Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz regional chief Hafeezur Rahman arrived in Islamabad on Sunday to discuss the formation of a new government in Gilgit-Baltistan with the party chief.
Rahman was summoned by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif after his party unofficially grabbed over half of the seats in the legislative assembly elections held across the region last week.
“I am visiting Islamabad on the directives of the prime minister,” Rahman told The Express Tribune before his departure. “We have left it up to Nawaz to decide our future.”
Earlier on Saturday night, Rahman chaired a parliamentary committee meeting of PML-N leaders in Gilgit which was also attended by successful candidates from seven districts. Four resolutions were passed during the moot.
Speaking to The Express Tribune on Sunday, a PML-N spokesperson said the first resolution gives the PML-N chief the authority to allocate portfolios among members.
Under this resolution which was read out by Fida Muhammad Nashad, a PML-N candidate who won from Skardu, the party will unconditionally accept Nawaz’s decision on who should be appointed leader of the house, speaker and deputy speaker.
“In addition, Nawaz will also approve the names of four women legislators and two technocrats,” the spokesperson added.
The second resolution pays tribute to G-B Chief Election Commissioner Justice Tahir Ali Shah and the armed forces for conducting free and fair elections. Through its third resolution, PML-N leaders voiced gratitude for voting the party into power. On the other hand, the fourth resolution urged locals and the new regional government to provide maximum support to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor project.
The way forward
Speaking about the transition of power, the party’s regional chief said the PML-N is keen on seizing the reins in G-B.
“We have a huge responsibility to fulfil the mandate given to us by the people,” said Rahman. “This will give us the opportunity to test our mettle. If we fail to deliver, we will face a similar fate as former chief minister Mehdi Shah who lost his seat in Skardu in the elections.”
Legislative assembly elections were held in G-B on June 8. The region has been denied representation in the national legislatures because of the absence of a constitutional provision. However, it was in 2009 that G-B’s status was upgraded to a self-governing unit under the G-B Empowerment and Self-governance Order 2009. As a result, a CM and a governor were duly appointed for the region.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2015.