Gilgit-Baltistan:Government has Institutionalized Corruption in Every Department, Hafizur Rehman

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GILGIT (ET): The 167-page report released by the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government to highlight its performance over the last three years has attracted fierce criticism from lawmakers.

The G-B coalition government led by Pakistan People’s Party [PPP] released the report, which was presented by Information Minister Ali Madad Sher to the media this week.

The document comes in wake of G-B Assembly Speaker Wazir Baig’s threats to expose corrupt lawmakers. Wazir, who is himself a member of PPP, developed differences with Chief Minister Mehdi Shah over the formation of two new districts in the Baltistan region.

Wazir accused Shah of being a biased chief minister and had said: “ Corruption is rampant in the region and I am surprised why no action is being taken against big fishes.”

Talking about the report, Information Minister Sher said the legislative assembly passed 68 resolutions, enacted legislation on 24 subjects, approved schemes worth Rs200 million in the mineral sector and filled nearly 2,000 vacancies in government departments.

According to the report, a Karakoram Security Force was formed and monetary compensation paid to relatives of those killed in militant attacks. It mentioned the government’s disaster management responses and investments made on development projects.

Leader of the Opposition in the G-B Assembly Janbaz Khan, however, termed the report ‘eyewash,’ claiming the government’s three-year tenure was fraught with corruption and mismanagement. “This is nothing but an attempt to cover up the failures and follies committed over the years,” Janbaz said.

Nationalist leader Nawaz Khan Naji had similar reviews on the government’s performance. “Unemployment has increased by more than 80% during the past three years and perhaps this is the government’s achievement,” Naji quipped. Corruption has ruined private and public sector organisations during the tenure, he added.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s regional president Hafizur Rahman also mocked the progress report and said the government has “institutionalised” corruption in every department. “Look at the water and power and education departments, corruption reigns everywhere,” he said.

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