Gilgit-Baltistan: GB Bar Council Proposes Constitutional Measures for GB

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Gilgit (PT): The Gilgit-Baltistan Bar Council, in a letter addressed to Senator Afrasiyab Khan Khattak, has proposed a number of measures that, they say, can improve the Human Rights situation in the region, by making changes to the constitutional status.

The proposal recommends constitutional cover for the governance mechanism in GB, negating the past practice of making reforms through executive orders. The Bar has proposed to make the 2009 Governance Order into an “Act” of the Parliament, “after amendments”. The governance systems of Indian-Occupied Jammu & Kashmir has been declared as “most suitable and viable” for the Gilgit-Baltistan region by the Bar.

” …. political governing system in Indian Occupied Jammu Kashmir prevailing since 1948 & 1957 is most suitable and viable in this regard as the same will not only cater strategical interest of Pakistan in this region but also redress the prolonged sense of deprivation of people of GB as well with out harming principal stand of Pakistan on Kashmir Issue”, the proposal reads.

Other recommendations made by the Bar, verbatim, are;

  • Declaring the next coming general elections in GB for holding “Constituent Assembly” and thereafter to draft, table and pass Constitution of GB accordingly
  • Making amendment in Constitution of Pakistan by the Pakistani Parliament giving the GB a “Special Status” & representation in the constitutional institutions of Federation “provisionally”.
  • The remaining proposals have been divided into three categories, namely Legislative, Judicial and Administrative. The same are being posted below for public information.

Legislative Measures:

  • Powers to make amendment in the Act/Order be given to GB Legislative Assembly.
  • A provision in the Act/Order be inserted declaring the forth coming elections in Gilgit Baltistan for a Constituent Assembly.
    The GB Legislative Assembly be upgraded as GB Assembly.
  • The local representation in the Gilgit Baltistan Council must be 100% as prevails in Indian Occupied J & K Council .
  • The Role and Status of GB Council should be brought at par with the Senate having headquarters at Gilgit as done in occupied J & K.
  • The main revenue generating subjects of Minerals, Forest, Hydro power and Tourism must etc. be under the domain of GB Assembly.

Judicial Measures:

  • The nomenclature of the Present Apex Courts & judges in Gilgit Baltistan be changed into GB Supreme Court & GB High Court and the Chief Justice & Justice accordingly
  • The number of Judges in GB Supreme Appellate Court should be 05 and in GB High Court should be 07
  • The system of appointment of judges in the Apex Courts must be brought at par with the system prevailing in Pakistan or AJK with a mandatory provision to get meaning full consultation of the concerned Chief Justice before making any appointment by the Executive.

Administrative Measures:

  • The Fifth Schedule of Governance Order 2009 heading Vacancy Sharing Formula be thrown away.
  • Instead of GB Council, the Chief Minister be consulted during posting of IGP and Chief Secretary from Federation

The details have been shared with PT by Advocate Shahbaz Khan, Vice Chairman of the GB Bar Council, through an email. There are reports that the same proposal has been endorsed by the current Gilgit-Baltistan government.

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