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Sher Jahan Mir appointed GB’s caretaker chief minister

GILGIT: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appointed on Tuesday Sher Jahan Mir as caretaker chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan after the legislative assembly completed its five-year tenure.

Earlier President Mamnoon Hussain, on recommendation of the prime minister, made amendments in the GB Empowerment and Self-governance Order, 2009, because there was no provision in the law for setting up a caretaker government in Gilgit-Baltistan.

The tenure of a GB council member is also not defined in the law.

An official of the GB council told Dawn that the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan had sent a summary to the Prime Minister’s Office, recommending amendment to the GB governance law to pave way for setting up a caretaker government.

According a notification issued by the GB council, Islamabad, the Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan, Birjis Tahir, after consultations with GB Chief Minister Syed Mahdi Shah and opposition leader in the GB legislative assembly Haji Janbaz Khan, sent the name of Shar Jahan Mir to the prime minister.

He said Shar Jahan Mir had been appointed as the caretaker chief minister for three months. The prime minister had the power to extend the tenure of caretaker chief minister because holding elections in GB between December and April was not possible, he said.

The official said the caretaker chief minister, who would take oath of office in a few days, would induct one minister each from Baltistan division, Gilgit and Diamer in his cabinet.

Birjis Tahir said a caretaker government had been set up for the first time in the region. The federal government amended GB laws on demands of regional representatives, he added.

He said the federal government did not interfere in the affairs of the GB government led by Pakistan Peoples Party.

Shar Jahan Mir was CEO of the Karakoram Cooperative Bank, Gilgit Baltistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas Provincial Cooperative Bank.

Published in Dawn December 10th , 2014

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