Lawmakers of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) demanded on Friday that the appointment of the chief election commissioner (CEC) in G-B should be made in consultation with the leader of the house and opposition and that elections are held only after the five-year term is completed.
The demands were made through two separate resolutions tabled and passed with a majority in the session chaired by deputy speaker Jamil Ahmed.
“After the 18th Amendment, the CEC’s appointment should be made in due consultation with the leader of the house and opposition,” read one of the resolutions signed by various legislators.
However, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) lawmaker Fida Nashad declined to support the resolution, saying the decision should be taken in light of the 2009 Governance Order as the 18th Amendment is not applicable to G-B.
In another resolution, also signed by many lawmakers, the federal government was asked not to hold elections in G-B before December this year. The resolution was presented in the assembly after some PML-N leaders claimed that elections would be held in October this year.
“It is the constitutional right of the G-B government to complete its five-year term that will end in December,” said Ayub Shah of Pakistan Peoples Party, reading out the resolution, “Any attempt to hold elections before that would be tantamount to breach of law.”
Nationalist leader Nawaz Khan Naji urged the government to preserve archaeological sites in G-B that reflect the region’s rich history. Naji said the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project would cost G-B thousands of its ancient carvings. “Legislation should be introduced in the assembly for their preservation,” he added.
Adviser to G-B CM on Tourism Sadia Danish responded by saying that work was under way to preserve the sites.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 15th, 2014.
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