GB Assembly demands provincial status for region

Published March 10, 2021
CHIEF Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Khalid Khurshid Khan presenting the resolution in the assembly.—Dawn
CHIEF Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan Khalid Khurshid Khan presenting the resolution in the assembly.—Dawn

GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Assembly on Tuesday passed a joint resolution, demanding that the region be granted the status of a province of Pakistan and provided representation in the National Assembly, Senate and other federal institutions.

The resolution was jointly tabled by members of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Majlis Wahdat-i-Muslimeen (MWM) and the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) during a session of the assembly chaired by its Speaker Advocate Nazir Ahmed.

The joint resolution was tabled by GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan, Minister Raja Azam from the PTI, leader of the opposition in the assembly Advocate Amjad Hussain from the PPP, PML-N’s Ghulam Mohammad, MWM’s member Mohammad Kazim and JUI-F’s Rehmat Khaliq.

The resolution said that according to wishes of the GB people, the house demands that the federal government, Prime Minister Imran Khan and other state institutions grant GB the status of a provisional province of Pakistan and provide representation to GB people in the National Assembly, Senate and other federal institutions.

Joint resolution by government and opposition members seeks representation for Gilgit-Baltistan people in National Assembly, Senate

The resolution also demanded that a bill for making amendments to the Constitution of Pakistan to declare GB a provisional province be passed by the Parliament without damaging the country’s stance on the Kashmir issue under the United Nations resolutions.

The resolution further said that this house reiterated that the people of GB would continue their moral and political support to the people of India-held Kashmir in their struggle for self-determination.

The resolution was unanimously passed by the house.

According to a notification, the GB Assembly secretariat also forwarded a copy of the resolution to the Prime Minister’s Secretariat.

GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan in a tweet said the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly unanimously passed a historic resolution, demanding provision of constitutional rights to the region. “I myself presented the resolution in the assembly. I am thankful to the opposition leaders for their support and also the members of government for working their best to create consensus,” he said in the tweet.

He said the demand for constitutional rights was a unanimous demand of the people of GB, not that of an individual or a party. “The unity we’ve shown on this issue needs to be repeated again at federal level,” he said in the tweet.

Terming it a “historic day”, Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said it was “truly a leap forward”. “Kudoos [sic] to all who made it possible,” he said on Twitter.

Earlier on Nov 1 last year just before elections of GB Assembly, Prime Minister Imran Khan had announced granting GB the status of a province of Pakistan.

Published in Dawn, March 10th, 2021

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