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Senate’s passage of resolution on empowering G-B sparks expectations

By Irfan Ali:

The resolution approved by the senate on Tuesday to make changes in Gilgit-Baltistan’s self-governance order to authorize the de facto region has given expectations to the region’s politicians and lawmakers.

To transfer authorities from the Gilgit-Baltistan Council to its legislative assembly has been a very old demand of politicians. Gilgit-Baltistan Council is a 12-associate body led by the prime minister of Pakistan. It is evenly represented by G-B and the federal governments, nothing like the assembly which is populated by nominated legislative body.

The senate unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday, moved by the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Mr. Farhatullah Babar. It called ahead the government to amend the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-governance Order 2009.

Mr. Babar had supposed the people of Gilgit-Baltistan had willingly joined Pakistan and benefited it as the region has serious geo-strategic significance for Pakistan’s safety and security, economy and foreign policy.

The resolution is called to resume the self-governance order with a vision to allow additional autonomy, self-sufficiency and to defend the fundamental rights of the people of the region, said Babar.

It is incorrect to say that awaiting an enduring settlement on the position of Gilgit-Baltistan is arrived upon with admiration to the Kashmir issue, we cannot do anything for Gilgit-Baltistan, he added. “This is a trick of the bureaucracy in Islamabad.”

The resolution is acted upon the Gilgit-Baltistan assembly possibly will have powers to legislate on issues like minerals, power, forests and tourism. The resolution will also future a financial mechanism for the self-governance in Gilgit-Baltistan.

This was the demand of Gilgit-Baltistan, that the area must benefit from the 18th Amendment and now the people are hopeful of self-governance.

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