GILGIT: Around 50 days after the Pakistan Peoples Party-led Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) government completed its five-year term, elections for the legislative assembly have been announced for May.
HunzaNews, January 30th, 2015.
“It has been decided and a notification to this effect was also issued,” G-B and Kashmir Affairs Federal Secretary Shahidullah Baig told Outpost, a local publication. A competent local has been appointed as the chief election commissioner, Baig added.
Last week, a 12-member caretaker cabinet took oath in Islamabad and promised free and fair polls. “Better late than never; it will help remove misconceptions over the government’s intentions,” said a political figure while commenting on the delay in the announcement for polls.
According to reports, portfolios were assigned to caretaker cabinet members, but the appointments are still awaiting notification.
Insiders said the finance ministry was given to Sanaullah and Fozia Saleem was reportedly appointed as the interim education minister. Charge of the law ministry was given to Advocate Mushtaq, while Basharatullah was given the portfolio of the health ministry. Inayatullah Shumali was made the caretaker information minister and Atiullah will take over as the interim minister for water and power. Finally, the agriculture and excise ministries were handed to Niamatullah and Murad Ali, respectively.
Following several postponements, members of the G-B Council representing the region have decided to boycott council meetings chaired by the prime minister. They demanded either constitutional powers through the 18th Amendment or to be made part of the NFC Award.
The demands were forwarded by members of the G-B Council on Wednesday—just a day after the meeting was postponed for the fifth time since November. Six of the council’s 12 members are from G-B council, while the rest represent the federal government.