Gilgit - Baltistan

“Autonomy package for Gilgit-Baltistan a fraud”

PT Report

Islamabad, September 8: Speakers at a seminar organized jointly by SPDI and Sungi Development Foundation termed the package for Gilgit – Baltistan as  a “fraud”. The package, in essence, disempowers the elected representatives by bringing them under the authority of the un – elected chairman and vice – chairman of the GB Council, it was stated. The governor is empowered to dissolve the legislative assembly under the new order without any consultation, a senior journalist commented.

Speaking at the occasion Ali Ahmed Jan (KNM), Dr Ghulam Abbas, Nawaz Khan Naji (BNF – N) and Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman (PML -N) blasted the government for not granting autonomy to the region despite of tall claims.

Ghulam Abbas, leader of Gilgit – Baltistan National Movement, said that the Kashmiri leaders have always opposed autonomy and rights for the people of Gilgit – Baltistan.

Naji said that a governor is not acceptable, be it local or non – local, because the governor will be representing the federation and not people of the region. Ali Ahmad Jan said that Paksitan can’t make Gilgit – Baltistan its part due to international laws and resolutions. Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman also expressed reservations about the package and said that AJK assembly and the GBLA should be governed by a single senate. He said that creating a separate council for Gilgit – Baltistan was not needed.

Fouzia Saleem, while terming the pacakge incomplete and inconsistent, also said that it opens news opportunities for the people of the region. She said successive governments have done a lot of development work in the region.

Hot debates took place during the questions and answer session, as youth of the region asked their leaders to stop taking dictations from Islamabad and focus on shunning their own corrupt practices.

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