GILGIT: The opposition members in the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly on Wednesday protested the ‘blocking’ of vote on a resolution demanding repeal of Khalsa Sarkar (state land) laws.

Opposition Leader in GB Assembly Amjad Hussain Advocate had tabled the resolution. He accused finance minister Javaid Manawa and chief minister’s adviser on law Syed Suhail Abbas of opposing the resolution.

The resolution said Khalsa Sarkar (state land) Rules 1978, which were applicable in all the districts of Gilgit-Baltistan, were against the Constitution of Pakistan and Islamic principles.

It said that GB people’s right to property was being usurped for many decades under the law enforced in 1979 by the federal ministry of Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan.

This house terms Khalsa Sarkar (state land) Rules 1978 as unconstitutional, unlawful and against Islamic principles, and demands its repeal, the resolution demanded.

Speaking in the house, Amjad Hussain Advocate, who is from PPP, said that GB people’s rights to land had been usurped under the ‘black law’. He said influential people had been allotted thousands of acres of land in the region under the provision. Amjad Hussain appealed to the treasury members to vote in favour of the resolution.

Speaking about the resolution, CM’s adviser on law Sohail Abbas said the law was benefiting the land mafia. He suggested referring the resolution to the Land Reforms Commission.

PTI allied Majlis Wahadat-i-Muslimeen member Akbar Rajai also supported the resolution. Balawaristan National Front-Naji group member Nawaz Khan Naji warned any attempts to ‘grab’ land in GB would be resisted.

Finance minister Javed Ali Manawa also suggested referring the resolution to the Land Reform Commission before its passage from the assembly.

Later, Speaker Amjad Ali Zaidi referred the resolution to the Land Reform Commission without conducting voting in favour of or against it.

Published in Dawn, November 25th, 2021

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