. PTI government is grappling with similar challenges but came up with a resolute intention to make the territory – the fifth province of Pakistan, unlike her predecessor regimes. India has warned Islamabad of possible violations of her international commitments and deliberate alienation of Wilsonian right of self-determination for the long-troubled Kashmiris. Yet, it doesn’t appear to be affecting the government’s policy in any visible manner.
The press conference conducted by the federal minister of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, Ali Amin Gandapur, announced elections for the Gilgit Baltistan assembly on November 15, 2020. And at the same time, the federal minister circulated the news of granting provisional provincial autonomy to Gilgit Baltistan, which Prime Minister Imran Khan would officially announce soon. This news has brought in sharp reactions from the neighbor India.
It is a fact that Gilgit-Baltistan has become increasingly important since the launch of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project (CPEC), and the eyes of the world are now on Gilgit-Baltistan. The region is also involved in the Great Game between the world’s great powers. It is noteworthy that the decision to form the government has signaled a new interim province. However, how it will happen, no details have been revealed.