NA body finalises recommendations for GB reform

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The high-powered reforms committee for reviewing proposed constitutional package for Gilgit-Baltistan has sent its proposals to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi after the final meeting of the committee held here on Thursday.

The last meeting of the committee, held at Ministry of Planning and Development was chaired by Sartaj Aziz, deputy chairman, Planning Commission. Other members of the committee who attended the meeting included Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and GB Barjees Tahir, Minister for Law and Justice Zahid Hamid, Kashmir Affairs and GB secretary, Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehamn and representatives from the Ministry of Defence.

According to official sources, the committee, which made the final proposals after holding a number of meetings, was dissolved after meeting the given task of recommending administrative and financial reform’s in Gilgit Baltistan. However, the GB chief minister GB would be in constant contact with federal government for implementation on the given recommendations.

The committee was formed by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif for finalising recommendations of a previous committee for empowering Gilgit-Baltistan. It was the second time the committee has sent its proposals as former PM had sent back the proposals of the committee for further deliberation few months ago.

According to the sources, Prime Minister Khaqan Abbasi will now table the proposals before his cabinet for approval. After a number of meetings, the committee had reportedly proposed further empowerment of the semi-autonomous region in its recommendations. The committee had reportedly proposed the central government to grant representation to Gilgit-Baltistan in the Senate and the National Assembly.

According to the sources, these three NA members will be elected from Gilgit, Diamar and Baltistan region through the set procedure of election across the country, while three members for the Senate will be elected by the Legislative Assembly of the region.

Apart from the membership in the parliament, the committee has also proposed to the government to give the region its due share and representation in the next NFC Award to bring it on par with other provinces. The government was trying to propose better reforms in Gilgit-Baltistan as compared to the Pakistan People’s Party-led previous government which had introduced a provincial set-up through the Gilgit-Baltistan Self-Governance Ordinance in 2009.

 

2 COMMENTS

  1. Pakistan will end the disputed status of GB when it is in its national interest. China and Pakistan built KKH because it was in their national interest. States make their policy based on their national interest, not UNSC Resolutions. This is what we said in our PTI Manifesto for GBLA elections. According to that analysis, it is in the interest of Pakistan, China, and even India to turn these disputed border regions into property zones and use them to unite the peoples and integrate regional economies. The disputed status of GB prevents large-scale investments, such as hydropower, which is keeping our potentially super-rich area artificially poor. The World BAnk and Asian Development BAnk are prevented by India to invest in GB. Even China is sensitive to India’s stand and does not invest in GB. I asked a friend of our CM why he was not included in the high-level Pakistani delegation to One BElt One Road Forum in Beijing and found out that he was disinvited by Chines. But we should not just sit and wait to hear our fate from the Pakistani politicians. We should insist on a proper accession agreement, on the pattern of agreement extracted by our wise brothers in Diamer. First and foremost, we should insist on the ownership of our natural resources. Second, we should ask for full internal autonomy in all subjects except 7-8 sovereign subjects, such as defense, foreign policy, currency, etc. In our 2015 Manifesto, we have analyzed all these issues and called for a province plus status for GB

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