Political parties unanimously seek legislation for provincial status to GB: Farogh

ISLAMABAD, Aug 03 (APP): Federal Minister for Law and Justice Dr. Muhammad Farogh Naseem on Tuesday said that all political parties of Gilgit-Baltistan unanimously signed a letter and demanded legislation to award provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

He said that the draft of the bill titled 26th Constitutional Amendment Bill was prepared and submitted to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, adding the bill was prepared after careful reading of the Constitution of Pakistan, international laws, the United Nations’ resolutions especially those related to plebiscite on Kashmir, comparative constitutional laws and local legislation.

He said that all stakeholders, including the government of GB were consulted on the proposed constitutional amendment which would be passed by the Parliament with two third majority.

He said that there was no such sentiment in AJK as it was being run through a constitution while affairs of the GB were running under governing order (GB Order).

Answering a question about legislation regarding Azad Jammu and Kashmir, the minister said that the discussion about 13th Constitutional Amendment remained continued for last many days and the government would discuss the matter with the new AJK government keeping in mind the interests of people of Pakistan and AJK.

He said that proper procedures were not followed in framing the 13th Constitutional Amendment and at that time cabinet approval was mandatory for amendment in the AJK constitution.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government did not confront the previous AJK government and continued smooth working, however, the Minister said that 13th amendment would be reviewed in consultation with the new government as so many hurdles are still pending due to this amendments.

To a question about physical strike of India after Pulwama incident, the minister stated that the Pakistan armed forces foiled the Indian attempt while on the legal front Pakistan could not surrender its position regarding Kashmir as it was a integral part of the Pakistan.

He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was talking about plebiscite in Kashmir according to the United Nations resolution and nothing else.

He said that Prime Minster Imran Khan is in the favour of plebiscite in Kashmir under the supervision of United Nations with transparent way but unfortunately some elements had misinterpreted the statements.

He said that the Kashmir issue would not be compromised at any level.

He said that India violated the resolutions of United Nations about occupied Kashmir as it abrogated the article on August 5, 2019.

He urged the international community to play its due role in the Indian Occupied Kashmir to provide the justice to the people.

The Minister said that the 18th amendments was totally against the vision of founder of Pakistan Peoples Party Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto but both major parties of the country (PPP and PML-N) introduce this amendments due to their vested interest.

He said that a federal constitution was introduced by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1973 while the PPP in collaboration with PML-N changed the federal status of constitution into confederate states which was against the basic structure of the 1973 constitution.

He said that both political parties were reluctant to discuss 18th amendment and it was against the democratic approach.

He said that the government proposed so many amendments regarding National Accountability Bureau (NAB) and soon it would be introduced.