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GILGIT: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has called upon the president of Pakistan to defer the enforcement of the controversial Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 pending necessary consultations with the people of the region.

In a letter to President Dr Arif Alvi, the HRCP said: “In view of the time-limit fixed by the Supreme Court for your assent to the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan calls upon you to give due weight to the sentiments of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and defer the enforcement of this controversial order pending necessary consultations with the people concerned.

“HRCP had earlier noted that the order was a step backwards as compared to the previous order issued in 2009, i.e. the Gilgit-Baltistan (Empowerment and Self-Governance 2009) Order, 2009.

The democratic-minded people of Gilgit-Baltistan have long been fighting for recognition of their fundamental rights and for their equal treatment as citizens of Pakistan, according to a press release issued by the commission on Wednesday.

Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2019