Islamabad, January 3: Gilgit-Baltitsan and Azad Kashmir are not constitutional parts of Pakistan. Gilgit-Baltistan is not a province of Azad Kashmir.
These facts were shared Friday by Secretary Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs Shahid ullah Baig during a briefing held for the National Assembly’s standing committee for Kashmir and Baltistan Affairs. The committee met under Malik Abrar Ahmad on Friday, as per schedule.
The committee members were also informed that terrorists involved in the Nanga Parbat Base Camp massacre have been arrested. Three of the arrested terrorists were identified as Habib s/o Yaseen, Hazrat Bilal s/o Munir Shah, and Qadeerullah s/o Syed Hussain Shah.
The Committee was also told that Mushtaq Ahmad, Hamid ullah, Liaqat, Rahmat ullah, Muhammad Nabi and Dilbar Khan had also been arrested for their alleged involvement in massacres near Chilas. It is pertinent to note that an Anti-Terrorist Court in Gilgit had recently released five people on bail in the same case.
Briefing the committee about the structure of ministry for Kashmir & Gilgit- Baltistan, secretary Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs Shahid ullah Baig said that the ministry employed 106 persons, out of which 29 were officers and 58 were staff members.
He also informed the committee that the ministry had an allocated budget of Rs 3517, 114 million, while PM, Pakistan was always the chairman of AJK council , and President AJK was always the vice chairman ; while 5 members were taken from federal government, and 6 from AJK Assembly.
The secretary also briefed the committee about Daimer-Bhasha dam project, having a generation capability of 45MWs, costing Rs 1259 billion, with an acquired land covering 37, 419 acres.
Briefing the committee about Prime Minister’s tour of Gilgit-Baltistan, he said that a cadet college had been inaugurated there, 124 kilometer of Karakoram Highway and Neelum-Thoot Road, connecting to Naran-Kaghan is undergoing repairs; while work on Lipa tunnel has also commenced. Among other projects in AJK include Muzaffarabad – Rawalpindi Railway track and feasibility report for Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot airports; besides more flights for Gilgit- Baltistan.