GILGIT: The ruling and opposition members in Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly on Friday demanded of the federal government to roll back the functions of all federal institutions, including the National Accountability Bureau and Federal Investigation Agency, from the region as it had been declared as part of the disputed state of Jammu and Kashmir by the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The demand was made through a resolution passed with a majority.

The resolution said in light of the apex court judgment, the disputed status of the region should be accepted.

As a disputed territory, no federal institution is functional in AJK, so the same rule should be applied in GB, the resolution demanded.

Opposition Pakistan Peoples Party member Javed Hussain had tabled the resolution, which said after the apex court’s ruling functioning of federal institutions like NAB and FIA in GB was illegal and unconstitutional.

The resolution alleged that delaying tactics were being used in implementing the SC judgment regarding provision of rights to the GB people.

Taking part in the debate, GB minster Dr Mohammad Iqbal regretted that the resolutions passed from the GB Assembly had no weight.

The minister threatened that the GB people could start a long march to Islamabad if they were not given their due rights.

Opposition leader Mohammad Shafi Khan said if GB could not be declared provisional province of Pakistan then the people should be provided with rights and privileges on the pattern of AJK.

Law minister Aurangzeb Khan said if GB was a disputed territory then how the jurisdiction of Supreme Court could be extended to the region. Senior minister Akbar Taban said: “If we don’t start struggle for our rights, we can’t get our rights.”

However, opposition leader Haji Rizwan Ali opposed the resolution and said their forefathers had annexed GB with Pakistan and that they were real Pakistanis.

Another opposition member, Sikandar Ali said he favoured a strong federation, and opposed rolling back of the federal institutions.

Deputy speaker Jaffarullah Khan, while opposing the resolution, said the federal institutions had been established in GB on the demand of the government.

Later, Speaker Fida Mohammed Nashad announced adoption of the resolution with a majority.

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2019