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Constitutional breakdown: Federal govt urged to amend 2009 governance order

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GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Chief Minister Mehdi Shah will only consult opposition leader Janbaz Khan over the appointment of a caretaker chief minister once amendments are made to the Self Governance and Empowerment Order 2009.

HunzaNews, December 1st, 2014.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Shah said amendments are a prerequisite to the consultation process.

“However, changes can only be introduced by the federal government,” he added. Shah held the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government responsible for the constitutional limbo the region finds itself in.  He blamed the federal government for being indecisive in addressing the loopholes in the order.

The G-B government came into power under the same order in 2009. However, it did not contain provisions to develop an interim setup.

“It was the responsibility of the regional leadership of PML-N to make the amendments,” Shah said, “But they have failed to take action in this regard.”

On November 29, Shah said he would continue as CM even if he is not allowed to do so. His comments attracted criticism from various politicians from the region.

G-B president of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Hafeezur Rahman said he would not allow Shah to remain in office for a single day after December 10.

Moreover, opposition leader Janbaz said the incumbent government has no authority under the governance order to remain in power.

Waiting for limbo

With less than two weeks till the G-B government bows out, the legal community has voiced its concerns over the uncertainty surrounding the region’s future. “There is so much confusion as nobody knows what will happen with G-B after December 10,” a senior lawyer Ehsan Ali toldThe Express Tribune.

“The manner in which the region is being treated speaks volumes about how serious the federal government is about the constitutional limbo in the region,” said Ali.

According to Musarrat Jamal, another lawyer in G-B, the federal government has a deadline of 10 days to make amendments to the governance order. “If it does not act soon, G-B will experience a major constitutional breakdown.” said Jamal.

 Express Tribune

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