Federal minister Chaudhry Barjees Tahir took oath as Gilgit-Baltistan’s new governor on Monday, his predecessor, Pir Karam Ali Shah, insisted that he was still governor and had not been removed from his office.
The Acting Chief Justice of Supreme Appellate Court Gilgit-Baltistan Raja Jalaluddin administered the oath of office to Barjees Tahir at an unassuming ceremony at the Ministry of Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir Affairs as scores of people from Gilgit-Baltistan staged a protest in Islamabad. Protesters accused the prime minister of violating the 18th Constitutional Amendment by appointing a non-local governor.
According to early plan, the swearing-in ceremony was planned to be at the Gilgit-Baltistan House, however, the site was later changed to avoid a planned complaint by people from G-B. Barjees’ predecessor Pir Karam Ali Shah was not invited to the ceremony.
According to a report of Express Tribune Shah said he has neither resigned from his office nor was he officially informed by the government about his removal. “I still consider myself the constitutional governor of Gilgit-Baltistan,”
“This is unconstitutional, unethical and illegal to appoint a new governor without taking resignation from or officially removing the incumbent governor… we seem to be living in the age of Sultans instead of a democratic era,” he said.
According to Article 101 Cause-II of the Constitution of Pakistan, “a person shall not be appointed a governor unless he is … resident of the province concerned.”
PTI politician Mirza Hussain said that amending the empowerment order to appoint a non-local governor was tantamount to cheating the people of G-B. “This act of PML-N government is a drone attack on the rights of GB people which will have serious implications,” he said.
There are reports that Barjees has been brought in as a stop-gap arrangement and that Rehman would be made G-B governor if he could not win the upcoming elections.