PTI’s grand show: G-B CM leaves for Islamabad amid controversy

Opposition, civil society accuse the PTI government of using state machinery for party matters

Shabbir Mir March 25, 2022
Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid. SCREENGRAB


Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid, ministers and their staff on Friday left for Islamabad in official protocol to attend the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) public rally of March 27.

“Unlike other parties, we will have thousands of people including party workers accompanying us in our journey to Islamabad,” Khurshid told reporters in his office a day earlier.

However, the departure of Khurshid and other ministers by their official vehicles on Friday sparked criticism as opposition parties and civil society accused the PTI government of using state machinery for party matters.

“In the name of ‘Amar Bil Maroof’, Gilgit-Baltistan government is ruthlessly using official resources for party matters,” opposition leader Amjad Hussain Advocate told the media while commenting on PTI rally. He further said the PTI rally was devoid of political workers, instead it was consisted of government school teachers who were forced to travel along in rented cars.

Sadia Khalid, an activist, twitted: “People of Rondu are on roads, suffering on roads from last 4 months and CM went to Islamabad for showing artificial sincerity. What a vision.”

As CM Khushid was about to embark on his journey to Islamabad, a video clip in which a journalist is seen confronting Khurshid on using official vehicles went viral. “Is it fair to use official vehicles for party matters,” the journalist asked.

“Are you asking ministers and chief minister for using official vehicles? Are you a journalist or what?” the chief minister is seen in the video asking back in a tit for tat.

Talking to The Express Tribune, party insiders said CM Khurshid was upset because party workers didn’t respond to his calls for travelling to Islamabad for the rally. “We clearly told him that we weren’t going to support him as he forgot us in times of peace. We are remembered now where his own seat is in danger,” an influential youth leader of PTI said.

The rally from G-B was in connection with instructions from Prime Minister Imran Khan who had tasked party leaders to gather “one million people” for the rally, with Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry saying that it would be a small "referendum" in the face of the no-confidence motion against the premier.



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