Pak President issues order to form caretaker govt, conduct elections in Gilgit-Baltistan
Islamabad: Pakistan President Arif Alvi has promulgated an order to form a caretaker government as well as to conduct elections in Gilgit-Baltistan province, a move strongly opposed by India.
The presidential promulgation came days after the Pakistan Supreme Court on April 30 allowed the federal government to amend a 2018 administrative order to conduct general elections in the region.
The Gilgit-Baltistan Order of 2018 provided for administrative changes, including authorising the Prime Minister of Pakistan to legislate on an array of subjects.
India has conveyed its strong protest to Islamabad for its efforts to bring “material change” to territories under its “illegal and forcible” occupation after the apex court allowed holding of elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Earlier this month, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in Delhi said a demarche was issued to a senior Pakistani diplomat lodging a strong protest over the court ruling and clearly conveying that the entire union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of India.
According to a notification issued by the federal Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan on Saturday, President Alvi promulgated the “Gilgit-Baltistan Election and Caretaker Amendment Order, 2020” to conduct transparent elections in Gilgit-Baltistan.
The Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly will complete its five-year tenure on June 24.
The presidential order said it was necessary to provide for the adoption of laws to install a caretaker government in Gilgit-Baltistan for conducting a fair and transparent election.