Infringement of rights: Another petition filed against Gilgit-Baltistan elections

The government has no constitutional and legal authority to issue any such executive orders

Rizwan Shehzad June 04, 2015
Advocate Ahmad Raza Qasoori. PHOTO: AFP


Another petition has been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) seeking suspension of the June 8 elections for the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA).

The petition was filed by All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) chief coordinator Ahmed Raza Khan Kasuri on Thursday requesting the court to declare the notification for holding GBLA elections unlawful.

He maintained that the notification issued under the provision of impugned statutory regulatory order (SROs) and executive orders were violation of the Supreme Court orders.

The government has no constitutional and legal authority to issue any such executive orders, adopt and enforce the ordinary and special laws in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), appoint chief minister, chief election commissioner to hold elections and thus rule the people of the area in the colonial way, he said.

He has made ministries of law, parliamentary affairs, Kashmir affairs and Cabinet Division as respondents.

“Ministry of Kashmir Affairs is ruling the two million people of Gilgit-Baltistan in a colonial way by violating the fundamental rights,” the petition read.

“It is in derogation of and contrary to the inviolable fundamental rights as guaranteed in the constitution as well as the judgment of the Supreme Court. The respondents are acting illegally, improperly and without any lawful authority,” he said.

The petition said that the apex court had ruled that people of G-B are the citizens of Pakistan for all intents and purposes and like other citizens have the right to invoke any of the fundamental rights enshrined in the constitution.

It was also held in the judgment that people were entitled to participate in the governance of their area, have an independent judiciary and fundamental rights through an independent and judiciary under the constitution and not under any impugned SROs, the petitioner maintained.

Kasuri said the apex court in its orders on May 28, 1999, had ordered that appropriate measures shall be initiated within six months from the date of the judgment. However, no such compliance was made and the government issued SROs on December 23, 2009.

Muhammad Ali Akhtar, a former PPP minister, has also challenged the elections being held on the same grounds.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2015.


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