GILGIT: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to Gilgit-Baltistan, scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed on Monday, apparently due to security concerns, government officials said.
Nawaz had already postponed a visit scheduled to the region earlier this month owing to inclement weather in Gilgit, the gateway to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The prime minister was due to fly to Gilgit on Tuesday to address the joint sitting of G-B legislative assembly and the G-B Council. He was also expected to announce reforms in the G-B Empowerment and Self-rule order of 2009, under which G-B’s status was brought at par with a province.
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The fresh reforms, introduced by a constitutional committee headed by Sartaj Aziz, were set to pave the way for G-B’s representation in the parliament under a temporary arrangement to ensure the larger Kashmir issue is not affected. In addition, Nawaz was also expected to announce some relief for local residents from the prolonged power outages, which extend from 14 to 18 hours a day.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 21st, 2017.