GB Assembly passes resolution for interim provincial status

The Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) Assembly has unanimously passed a resolution demanding the status of interim province for the region.

The resolution, which was presented by the leader of the House and GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan, stated that Pakistan’s principal position in the light of United Nation’s resolutions on the Kashmir issue must be upheld in the amendment.

“GB should be given the status of an interim constitutional province and representation in the National Assembly and other federal bodies,” read the resolution.

Khurshid Khan later took to Twitter, saying: “Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly unanimously passed a historic resolution demanding provision of constitutional rights to the region. I myself presented the resolution in the assembly. I am thankful to the opposition leader for their support…”

“…And also the members of government for working their best to create consensus. The demand for constitutional rights is a uninamous demand of the people of GB, not of an individual/party only. The unity we’ve shown on this issue needs to be repeated again at federal level,” he said in another tweet.

Pakistan’s Federal Minister of Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry, declared it as a historic day, terming the development as a huge “leap forward”.

“Histrionic day for the people of?#GilgitBaltistan, all parties unanimously demand interim provincial status for GB to ensure constitutional rights for the people… truly a leap forward… kudoos to all who made it possible,” he tweeted.

The move by the GB Assembly comes in the light of the announcement made by Prime Minister Imran Khan last year, when he had announced granting provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan in his public address during the 73rd Independence Day celebrations.

“One of the reasons for me to come to Gilgit-Baltistan is to announce that we have decided to grant Gilgit-Baltistan the provisional provincial status. We have taken this decision keeping in mind the UN Security Council’s resolutions,” Khan had announced.

Pakistan’s decision to give provisional provincial status to GB was questioned by experts, who said that changing the special status of GB may have direct implications on the UN resolutions and may lead to deterioration on Pakistan’s stance on the Kashmir dispute against India.

However, Khan maintained that the decision was being taken as per the demands and aspirations of the people of GB, who he said have been demanding to join Pakistan for a very long time.