ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday decided to introduce a new political set up in Gilgit Baltistan, headed by a governor and a chief minister.
Sources said “The government has decided to introduce a new system of governance with more administrative and financial autonomy compared to the incumbent Legislative Council,”
A high level meeting at Prime Minister’s House chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani decided that “The proposal will be brought before the cabinet for approval in a special meeting on Saturday,” sources said. Under the proposed set up, the NAs assembly would be empowered to legislate and prepare its own budget on the pattern of the provincial governments.
“The elections for the new council will be held this year. This NAs system will be strengthened and they will be given more autonomy in decision-making,” the sources said.
They said the NAs council would elect its chief minister like the provincial assemblies do and then a cabinet would be formed.
Source said, however its decided that “A governor would also be appointed by the Centre,” adding that the decision had been taken to give constitutional, political and financial autonomy to the people of the Northern Areas.
It is clear yet whether the disputed territory would be given constitutional rights and representation in the national assembly of Pakistan under the new set-up. However sources said that the proposed set-up will not affect the disputed status of Gilgit Baltistan. Minister Kashmir and Northern Areas Affairs Qamar Zaman Kaira has already said in national assemly last year that the government is not authorized to take the region completely under its constitutional jurisdiction untill the future of the region is decided according to the resolutions of United Nation.