By Irfan Ali:
The Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) on Monday passed the Local Government Bill 2014. The bill was presented in the legislative assembly two days back for lawmakers to examine and make recommendations for amendments. However, the bill sailed easily as Law Minister Mr.Ali Madad Sher read out the paper in the assembly chaired by the Speaker Mr. Wazir Baig.
“It is a turning point in Gilgit-Baltistan’s history as matters being faced by its people would now be set on at the grass-roots level on main concerns,” Gilgit-Baltistan Police Institute (GBPI) Director Programmes Altaf Hussain said.
Under the fresh law, a financial commission, will comprise of head of the opposition, finance minister and local govt. minister, will be formed to supervise financial matters of local bodies.
As the assembly session progressed, the speaker ordered a judicial enquiry into the sectarian strife which gripped Ghanche district of Baltistan, where the Sofia and Imamia schools of thinking of the Noorbakhshiya sect clashed a week ago, leaving a lot of people injured in the otherwise nonviolent region.
Speaker Mr. Baig called for a judicial enquiry that came after policymakers from Ghanche district, Sultan Ali and Amina Ansari, blamed Chief Minister Mehdi Shah of having a hand in the violence.
In the interim of the assembly session, the house adopted a declaration tabled by lawmaker and technocrat Mr. Mutabiat Shah demanding actions to put off possible penetration of terrorists in Hunza-Nagar and Ghizer districts as both are connected to Wakhan strip of Afghanistan. Further, he called for the enduring deployment of two wings of Gilgit Scouts on the Karakoram Highway and in Ghizer Valley to make sure safety.