GILGIT: President Dr Arif Alvi on Monday approved the appointment of Syed Mehdi Shah as the Gilgit-Baltistan governor, on the advice of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.
Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) loyalist Raja Jalal Hussain Maqpoon had tendered his resignation from the office in June, which was accepted by the president. Through a statement, the Presidency said the appointment of Syed Mehdi Shah was made under Section 33(3) of the Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018 on the advice of the prime minister.
Meanwhile, the offices of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh governors were still lying vacant since the PTI leaders holding these posts resigned after the election of Shehbaz Sharif as the prime minister.
According to sources, opposition parties in GB, including PPP, PML-N and JUI-F, had decided to appoint a PPP leader as the region’s governor, as the party held the second largest majority in the GB Assembly. The names of Mr Shah, Bashir Ahmed Khan and Muhammad Ali Akhtar had been sent to the PPP leadership for selecting one of them as the governor.
As the party finalised the name of Mr Shah, Prime Minister Sharif sent a summary to President Alvi for the appointment.
Hailing from Skardu, Mr Shah, 65, was a PPP stalwart. He was elected as the first chief minister of GB from 2010 to 2014 when the post was created under the GB Self-Governance Order 2009 during the PPP regime. He was earlier elected as a member of the GB Assembly from Skardu in 2009, and has also served as the PPP’s GB president from 2008 to 2017.
Shah has remained associated with the PPP since his teenage years, and has been the party’s central executive committee member for five years.
He was said to have close relations with former president and PPP leader Asif Ali Zardari, slain former premier Benazir Bhutto and Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari.
Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2022