Gilgit-Baltistan: GB CM says his hands tied

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Gilgit (ET): Lawmakers in Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly raised alarm over the rising incidence of sectarian violence, and warned the government to contain it lest the killing of innocent people in the capital spills unrest across the entire region.

The third day of the GBLA session chaired by Speaker Wazir Baig was dominated by the deteriorating law and order situation in Gilgit city.

“I warn you of the impending danger,” said Abdul Hameed of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), who hails from the Astore valley. “Unabated violence in Gilgit city can afflict the entire region.”

Earlier on Tuesday, armed men opened fire on two young men in the Khomar area of Gilgit city, killing one and injuring the other. The toll in sectarian-motivated killings has climbed to five, besides eight injuries, in the past one month.

The speaker concurred with the lawmakers and observed that law and order situation in the regional capital was worsening. “The G-B people are looking at you,” he said, addressing G-B Chief Minister Mehdi Shah.

CM says his hands were tied

The chief minister, in a startling ‘revelation’ to assembly members, said he’d been ‘forbidden’ to take action against corrupt officials in the past by sitting assembly members, on political and sectarian grounds. “But from now on, I will name anyone who tries to stop me from taking action against corrupt officials,” Shah told the lawmakers.

His remarks followed opposition leader Janbaz Khan’s presentation of the recommendations of the standing committee on public works departments. A system of rewards and punishment must be introduced in the department, Khan suggested.

Shah announced launching of an inquiry against corrupt officials, but added that inquiries had been conducted in the past but action was delayed due to political and sectarian considerations raised by lawmakers.

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