ISLAMABAD: Minister for Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir Affairs Chaudhry Barjees Tahir was appointed GB Governor on Sunday.
It’s not the first time that a non-local or a federal minister has been made governor of G-B. Earlier Qamer Zaman Kaira was appointed the first governor of G-B in 2009 after the post was created under the G-B Governance and Self-Rule Order. At the time, Kaira was also federal minister for G-B and Kashmir Affairs.
“On a summary initiated by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, the president has approved on the prime minister’s advice to appoint Ch Muhammad Barjees Tahir, Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan as Governor Gilgit-Baltistan, on ex-officio basis and signed the Commission of Appointment in his favour,” said a notification issued by the Presidency.
Sources said the prime minister opted for a non-local governor in G-B in an attempt to rescue the PML-N from disintegration as most senior leaders of the party were vying for the ceremonial but lucrative office. “The party cannot afford any disturbance within its ranks at this crucial time when the G-B assembly elections are due in May,” said the source.
Another source said the decision was taken upon the recommendation of an influential leader of PML-N in G-B, who wants to be elevated as governor in case he loses the assembly elections, where he has set eyes on the slot of the chief minister. “It will be difficult to remove a local governor and therefore Barjees Tahir has been given the office temporarily,” the source said.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 15th, 2015.