ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s cabinet is all set to meet today to discuss the provisional status of Gilgit-Baltistan, a day after Prime Minister Imran Khan gave his nod to change the region’s status to that of an interim province in principle.
Gilgit-Baltistan, a part of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir, has witnessed regular protests by activists over alleged human rights violations in the region. It is a part of what India refers to as Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) as Pakistan broke up its part of the annexed area into two parts – ‘Azad’ Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Giving provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan will be taken as the annexation of what Pakistan calls ‘Azad’ Kashmir – The decision will be in direct conflict with Pakistan’s earlier stance on the region, which they have termed as “free”.
Earlier this month, a high-level reforms committee was established by Khan to look into the constitutional, administrative and governance reforms for Gilgit-Baltistan, as per directives issued by the Supreme Court of Pakistan.
The Prime Minister had, on Wednesday, asked for the recommendations of the reforms committee with regards to the legal status of the region to be presented in front of the Cabinet, while granting approval for the change in the status of Gilgit-Baltistan.
The high-level reforms committee was of the view that the region should be given provisional status and representation in the National Assembly and Senate.
Reports suggest three seats each have been proposed for GB in both houses of parliament besides representation in constitutional bodies.
During Thursday’s meeting, which will be presided over by Khan, Ali Amin Gandapur, the Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, would be presenting a summary of the recommendations put forth by the reforms committee, according to The Express Tribune. (ANI)