Lawmakers in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) have shown interest in reviewing the new code of conduct for clerics by the Islamic Ideology Council (IIC).
The suggestion was made during the G-B Legislative Assembly (GBLA) session on Monday after Law Minister Wazir Shakeel tabled the code in the house.
The document, which was prepared by a parliamentary peace committee after some of the worst bouts of sectarian violence in Gilgit, binds prayer leaders of central mosques of different sects from using harsh language and maligning each other’s beliefs.
“The matter is sensitive and it should be referred to the IIC before approval,” said Maulana Sarwar Shah of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam – Fazal (JUI-F). His stance was supported by lawmakers Didar Ali, Rehmat Khaliq, Mirza Hussain and Sheikh Sirbaz, who opined that the code was prepared in haste and should be reviewed by IIC.
They also criticised the government for sealing the central mosques, saying that the focus should instead have been on arresting the perpetrators of sectarian violence.
Speaker Wazir Baig handed over the document to a committee for review, instructing its members to resubmit it within three days.
The house also adopted a resolution submitted by Ayub Shah, a lawmaker from Ghizer, to upgrade the status of Yaseen valley to a sub-division.
Moreover, Deputy Speaker Jamil Ahmed asked the government to computerise the voters’ list to ensure free and fair elections. However, Minister for Local Bodies Muhammad Ismail replied that computerisation of voters was not possible due to a possibility of local bodies’ elections in October.
The lawmakers said that the annual budget of Rs220 million given to local bodies is being spent through bureaucrats in the region. However if elections are held, the funds will be spent on development schemes through elected representatives, they added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.
More in Gilgit BaltistanRiots in central jail Gilgit: Denied cell phones, inmates set 15 barracks on fire