GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan Supreme Appellate Court on Friday struck down the GB Order 2018 and restored the GB Empowerment and Self-Governance Order, 2009.

A two-member comprising Chief Judge Rana Mohammad Shamim and Javed Iqbal heard a petition on Friday filed by GB Council Member Saeed Afzal, challenging the GB Order 2018 introduced by the PML-N.

Mr Afzal had filed the petition in April under article 61 of the GB Empowerment and Self-Governance Order, 2009, pleading the court to declare the GB Order 2018 illegal and issue a stay order.

He had stated that he was elected among others as the GB Council member, who took the oath under Article 33 of the GB Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009 and was entitled to hold the office till 2020.

He had contended that the former prime minister had intended to repeal the law in order to introduce a new law, GB Order 2018, in the name of constitutional and administrative reforms. He had requested that the respondents to be directed not to abolish the membership of the petitioners as members of GB Council till completion of their tenure.

During the hearing of the case on April 24, the chief judge had issued a stay order till disposal of the case. However, the PML-N promulgated the order during the last days of its government.

In its last hearing on June 20, the bench had suspended the order, observing that despite the court’s stay order, the order was introduced which was violation of law.

CM CRITICISED: The opposition parties in GBLA on Friday criticised the chief minister Hafeezur Rehman for using public resources to lead a rally of government officials and party workers to Lahore to receive ousted prime minister and PML-N supreme leader Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz.

Talking to mediapersons, PPP member GBLA Javed Hussain demanded that the CM resign from the post for ‘committing’ crime.

PTI senior vice president Shah Nasir alleged that the chief minister’s act amounted to corruption and demanded action against him.

Published in Dawn, July 14th, 2018