GBLA in its unanimous resolution dated ________ on the topic appreciates Government of Pakistan for signing United Nations declaration on rights of indigenous people Adopted on 29 June 2006 Agenda 21 : Chapter 26 Titled “RECOGNIZING AND STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.” It also realizes that this region’s economical potentials are limited and the Government will be appreciative of the spirit enshrined in the above mentioned document and expects adoption of appropriate laws and consequent rules on award of natural resources to protect the economical interests of present as well as future generation of indigenous population. It has two distinct examples in the international arena which prompt it to adopt this resolution. First one is the impact and inherent exploitation of mineral lease given to multinationals and affluent entrepreneurs in the African continent, prime example being that of Democratic Republic of Congo – exemplified through the famous BBC serial on “Bloody Diamonds” – the second example is that of laws prevalent in the oil rich Gulf States where only indigenous people enjoy the ownership of any business through a legal 51% share even if the entire investment is done by a non-resident investor.
It is noteworthy that full potential of natural resources, such as gemstones and semiprecious stones can be realized only after development of technically competent manpower and availability of cheap energy source.
With dwindling oil reserves and skyrocketing oil prices, it is only prudent that present and future governments in Pakistan will develop the enormous water and power sustainable potential existing in the region, while the Government, Karakuram International University and a few NGO’s have undertaken relevant programs to develop appropriate manpower in this field specially as a poverty alleviation tool which will in a few decades train the required manpower.
With this background information, the Gilgit and Baltistan Legislative Assembly has evolved a draft law on “HARMONIZATION OF CUSTOMARY LAWS ON NATURAL RESOURCES” and expects the competent authority (GOVERNOR AND Chairman COUNCIL FOR GB/Minister of Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit and Baltistan) to promulgate the same immediately and help evolve indigenous population friendly rules to reform the existing practices.
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