Transition Plan: 500bn rupees for development of Gilgit-Baltistan proposed, current govt to stay

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s federal government has been asked to earmark 500 billion development funds for the next 10 years, under a proposed ‘transition plan’ focused on Gilgit-Baltistan. 380 billion of the 500 billion financial proposal will be spent, if approved, on “development o small and medium-sized hydro-power projects/dams”.

Under the transition plan, the existing PTI government will be allowed to complete its “five-year term”, by amending article 232A of Pakistan’s constitution, to honor ‘the mandate of the people’.

The plan has been developed by ‘a team of experts under the guidance of the political leadership of GB’, says the plan document.

A committee was constituted by the Chief Minister of Gilgit, notified on February 18, 2022, to draft the ‘transition plan’.

Notification of the initial committee members. Later, the number of members was increased to 22.

Initially, the committee had names of 9 public representatives and 9 bureaucrates, excluding members of opposition parties. After much hue and cry, the committee was expanded and 4 members from opposition parties were also added. 

The ‘transition plan’, complete document embedded below, is part of the efforts aimed at making Gilgit-Baltistan a “provisional province” of Pakistan, through amendments in the constitution of Pakistan. Prime Minister Imran Khan had last year announced that the federation of Pakistan wants to give a ‘provisional province’ status to Gilgit-Baltistan to address political grievences. 

Transition Plan - (Final)

The transition plan also envisages major ‘constitutional, administrative and constitutional’ reforms in Gilgit-Baltistan, to empower the regional government. 

The transition plan has received mixed reactions with some calling it a “game changer” for the region, while others calling it another futile attempt. Progressive and nationalist forces have rejected the provisional province status, demanding internal autonomy with an independent constituent assemby. They believe that interim reforms cannot address the constitutional question of GB and that the parliament of Pakistan, where GB is not represented, cannot decide the future of GB.

However, major political parties, including the ruling PTI, as well as PPP, have welcomed the provinsional province status, calling it the most feasible option. 

PMLN, another major party, has said that the PTI govt is not “serious in implemeting” constitutional reforms. They have also accused the incumbent government of not ‘consulting all stakeholders’. 

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