Monday, 24th April 2017

Tick tock: 12 hours left before anarchy reigns in G-B

Assembly.jpg

BY OUR CORRESPONDENT

GILGIT: Gilgit – Baltistan [G-B] legislative assembly met on the first day of the last session on Monday as clouds of uncertainty loom over future of the region.

The five years terms of the G-B government is set to end on 10 December but there is no clue as who will replace it. While the G-B Governance Order 2009 lacks a provision for an interim setup required to run the affairs till elections, the federal government is also tight lipped about it, giving rise to suspicions over a possible constitutional breakdown.

“Can the chief minister tell this house whats going to happen after December 10,” asked Rahmat Khaliq, a lawmaker from Jamiat Ulma-e-Islam – Fazal [JUI-F].

“We are being kept in the dark about our future. I therefore suggest chief minister to dissolve the assembly and announce a date for election,” Khaliq told the assembly chaired by speaker Wazir Baig on the first day of the 41 session of G-B assembly.

Mirza Hussain of Pakistan Muslim League – Quaid said G-B Governance Order allows governor to reappoint the existing chief minister for a certain period but for that matter CM will have to take fresh oath.

The interpretation was rejected by the law minister Ali Madad Sher saying the governance order doesn’t asks for a fresh oath. “It can be done without any fresh oath.”

Sher said a letter has been written to prime minister for an amendment in the Governance Order but that hasn’t been replied so far. “lets see what happens after December 10.”

Resolutions passed

 The house passed three resolutions on its last day. The first resolution was tabled by PPP lawmakers including Abdul Hameed and Ayub Shah condemning the statement of federal information minister Pervaiz Rashid over G-B constitutional status. The minister had recently said ‘geographically Gilgit-Baltistan is a part of Pakistan, but legally it is not part of Pakistan.’

“To say that G-B isn’t constitutional part is tantamount to insulting the sacrifices made by its people for Pakistan,” said Ayub Shah, reading out the resolution that was passed with majority votes after a prolonged debate. Except for PML-N and a nationalist leader Nawaz Khan Naji, the rest voted in favour of its passing.

Jamil Ahmed, deputy speaker demanded lodging a case of treason against the federal minister under article 6 of Pakistani constitution.

The assertion was rejected by Naji and PML-N lawmakers saying what federal minister said was based on facts as G-B is linked to larger Kashmir issue. “The words of federal minister are misinterpreted. He didn’t mean what these people are saying,” said Naji.

In the second resolution, tabled Abdul Hameed and others, and was passed by the house unanimously. The house demanded action against those involved in the trade of narcotics.

The third resolution, which was also passed unanimously, condemned the attack on JUI-F leader Dr Soomro in Sindh, asking for arrest of the killers.

‘Go Nisar Go’

 As PML-Q leader Hussain criticised Rasheed, Ali’s slip of tongue resulted in a resounding ‘Go Nisar Go’ instead of ‘Go Chaudhry Shujaat Go’. The lawmaker kept repeating it for a while before he realized his mistake, prompting the house to burst into laughter.

Alam Bridge

The lawmakers from Baltistan region took serious note of Alam bridge collapse that cut off Baltistan region from rest of the country this week. The legislators asked for an inquiry and punishment to those responsible for the mishap.

The house will meet again today [Tuesday].

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