Senator Babar submitted adjournment motion over Governor’s appointment

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) on Monday submitted an adjournment motion in the Senate to discuss what it says the “sudden, mysterious and inexplicable rollback of the G-B Empowerment Order 2009” to appoint federal minister for Kashmir affairs as Governor of Gilgit Baltistan “on a public holiday on Saturday, February 14”.

The adjournment motion submitted by Senator Farhatullah Babar says, “The sudden, mysterious and inexplicable rollback of G-B Empowerment Order 2009, the subsequent appointment within hours of a non G-B resident as Governor on the eve of crucial polls there amounts to a grave assault on the autonomy of the region and a public declaration of no-confidence in over 2 million men and women of the region.”

This provocative assault on the autonomy of the region and affront to its people has grim forebodings for the political and social stability of Gilgit-Baltistan and calls for an urgent debate by suspending the normal proceedings of the House, it said.

The hasty rollback of the G-B Empowerment Order 2009 on a public holiday on Saturday February 14 so as to appoint Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs as Governor G-B is a matter of great and urgent public importance and the House be adjourned to take it up immediately, the motion says.

Talking to the media, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that there was growing resentment among the people of G-B and its youth felt that worse than merely remaining deprived the people of the area have been cheated for the past over six decades. The latest order issued by opening offices on a closed holiday will further aggravate the sense of alienation and frustration among its people.

He said that recently the 21st Constitutional Amendment was extended to GB bypassing the GB Council because the government sensed opposition to it in the Council. It was extended under orders of the PM on the plea that it was an issue that related to defence which was a federal subject. If the 21st Amendment can be extended to GB why not extend the benefits of 18th Amendment to it and allow it to have membership of CCI and share in the NFC Award etc, he asked.

Senator Babar said that a sub-committee of the human rights committee of the Senate under the convenership of Mian Raza Rabbani is already working on a report for massive reforms in Gilgit Baltistan and will complete its report.

He said that the appointment of a caretaker chief minister, the expansion of the cabinet from 3 to 12 members and now the appointment of a member National Assembly of Pakistan as Governor just on the eve of crucial polls raised serious questions not only about the fairness of polls but also about how the present government was taking the issues of concern to the people.

Babar said that the caretaker chief minister is a public servant being an employee of the Karakoram Bank who first sought and was granted 3-months’ leave from the Chief Secretary who is also ex-officio Karkoram Bank Chairman to take up his assignment as CM. The subordinate office of the chief secretary granted the leave to the public servant nominated for the post of chief minister. More than a mockery of law and a violation of the GB Empowerment Order 2009 such decisions only reflect the utter contempt of the federal government towards the people, he said.

Courtesy: Daily Times

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