By Ibrahim Shahid
GILGIT: Newly appointed Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas (KANA) Chaudhry Qamar Zaman Kaira will take oath as the chairman of the Northern Areas (NAs) on Tuesday (today), sources told Daily Times on Monday.
They said that NAs Supreme Appellate Court Chief Judge Qazi Ehsanullah Qureshi would administer the oath, and that all arrangements had been finalised in this regard. The oath-taking ceremony will be held in the Legislative Assembly Hall at Chinar Bagh, Gilgit, they added.
Kaira would be the second chairman of the NAs after reforms were introduced in the region by President Pervez Musharraf in October last year. Former caretaker KANA minister Abbas Sarfraz took oath as the first NAs chairman in January.Northern Areas Legislative Assembly Speaker Malik Muhammad Miskeen also summoned the assembly’s session for Tuesday and the new chairman would address the assembly members.The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz would jointly welcome the federal minister at the Gilgit airport. The two parties have formulated a 16-point charter of demands, which seeks a constitutional status for the NAs and enforcement of an interim constitution in NAs similar to Azad Kashmir.
The people of the Northern Areas have no representation in the country’s parliament, besides having no access to the constitutional courts of Pakistan to claim their fundamental rights. An interim constitutional act presented by PPP NAs President Syed Jaffar Shah in 2003 is pending in the Legislative Assembly.