PM Imran forms special committee for granting provincial status to GB

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan has formed a 12-member committee to complete the process of granting provisional provincial status to Gilgit Baltistan (GB).

According to a notification, the Prime Minister of Pakistan has been pleased to constitute the committee to work on mainstreaming the provisional provincial status of GB.

Sources said the 12-member committee has started working on the given task. It would also consider the historic documents and findings of previous committees and forums on the matter.

Sources further said the committee would also keep in view the country’s principled stance on Kashmir and the Supreme Court of Pakistan’s decision on GB Reforms while giving its recommendation. The committee shall submit its report within 60 days, sources added.

On the other hand, the GB Legislative Assembly (GBLA) would also pass a unanimous resolution soon demanding an early granting of provisional provincial status, a longstanding demand of the people of the area.

In this regard, GB Chief Minister Khalid Khursheed khan said a consultation process for the same has already been started among political parties and members of the GB assembly in the region.

The provincial assembly has already passed a number of unanimous resolutions regarding constitutional rights to GB in the past, khan added.

The committee, headed by Minister for Kashmir Affairs & Gilgit Baltistan Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, would be comprised of federal minister for Law & Justice, GB chief minister.

The other members of the committee include the attorney general for Pakistan (AGP), Ministry of Foreign Affairs secretary, Ministry of Defence Secretary, Ministry of Finance Secretary, Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs secretary, Ministry of Kashmir Affairs member, GB chief secretary, co-opted members from National Security Institutions, and Gilgit-Baltistan Council joint secretary.

As per the notification, Terms of Reference (ToRs) have also been set for the committee, under which it would prepare a report regarding giving provisional provincial status to GB in light of UN resolutions on Kashmir.

PM Imran, during his last visit to Gilgit on December 2, had also said that it was the government’s top priority to grant the provisional provincial status to GB as promised earlier. Prime Minister Imran Khan had attended the oath-taking ceremony of Gilgit-Baltistan cabinet members.

While addressing the oath-taking ceremony of Gilgit-Baltistan cabinet members, the prime minister congratulated the newly-elected GB chief minister and cabinet members and hoped they will continue governance on new standards.

PM Imran Khan vowed that the government will immediately make progress on giving provincial status to the Gilgit-Baltistan region. “The sense of deprivation of GB people will be removed by declaring it as a province,” he said, adding that he is fully aware of the issues of the region.

The government will immediately constitute a committee for proceeding with the necessary legislation for granting provincial status to the region, PM Imran added.