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G-B Assembly passes resolution demanding share in CPEC

By Shabbir Mir
GILGIT: The legislative assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan adopted a resolution on Wednesday to demand the region’s share in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

A series of resolution were tabled separately by lawmakers and then consolidated and passed by G-B Legislative Assembly Speaker Fida Naushad after some portions were removed.

Muhammad Shafi, an opposition lawmaker who first tabled the resolution, said no project had been allocated for G-B in the $46 billion project. He added G-B should also be given its due constitutional rights that have been denied for decades. According to Shafi, the region should be considered a third party in CPEC. Parliamentary Secretary on Law Advocate Aurangzeb Khan said a series of power and road projects should be included in CPEC. He added a proper survey should be conducted to identify the region’s potential.

“Ignoring G-B’s interest will not be good for the region,” the lawmaker said.

The parliamentary secretary insisted the G-B Legislative Assembly should formally invite Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal to brief lawmakers in the region.

The speaker passed the resolution after removing references to the constitutional rights for G-B, the region’s status as a third party to CPEC and plans to invite the planning and development minister to the assembly.

Thank you, Mr PM

The assembly also adopted another resolution to thank Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for reducing the price of petrol.

The parliamentary secretary on law read out the resolution, saying steps should also be taken to ensure the underprivileged sections of society also benefit from the decision to reduce prices.

However, opposition leaders raised objections over the resolution, saying it is not worthwhile as the benefits of reductions of fuel prices will not trickle down to the poor.

Empowering women

The house also approved a resolution tabled by lawmaker Shireen Akhtar. The resolution demanded vocational centres be established for women in G-B as it will help them acquire skills and get jobs.

The speaker passed the resolution. He added a pilot project should be initiated in this regard in every district of G-B and the learning outcomes of these centres should be assessed.

Many lawmakers voiced concerns about the absence of women doctors in the region – especially gynaecologists. The speaker asked G-B Chief Minister Hafeezur Rahman to look into this matter.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 3rd, 2016.

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