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February 15, 2015

Former GB CM assails governor’s appointment


February 15, 2015

ISLAMABAD: Former Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah has termed the appointment of a federal minister as GB governor through an ordinance as retracting from whatever territorial autonomy the previous PPP government had given to the area in 2009.
He further alleged that the step was meant to rig the upcoming general elections.
Talking to The News, the former GB CM and a PPP activist said: “This step will deprive the people of the area from getting their tasks done by their own representatives and it will entail hardships of travelling all along to Islamabad”. Mr Shah, who also met party co-chairman and former President Asif Ali Zardari along with a 20-member delegation, said: “Why should we be punished for our loyalty to Pakistan and how long will we be forced to be slave to Islamabad without giving us our right to rule”?
The former CM said the PML-N has a tradition of taking steps and then withdrawing them under pressure. Asif Ali Zardari, he said, has promised to convey party’s displeasure in writing to the prime minister and not to compromise on the rights of GB people. He said earlier the PML-N government dissolved the GB assembly and government because it belonged to PPP otherwise they would have extended them because new elections could not be conducted in mostly snow-laden areas till March/April. It appointed its own man as caretaker Chief Minister and a 12-member cabinet ignoring constitutional restrictions of keeping the size within 11 percent of the total number of assembly which comes to 3.
Mehdi Shah said he would go back after February 18 and convene an all parties conference to discuss the issue and take a joint line with all the parties of GB, adding a campaign against the illegal step would be chalked out.
He said the government step would cause enormous loss to Pakistan’s political stand on Kashmir.
Meanwhile JUI-F Secretary Information Hafiz Hussain Ahmed has suggested moving Supreme Court to

decide whether giving GB status of a province was in line with the constitution as the area was still disputed as part of Jammu and Kashmir. Talking to The News he said: “Barjees Tahir was already a federal minister and the post of governor should have been doled out to some other League aspirant”.

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