KARAM ALI SHAH IS FORMER DEPUTY CHIEF EXECUTIVE AND A LOYAL PPP LEADER
ISLAMABAD, January 24: Syed Pir Karam Ali Shah, the former deputy chief executive of Northern Areas Council, has been appointed the second governor of Gilgit – Baltistan.
According to information the decision was made by president Zardari today, after comprehensive consultations with a range of political and social leaders.
Pir Karam Ali Shah is a religious figure belonging to Chatorkhand Village of Ishkoman Valley, District Ghizer. The Pir has an illustrious political career spanning over three decades. He has won almost all elections in his constituency since the introduction of political reforms in the Gilgit – Baltistan region, formerly known with the official name of “Northern Areas of Pakistan”.
While a large segment of the society respects Karam Ali Shah as a veteran politico-religious and social leader, the younger and educated generation of the area have reservations about his style of leadership. Many accuse him of failing to take majority of the population of his region out of abysmal poverty despite of being at the helm of power for decades.
He won the last election after a nail-biting competition with supreme leader of Balawaristan National Front, Nawaz Khan Naji. The BNF accused PPP of rigging the election on gun point. A youth was also killed during the post-election riot in Sher Qillah Village of Punial Tehsil.
Although highly unpopular among the educated segments of his constituency, specially the youth, Pir Karam Ali Shah is a trusted friend of several PPP leaders, including PM Yousuf Raza Gilani and Syed Khursheed Shah.
Pir Karam Ali Shah is expected to take oath of the office within one or two days. Justice Abbasi, Chief Justice of GB Supreme Appellate Court, has reached Islamabad for this purpose, according to sources.
The seat of governor had fallen vacant after the death of Dr. Shama Khalid. Speaker of the GBLA, Wazir Baig, had been performing as interim governor of Gilgit – Baltistan.