Another Province on the Line: Gilgit Baltistan

In an attempt to provide representation and rights to the minorities/disputed areas, Imran Khan in the works of announcing Gilgit Baltistan as a province.

On 17th September 2020, Pakistan announced that there may be a possible extension in the number of provinces. The government of Pakistan has decided on announcing Gilgit Baltistan as a full-fledged province!

The minister of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan Affairs, Ali Amin Gandapur declared this news on Wednesday, he further claimed that Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, would soon be visiting the Gilgit Baltistan region to make a formal and official announcement concerning this matter.

Gilgit Baltistan was to be made a province only on the condition that it would receive complete constitutional rights and representation in the senate. “After consultation with all stakeholders, the federal government has decided in principle to give constitutional rights to Gilgit-Baltistan,” the minister, Mr. Gandapur, told a delegation of journalists from Gilgit Baltistan. “Our government has decided to deliver on the promise it made to the people there.”

The minister is high hopes of this conversion; he believes that Gilgit Baltistan becoming a province with complete constitutional rights will be great for the people and will finally make up for the 73 years of mistreatment. Although he has placed a few conditions on the granting of such rights, he said that the people of his region will still be offered the appropriate subsidies along with tax exemptions on wheat until the residents are capable enough to do it for themselves.

Moreover, the minister further stated that along with rights, the region must be given proper healthcare, education, and transport facilities. He said that the province must be provided with MRI and CT scan machines to all District Headquarters Hospitals, while the basic health units (BHUs) to be provided ultrasound machines.

“Furniture will be provided to all schools. Rest houses will be set up at about 70 places to promote tourism. Loans will be provided to the locals to build huts and guesthouses at tourist destinations,” he said, with the National Bank already being informed about this.

He has also urged the government to build a tunnel on the Babusar Top to make traveling possible throughout the year. Moreover, many engineering and medicals colleges are to be set up in the area and as an attempt to preserve the natural habitat and wildlife in Gilgit Baltistan; Mr. Gandapur has said that the entire region would be declared as a protected area.

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