SRINAGAR: In an interesting turn of events, the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) assembly has unanimously adopted a joint resolution demanding the arid region be made an “interim constitutional province”, Pakistani media reported. Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan and opposition leader Amjad Hussain jointly tabled it.
“This august house, keeping in view the longstanding demand of the GB, strongly recommends the federal government, the prime minister and the state institutions that G-B should get the status of an interim constitutional province and adequate representation in the National Assembly and other federal bodies,” the resolution, according to The Express Tribune reads. “The Constitution of Pakistan should be amended to make Gilgit-Baltistan an interim constitutional province.”
The resolution further adds: “In this regard, a bill to amend the Constitution should be passed by the Parliament. Special care should be taken in the constitutional amendments so that it does not affect the Kashmir issue.”
Imran Khan government announced in September 2019 that it will elevate G-B to the status of a full-fledged province with all constitutional rights, including its representation in the Senate and the National Assembly. By year-end, it actually announced a committee to work out the formalities.
New Delhi has taken a strong exception to the idea. It has strongly reacted to the plans. Most Kashmir separatists have also opposed the idea.