GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Chief Minister Hafeezur Rehman met interim Prime Minister Nasirul Mulk to push federal government for implementation of the newly introduced governance Order 2018, which was suspended by G-B’s appellate court earlier this week.
“In the meeting chief minister urged prime minister to ensure implementation of the Order 2018 so the people and region can benefit from it,” said a spokesperson in chief minister secretariat.
Hafeez’s meeting with interim PM comes days after G-B supreme appellate court suspended the governance Order 2018 promulgated by the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in its last days after seeking approval from National Security Council and the federal cabinet. However, the Order 2009 got restored after the decision of the court.
The court issued its short order while hearing a petition filed by member of G-B Council Syed Afzal. The court decision has triggered a debate in the region over its jurisdiction and powers as the G-B governance Order 2018 was not the legislation of the regional assembly rather it was promulgated by the federal government.
“We respect courts but I don’t think G-B court has jurisdiction over laws passed by federal government,” Regional Law Minister Aurangzeb Khan told The Express Tribune on Saturday adding “And the Order 2018 is such a law beyond regional court’s jurisdiction.”
According to experts, the main issue that the G-B court would be facing is implementation of its orders. “I don’t know how appellate court will ensure implementation of its orders because of limited powers conferred to it in the same order 2018,” said another lawyer.
However, some lawyers believe G-B apex court has got the powers. “The court has authority to interpret the law,” said Raja Shakil, a senior lawyer in Gilgit. “And its decision to suspend is in line with powers of the court.”
Legal experts in G-B believe in either case the outcome of Hafeezur Rehman’s meeting with PM will determine local apex court’s jurisdiction once and for all. “If federal government accepts G-B apex court decision and makes changes as per guidelines of court decision or ignores, it will settle our court’s powers and jurisdiction issue,” said an expert.