GB Assembly Seeks Provincial Status From Pakistan

Islamabad: The Legislative Assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan on Tuesday unanimously adopted a joint resolution asking the federal Pakistan government to grant it provincial status and provide it with representation in Parliament and other constitutional bodies.

The resolution was moved in the Legislative Assembly by Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan who represented the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

He was joined in tabling the resolution by Opposition leader Amjad Hussain from Pakistan Peoples” Party (PPP), Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) representative Ghulam Muhammad, Majlis Wahdatul Muslimeen (MWM) member Muhammad Kazim and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazl (JUI-F”) leader Rehmat Khaliq.

India has previously slammed Pakistan’s attempt to accord provincial status to the “so-called Gilgit-Baltistan”, saying it is intended to camouflage the “illegal” occupation of the region by Islamabad.

The leaders of Gilgit-Baltistan on Tuesday demanded that the government of Pakistan give the region provisional provincial status and provide it with representation in Parliament and other constitutional bodies.

The resolution stated that a bill to amend the Constitution of Pakistan to declare Gilgit-Baltistan a province of Pakistan should be passed by Parliament without causing any damage to the country’s stance on the Kashmir issue.

“The demand for constitutional rights is a unanimous demand of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, not that of an individual/party. The unity we’ve shown on this issue needs to be repeated again at a federal level,” Chief Minister Khan said.

In December, Prime Minister Khan constituted a 12-member committee to make recommendations about changing the status of Gilgit-Baltistan.

On November 1 last year, Spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) Anurag Srivastava said that India “firmly rejects” the attempt by Pakistan to bring material changes to a part of Indian territory which is under Islamabad’s “illegal and forcible occupation” and asked it to immediately vacate such areas.

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