General elections for the Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly (GB) will be held on November 15, according to a summary approved by President Dr Arif Alvi on Wednesday.
The summary was sent by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
More than a dozen political and religious parties, including the country’s three major parties Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will compete in the general election.
There are 33 seats in the GB Legislative Assembly, three of which are reserved for technocrats and six for women.
Elections will be held for the remaining 24 seats. More than 700,000 people will cast their votes, of which around 45 percent will be women.
This is the first time a woman has been allowed to stand in the elections from the GB Assembly.
On September 17, the government decided to increase GB to complete province status with all constitutional rights, including his representation in the Senate and National Assembly, Minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur said.
The minister said that the prime minister would soon visit the region and make an official announcement in this regard. He added that Gilgit-Baltistan would be provided with adequate representation in all constitutional bodies, including the National Assembly and Senate.
“After consulting with all stakeholders, the federal government has decided in principle to grant constitutional rights to Gilgit-Baltistan,” the minister told a delegation of journalists from GB. “Our government has decided to fulfill the promise it made to the people there.”
However, Gandapur emphasized, after the constitutional rights were granted, subsidies and tax exemptions on wheat granted to the regions would not be withdrawn. “Until the people there are established, they will continue to enjoy this facility,” he added.
The minister said that the plunder of the Gilgit-Baltistan people for 73 years was coming to an end. In addition to the constitutional rights and provincial order, the Minister continued, important steps were also taken for regional development.
On September 22, parliamentary leaders summoned Army Chief of Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Director General of Inter-Service Intelligence Lt.Gen.Faiz Hameed to discuss Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) administrative issues among other issues.
According to sources, the PML-N delegation consisted of Shehbaz Sharif, Khawaja Asif and Ahsan Iqbal, while the PPP consisted of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Sherry Rehman.
The proposal for establishing a new provincial GB was reportedly agreed at the meeting.
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