BY ASIM YASEEN
ISLAMABAD: The PPP on Saturday expressed reservations about the recent changes made in the Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment Order 2009 and arbitrary appointment of a 12-member caretaker cabinet.
The latest move paved the way for appointing the federal minister for Kashmir Affairs as Governor G-B in gross violation of the region’s autonomy and placing a question mark over the fairness of the forthcoming polls, The News reported on Sunday.
A PPP delegation of GB, led by former Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah, called on former President Asif Ali Zardari in Zardari House here on Saturday.
The delegation included, among others, former Speaker Wazir Baig, former Deputy Speaker Jamil Ahmad, Muhammad Jafar, Muhammad Ali Akhtar, Jafar Shah, Engineer Ismail, Sadia Danish, Amjad Advocate, Muhammad Musa, Jamil Ahmad, Prof Ghulam Hussain Salim, Mira Jan Mutabiq Shah and Ibadat Wazir.
PPP spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the delegation brought to the attention of the co-chairman and expressed serious reservations about the recent changes made in the G-B Empowerment Order 2009, the arbitrary appointment of a 12-member caretaker cabinet and the latest move paving the way for appointing the federal minister for Kashmir Affairs as Governor G-B in gross violation of the region’s autonomy and placing a question mark on the fairness of the forthcoming polls. A copy of the statement was also received by Outpost.
Issues relating to the setting up of economic zones as part of the Economic Corridor in Gilgit-Baltistan were also discussed during the meeting.
Responding, the former President assured that the Party, in keeping with its past record and tradition, will strive to enhance the region’s autonomy and not allow any attempt to undermine it. He said that the Party will take up the issues raised with the government to redress the grievances of the people.
Issues relating to the forthcoming elections in Gilgit Baltistan also came under discussion.
It was decided during the meeting to appoint a seven member committee to oversee matters relating to elections, including award of party tickets and keep an eye on the fairness of electoral process.
Headed by former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the committee includes as members Khursheed Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Afzal Nadeem Chan and three members from GB whose names will be given by the PPP President former Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah.
Applicants from candidates will be invited soon after the announcement of election schedule in G-B, the spokesperson said.