GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan law minister Aurangzeb Khan on Wednesday said his government supported the cases pending with the Supreme Court of Pakistan about the settlement of the region’s constitutional status and implementation of the 1999 court orders for the provision of fundamental rights to the local residents like people in other parts of the country.
He also said the GB government would plead its case with the Supreme Court for right to the Diamer-Bhasha dam’s royalty.
“Our (PML-N-led GB) government has never compromised the rights of local residents and will continue working for their protection and people’s empowerment,” he told Dawn on Thursday.
Lays claim to Diamer-Bhasha dam royalty
A Supreme Court bench led by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar is currently hearing a set of petitions seeking the provision of political rights to Gilgit-Baltistan and implementation of the court verdict of 1999 for the provision of fundamental rights to the people of GB.
In the last hearing on Oct 16, the bench sought the recommendations made by the Sartaj Aziz-led parliamentary committee regarding the constitutional status of GB and asked the PTI-led federal government to submit response to it on Nov 1. The GB law minister said his government thought that the GB Order 2018 was not enough to meet the demands of GB residents regarding the provision of constitutional and political rights.
He however said the reforms introduced by the PML-N under that order was a major step forward in that respect.
The minister said former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had constituted a parliamentary committee to recommend police reforms for GB.
“The committee had submitted recommendations for approval in May 2018 but the then PML-N-led federal government couldn’t implement them due to the prevailing political unrest in the country,” he said.
He said the PML-N government had announced the enforcement of GB Order 2018, which had some of the Sartaj Aziz committee’s recommendations.
The law minister said the GB government endorsed those recommendations, which were acceptable to all political forces of the region.
“The Sartaj Aziz committee’s recommendations are the best way forward for the settlement of constitutional settlement of the region,” he said. The minister said his government demanded the immediate implementation of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s verdict of 1999 for the prevision of fundamental rights to the people of GB.
He said his government also decided to plead its case before the Supreme Court during the hearing into the KP government’s case over the right to Diamer-Bhasha dam royalty and GB-KP boundary dispute.
He said the dam was being constructed inside GB, while 100 percent land compensation had been paid to the local residents and how the royalty right could be given to KP.
Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2018