Gilgit-Baltistan:GBLA forms a committee to work on viability of enhancing assembly seats

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Gilgit (ET): Lawmakers in the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GBLA) have demanded that the number of assembly seats be made equivalent to the number in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Assembly for proper representation of all parts of the region.

The demand was put forward by G-B Minister for Local Bodies Muhammad Ismail during the first day of the assembly session on Monday. Ismail submitted a resolution in the house calling for increasing the number of seats in Ghanche District so that it can be properly represented.

Several lawmakers agreed on the resolution and claimed that the move will guarantee proper representation of all districts in the assembly.

Nawaz Naji, a nationalist leader elected from Ghizer District, said his area is one of the most underrepresented in the assembly and the seats should be increased according to the population of each district.

Likewise, G-B Minister for Zakat, Ushr and Taxation Muhammad Naseer, who represents Astore Valley, also complained that his area is underrepresented and requested that the chief minister increase Astore’s seats in the assembly from two to four.

However, Janbaz Khan, who belongs to the PML-N, termed the idea “unwise”, as G-B has a much smaller population than AJK. He also criticised the deteriorating conditions of roads in Gilgit and called for an inquiry into the National Highway Authority.

GBLA Speaker Wazir Baig agreed to the demand raised by Ismail and assigned a parliamentary committee to work on its viability.

Meanwhile, G-B Minister for Education Ali Madad Sher, responding to lawmakers’ questions, said that the reconstruction of Harpoon Bridge, which was swept away by last year’s floods, was a part of the government’s plan and the tender for this purpose has already been floated.

PML-Q lawmaker Amina Ansari criticised the health department for making appointments on nepotism. She demanded an inquiry into the matter and called for action against those responsible.

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