by: Zulfiqar Ali Khan
HUNZA, Nov 6: Elections of the Northern Areas Legislative Assembly will be held under the new constitutional framework next year, said Advocate Syed Jaffar Shah, president, Pakistan People’s Party Northern Areas while addressing a gathering here on Thursday.
He said the past governments paid lip service and were not serious in giving constitutional, democratic, and other fundamental rights to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. He saw no hurdle in giving these rights to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
He said that the government was considering giving an additional seat to Hunza in the Northern Areas Legislative Assembly (NALA) before the election next year.
Criticising the anti-people policies of Chief Executive of Northern Areas Ghazanfar Ali Khan, the PPP leader said, “This is shameful that the constituency of Chief Executive is experiencing worst kind of loadshedding and wheat shortage”.
Ghulam Muhammad, member Northern Areas Legislative Assembly from Ghizer said the government was seriously considering giving constitutional rights to the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
He said the former president Gen Musharraf’s announcement of declaring Hunza-Nagar a district and writing off agriculture loan was political ploy and benefited a few influential. He questioned that if Musharraf was serious in his intentions then why did his announcement not materialize during his tenure.
PPP vice-president and former member of the NALA Wazir Baig, said the people of Hunza are still reeling with the misrule of the remnants of the former rulers of Hunza state although the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had abolished the Hunza state in 1974.
He challenged the people of Hunza to prove a single corruption case against him and Nazir Sabir. He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto while sensing the strategic importance of Hunza declared it as Additional District during 1974 however, this status was lost due to the negative role of Ghazanfar.
He said Hunza-Nagar had a combine population of over 100,000 as compared to the population of Astore, which is hardly 70,000 but declared as district.
Ghulam Muhammad, member PPP Central Executive Committee, highlighted the historical events the party has gone through during and after the Hunza state.
He stressed the workers to forge unity in their ranks and files and start preparation for the coming elections. He congratulated Syed Jaffar Shah for effectively advocating the case of Gilgit-Baltistan at national level.
Fida Karim, the newly appointed president of PPP, Hunza chapter, demanded an additional seat for Hunza in the Northern Areas in NALA. He condemned the collection of tax in the name of Kohistan Development Fund at Sost and demanded to stop it and initiate Hunza-Nagar or Gilgit Baltistan Development Fund from the Sost custom revenues.
Senior party leader Lal Hussain, Shukrullah Baig; Senior Vice-President PPP Hunza, Iqbal, Sulaiman; Altaf Hussain, Farman Razi and other party leaders also addressed the ceremony.
Fateha was also offered for Benazir Bhutto and party workers who sacrificed their lives for democracy. Also at Dawn