Prime Minister’s Secretariat
HIGHLIGTS OF PRIME MINISTER’S PRESS TALK ON “GILGIT-BALTISTAN EMPOWERMENT AND SELF GOVERNANCE ORDER -2009” AT PM’S SECRETARIAT ON AUGUST 29, 2009.
The present democratic government decided to take the Northern Areas further towards full internal autonomy
I constituted a high powered Committee under the chairmanship of Minister for KANA to prepare a reforms package for the purpose.
Here, I would like to mention that all major improvements were made during the period of PPP. The first noticeable administrative improvement came through the Northern Areas Council Legal Framework Order 1974-75 by Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, wherein major administrative, judicial and political reforms were introduced and Jagirdari Nazam and FCR were abolished.
Further democratization was done through the Northern Areas Legal Framework Order, 1994 by Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto so as to ensure more internal autonomy to the people of Northern Areas through their elected representatives.
Now the KANA Division has prepared a draft “ GILGIT-BALTISTAN (Empowerment and Self-Governance) Order 2009.
The draft was discussed with all the stake holders and their views were accordingly incorporated.
Informal discussions were also held with members of the Northern Areas Legislative Assembly and leaders of public opinion of the area.
I also took the leadership of the major political parties into confidence.
The Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly will formulate its own Rules of Procedures while legislation on various subjects pertinent to governance will be done by the Council and Assembly in their respective jurisdiction.
Special meeting of the Cabinet was convened today to discuss the New Northern Areas Governance Order named “Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self Governance Order -2009”.
This will replace Northern Areas Governance Order, 1994.
After in depth discussion, the Cabinet accorded approval of the new Governance Order unanimously.
The New Order has fifteen major parts.
The new name of Northern Areas of Pakistan shall be Gilgit-Baltistan as proposed under Article-2(f).
There shall be a Governor of Gilgit-Baltistan as proposed under Article-20. and shall be appointed by the President of Pakistan.
Till the election of the new legislative Assembly, Federal Minister for KANA will act as Governor.
There will be a Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan who shall be elected by the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly.
The Chief Minister shall be assisted by six Ministers.
There shall be a provision of two advisors to the Chief Minister.
There shall be Legislative assembly having directly elected 24 members. In addition there shall be six women and three technocrats’ seats.
Today’s decision will empower the Gilgit-Baltistan Council and Assembly to make laws. The subject under which the Assembly shall now have power to make law has increased from 49 to 61 while the Council shall have 55 subjects.
In order to empower the Council and the Assembly on financial matters, there shall be a Council Consolidated Fund under article 54, and Gilgit-Baltistan Consolidated Fund under article 55.
Regarding annual budget, a detailed item-wise budget shall be presented before the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly as it is being practiced in Pakistan and shall be accordingly voted upon as suggested in article 56.
The Chief Judge of Supreme Appellate Court shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Council on the Advice of the Governor and other Judges shall be appointed by the Chairman on the Advice of Governor after seeking views of the Chief Judge.
The Chief Judge and Judges of the Chief Court shall be appointed by the Chairman of the Council on the advice of the Governor on the same pattern as it is being practiced in AJ&K.
The number of judges has been increased from 3 to 5.
The tenure of the present Judges of the Supreme Judiciary has been protected in the draft.
Another step forward to empower the People of the areas is the establishment of Gilgit-Baltistan Public Service Commission and Gilgit-Baltistan Services under under Article-80 & 81.
Auditor General Gilgit-Baltistan to be appointed by the Governor on the advice of Council as the case in AJ&K.
There shall be a Chief Election Commissioner under article-82 as well as Auditor General besides emergency provisions under article-83 & 87 respectively.