ISLAMABAD, Sep 15 (APP): The political leaders of Gilgit – Baltistan have appreciated announcement of Gilgit-Baltistan self-governance reform package 2009 by the Pakistan Peoples Party government, and termed it a daring and positive step by the democratic government to the people of the area.
“We are thankful to President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani and Governor-designate and Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas and Information and Broadcasting, Qamar Zaman Kaira for their role and efforts in the provision of the package to the people of Gilgit and Baltistan, and according it a provincial status” the leaders of the area said.
Nazir Sabir and Dr.Perveen Asharaf recalled that the PPP had always made efforts for granting of constitutional rights to the people of Gilgit and Baltistan.
They said that this package is a step towards provincial autonomy of the area which had been the popular demand of the people of Giligit and Baltistan.
They said that Shaheed Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto during his tenure, rid the people of black laws like Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) and feudal system providing relief to the people of the Northern Areas.
Nazir Sabir, the first Pakistan climber who also hoisted the flag of Pakistan on the world highest peak Mount Everest said, he like other people of Gilgit and Baltistan had been questioning their identity, adding that announcement of Gilgit-Baltistan self-governance reform package 2009 by the Pakistan Peoples Party government has given an identity to the people of the area.
Dr.Perveen Ashraf was of the view that women of Gilgit – Balitistan be allowed to contest elections on direct seats in the forthcoming elections for Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly for political and economic empowerment of the women in the area.
They expressed the hope that decision of the PPP led government would usher in a new era of socio economic prosperity in the area, and improve the living conditions of the people of the area.
They added that the package has also tried to address the sense of political deprivation of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Dr.Parveen Ashraf said that for promotion of tourism, an airport at Haraliy (Konadas) be built to ensure all weather air service to people of the area.They also urged the government for provision of an additional seat to Hunza.