Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pakistan asked to stop mineral loot and apartheid economic policies in Gilgit

Gilgit Baltistan Metals, Minerals and Gems Association (GBMMGA) held an extra ordinary meeting yesterday, to renew its commitment to gear up momentum of the movement against the discriminatory action of GB Government regarding pushing away the local entrepreneurs and issuance of Exploration Licenses to a Hong Kong national Company Mohsin Industries, to safeguard the mineral resources of Gilgit Baltistan; to ensure transparency in Mineral Policy as per suggestions and proposals of GBMMGA and to fight for propriety rights of the locals over mines in Gilgit Baltistan. The Chairmant of GBMMGA, Mr. Shehbaz Khan, chaired the meeting.

The organization lamented the way government of Gilgit-Balitstan has overlooked the aspirations and concerns of the local people in general and the mineral related business community in particular by issuing Exploration Licenses to Mohsin Industries in a dishonestly fashion and discriminatory way. It was resolved and demanded that GB government must cancel Licenses to the controversial Mohsin Industries immediately.

The government was asked to issue Exploration Licenses (EL) and Mining Licenses (ML) to local entrepreneurs pending since three years.

The representatives expressed their disappointment over the shilly-shallying behavior of the Government regarding designing the New Mineral Policy of the region that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan were promised to be construed. The meeting participants demanded the Prime Minister of Pakistan— who is also the Chair of the Council— to approve the Mineral Policy without any further delay.

The meeting declared that the recent illegal mining and processing of heavy black metal by Mohsin Industries at Moza, Nonal Village is a 'wilful criminal act. They maintained that Mr. Wang Zunyu, considerers himself above the law here in Gilgit-Baltistan and despite the resentment of the community, his company has been mining, blasting and processing black metal at Nomal, which has been forcibly stoped by the local community on 3rd November.

The company— as claimed earlier that it possesses a license only to survey the exploration sites— is not legally authorized for any such ventures. The Government of GB was demanded to take immediate legal action against Mohsin Industries, a company that has humiliated the authority of Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) as Government of Gilgit Baltistan as well by conducting illegal mining and processing under the nose just few kilometers from Gilgit City. The meeting representatives expressed their worries about potential unrest and chaotic situation in Gilgit-Baltistan if GB government continues patronizing corporate imperialism in the region and undue support & patronage to Mr. Wang Zunyu.

The mining and processing of black heavy metal allegedly having considerable contents of Uranium like radio active metal by Mohsin Industries at Minawar Village , Gilgit, was also declared dangerous, suspected and unlawful, as the company does not have any Mining Lease for the area where the Processing Factory has been established. The government was nudged to wake up and take legal action against these illegal activities and crime under the law and provisions of Northern Areas Mining Concession Rules 2003 as well.

The meeting participants charted out long term GBMMGA's second phase of public mobilization against corporate imperialism, specifically against the unlawful activities of Mohsin Industries, beginning from the first week of November. "All possible legal tools including meetings, public seminars, conferences, rallies and peer group meetings will be exploited to mobilize the public." Mr. Shehbaz Khan concluded. GBMMGA press release

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