G-B Assembly unanimously adopts joint-resolution for interim province status

Special care to be taken in the Constitutional amendments so it does not affect Kashmir issue, the resolution states


Our Correspondent March 09, 2021
PHOTO: EXPRESS

GILGIT:

The Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly on Tuesday unanimously adopted a joint resolution to make the region an interim constitutional province.

The resolution was jointly-tabled by G-B Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan and opposition leader Amjad Hussain.

The text of the resolution read that the federal government, the prime minister and the state institutions should give G-B the status of an interim constitutional province and adequate representation in the National Assembly and other federal bodies.

The Constitution of Pakistan should be amended to make Gilgit-Baltistan an interim constitutional province, the resolution added.

“In this regard, a bill to amend the Constitution should be passed by the Parliament. Special care should be taken in the constitutional amendments so that it does not affect the Kashmir issue.”

The people of G-B would continue to support their Kashmiri brothers politically and morally, it added.

The G-B CM tweeted that the assembly unanimously had passed a historic resolution  demanding provision of constitutional rights to the region.

“I myself presented the resolution in the assembly. I am thankful to the opposition leader for their support,” he added.

“And also the members of government for working their best to create consensus. The demand for constitutional rights is a unanimous demand of the people of G'B, not of an individual/party only. The unity we've shown on this issue needs to be repeated again at federal level.”

In December 2020, the prime minister announced that an exclusive committee would be tasked to work out the formalities for the provisional provincial status on a timeline-basis that would meet the longstanding demand of the people.

Last year in September, the government decided to elevate G-B to the status of a full-fledged province with all constitutional rights, including its representation in the Senate and the National Assembly, Minister Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur said.

“After consultation with all stakeholders, the federal government has decided in principle to give constitutional rights to Gilgit-Baltistan,” the minister told a delegation of journalists from G-B. “Our government has decided to deliver on the promise it made to the people there.”

However, Gandapur explained that after the grant of constitutional rights, the subsidy and tax exemption on wheat given to the region would not be withdrawn. “Until the people there stand on their feet, they will continue to enjoy this facility,” he added.

The minister said that deprivation of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan of 73 years would come to an end. Besides the constitutional rights and the provincial setup, the minister added, important steps were also being taken for the development of the region.