Photos by Wajahat Ali
SKARDU, Nov 5: The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) would leave no stone unturned to develop Gilgit-Baltistan.
“We would bring Skardu and Ghanche at par with Karachi and Lahore. The people of this region would get facilities at their doorsteps. There should be medical and engineering colleges in Baltistan, and the PML-N would do this job in the future,” PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif said while addressing a public gathering here on Thursday.
He said that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan should enjoy equal rights like citizens in other parts of the country. Mr Sharif said that his love for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan was the same as it was before, and he would work for the development of the region. He urged the people of Skardu to support the PML-N candidates in the elections due on Nov 12.
Earlier, Chief Minister Punjab Mian Shahbaz Sharif in his speech announced increase in quota for students of Gilgit-Baltistan in medical, engineering, dental and agriculture institutes in the province. He announced to reserve 50 seats in technical colleges for the region.
He also offered free residential and educational facilities to the students of the backward mountainous region. Shahbaz Sharif also announced free treatment to patients of Gilgit-Baltistan in government hospitals in Punjab.
Fida Mohammad Nashad and Akbar Taban also addressed the meeting.
PROVINCIAL STATUS: Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) chief Altaf Hussain has sought full-fledged provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan and representation in the Parliament.
He says that their party considers the people of the region citizens of Pakistan and they should be given all fundamental rights as are enjoyed by other provinces.
“MQM will fight the case of Gilgit-Baltistan as the people have rendered great sacrifices for Pakistan,” Mr Hussain said in his telephonic address to an election rally at the Yaadgar Chowk here on Thursday.
The MQM leader asked his party legislators to raise voice for the rights of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan in the Parliament.
Mr Hussain assured the gathering that his party would give representation to the residents of Gilgit-Baltistan living in
Karachi in the city’s local government. He said that students from the region would also be given admission to the educational institutions in Sindh. He announced that the services of Khidmat-i-Khalq Foundation would be extended to Gilgit-Baltistan.
The MQM leader urged the government to give additional seat to Hunza in the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly and remove concerns of the people of Diamer over the Diamer-Bhasha Dam.
MQM deputy parliamentary leader in the National Assembly, Haider Abbas Rizvi, also spoke on the occasion. He demanded equal status and package for the judges of the region, equal to that of AJK judges.
The rally was also addressed by MQM candidates, Raja Azam Khan, Raja Zikria Khan, Ghulam Rasool, Wazir Kaleem and Nisar Khan. People chanted slogans in favour of the MQM. Courtesy DAWN