GB Council Elections and Ghangche

Muhammad Ajmal

The Election Commission of Giglti-Baltistan has scheduled the Gilgit-Baltistan Council’s election on the 18th of April 2016. GB Council is the de-facto Upper House of the partially autonomous province; Gilgit-Baltistan. This house is consist of fifteen members out of which Nine members are directly selected by Prime Minister of Pakistan and Six members are elected by the members of the Legislative Assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan.

 With this announcement of elections large number of candidates from all over Gilgit-Baltistan have come out of their shells in a hope to become the member of GB Council(GB’s Upper House) and to enjoy the fancy life being the member of GB House.

Like all over the Gilgit-Baltistan candidates have sprung out in the Ghangche District as well being the very few  Districts in GB where Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz cleaned swiped the 2015 Provincial Elections.

First of all there is fear among the general public of Ghangche District that the Urban districts of GB will again dominate this election and the rural districts will not get due representation in the GB council despite of majority members from rural districts. It has been observed that  all the major port folios of newly formed PML-N’s  GB government were distributed among the urban members of the PML-N;  the port-folios of Chief Minister,  Speaker, Deputy Speaker, Senior Minister, Governor and number of other ministries were given to the winning members of the urban areas of GB.

Secondly the competition among the candidates from the Ghangche District for GB Council’s seat has also reach to an interesting point.

Sultan Ali Khan the District President of PML-N and former MLA did not contested the general elections rather he supported those candidates who were nominated by the Party’s Parliamentary Board for Recommendation of Tickets. Although Sultan Ali Khan himself was considered the most favorite candidate for Ghangche 02 but he withdrew himself in-favor of former PPP District President Advocate Ghulam Hussain on the recommendations of Party leadership and spent so many sleepless nights for his victory which has been highly admired by Advocate Ghulam Hussain himself at different public gatherings during and soon after general elections.

 The Ghangche 01 candidate Muhammad Shafeeq also expressed his deep gratitude for the contribution of Sultan Ali Khan in General Elections for using his decades long social linkages in his constituency (Mashabrum) for his success in GB General Elections.

The current Education Minister and member from Ghangche 03 Muhammad Ibrahim Sanai who was also an MLA in GB during Musharaff’s Era also said I’m indebted to Sultan Ali Khan for his support in General Elections being the Party’s District President.

Before the selection of Major Muhammad Ameen and Mrs. Shereen Akhtar by the party on the reserved seats of GBLA the district president was consulted and asked for his consent in their nomination in final list which was supposed to be approved by the Prime Minister.

Now the general elections have gone the members are enjoying the privileges being the public representatives and Sultan Ali Khan the District President is despite his extra-ordinary support for all these members is seen helpless in the run for GB Council’s seat from Ghangche District.

The members of GBLA form Ghangche  are coming with their own candidates for GB Council’s upcoming Elections ignoring the fact that Sultan Ali Khan’s role was phenomenal in their win as he left no option for the PML-N rival candidates to win the elections through his lifelong political experience.

 Now I would not be wrong saying that in politics there is no permanent friend rather every individual uses or abuses other to reach the echelons of power.

The PPP, GB’s President Amjad Advocate has already criticized the PML-N, GB government for ignoring the party’s old members; who have been a scapegoat for the party during the difficult times.

The contributor is a final year MBA student at KIU, Skardu campus. He can be reached at ajmalcourbati08@gmail.com

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