GILGIT (ET): Lawmakers in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Assembly unanimously rejected a ban on recruitment imposed by the federal government terming it ‘against the interest of the region’.
“G-B is a new province and thus has to make its own decision in running government affairs,” said Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl lawmaker Rahmat Khaliq. Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) legislator Mirza Hussain and Pakistan Peoples Party lawmaker Syed Raziuddin also endorsed the idea, requesting the speaker to declare the federal government’s order null and void.
Lawmakers said since the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh assemblies have already passed judgment against the ban, G-B should follow suit.
Deputy Speaker Jamil Ahmed, who conducted the third day’s proceedings in the absence of Speaker Wazir Baig, asked all lawmakers to raise their hands for a vote.
The majority, including Opposition Leader Janbaz Khan of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, were in support of rejecting the ban. The deputy speaker then declared the federal government’s decision invalid and asked the cabinet to continue their business as per routine.
Nawaz Khan Naji, an opposition bench lawmaker, raised the issue of tax collection, claiming G-B was not getting its due share from the taxes collected by the centre from mineral, tourism and power sectors of the region. PML-Q’s Mirza Hussain also vehemently demanded that revenue collected from G-B should be returned.
Minister of Taxation Muhammad Naseer Khan said he was not aware of the situation, adding he would inform the house after speaking to concerned authorities.
The response triggered a sharp reaction from the opposition benches who asked the ‘ignorant’ minister to resign.
Earlier Raziuddin and Rahmat Khaliq voiced concern over Karakoram International University Vice Chancellor Dr Najma Najam’s position claiming she should be terminated as she does not have the confidence of the students and faculty. They proposed a male VC for the post.
The remarks provoked women lawmakers in the house who appealed against the request, calling it ‘gender discrimination’.