GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan Governor Barjees Tahir refused to distribute laptops to students from Karakoram International University (KIU) on Thursday.
Speaking to journalists in Gilgit, he said the move is likely to be deemed “inappropriate”, especially after the election schedule was released earlier this week.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was planning to distribute laptops among over 200 students during his visit to G-B last week. Since the premier was unable to distribute them due to a shortage of time, he asked Tahir to complete the task on his behalf. The governor said he had initially accepted the university vice chancellor’s invitation to distribute laptops but pulled out at the last minute.
“The election schedule was announced earlier this week and I don’t think it will be an appropriate move at this stage,” he added.
According to Tahir, it would be best to remain neutral until the legislative assembly elections have been conducted.
While announcing the schedule, G-B Chief Election Commissioner Tahir Ali Shah had warned officials to steer clear of activities which could influence the results of the polls. Moreover, he said legal action would be taken against all officials, including the governor, if they violated these regulations.
As a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader, Barjees Tahir has constantly come under fire ever since he seized the reins as governor. Opposition parties have repeatedly cried foul over his appointment and accused him of eventually favouring his party in the polls.
Meanwhile, KIU went ahead with the programme and the university’s VC distributed laptops among students. Legislative Assembly elections in G-B will be held on June 8.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 24th, 2015.