Following a unanimous vote in its favour, the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) enacted the G-B Development Authority Bill on Friday. The bill, prepared by G-B Law Minister Wazir Baig and refined by a parliamentary committee, will serve as the watchdog for development in the mountain region.
During the session, G-B Senior Minister Muhammad Jaffar said the posts for three newly carved divisions would be created in the upcoming budget.
The health minister, Haji Gulbar Khan, criticised the ban on recruitment in hospitals, saying that it has created staff shortage and the vacant posts should be filled on an immediate basis.
Replying to Khan, the law minister said it is expected that the federal government will lift the ban after the budget is announced.
The speaker also inquired about the 10,000 posts sought from the federal government for various departments and asked the law minister to initiate the process of recruitment in this regard.
Sarwar Shah, a lawmaker of JUI-F from Diamer Valley, pointed out that Darel and Tangeer valleys had not received their quota of 22,000 wheat bags so far.
However, Jaffar, who is also the minister for food, said the delay was caused due to the law and order situation in the region followed by a strike by transporters. He assured that the commodity would be delivered on an immediate basis.
The chief minister was also urged to regularise the jobs of lecturers appointed on contract basis during the session.
Meanwhile, a legislator barred from entering the assembly said he would resort to his voters instead of seeking an apology or any other legal course against the decision.
“The people voted me to power by rejecting the bribe offered to them in the shape of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and Watan cards,” said Nawaz Khan Naji, a nationalist leader during a press conference.
Naji was barred from entering the assembly for tearing apart a copy of resolution supporting Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.
His act led to a ruckus in the house and ended up with the speaker calling in the police for his arrest.
Naji said he had just torn a piece of paper, while on the other hand the treasury benches had hurled abuse at him.
“Action should have been taken against them, not me,” he remarked, adding that the treasury benches were trying unnecessarily to bail out Gilani, who had been convicted by Pakistan’s highest judiciary.
He further said that the G-B governor and chief minister were looting public money in the name of protocol and the empowerment order. “Not a single development project has been completed in the region for the past two years.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 19th, 2012.
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