Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced granting provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan, Geo News reported.
Khan made the announcement on his visit to the area to attend its 73rd Independence Day celebrations.
“One of the reasons for me coming to Gilgit-Baltistan is to announce that we have decided to grant Gilgit-Baltistan the provisional provincial status,” he said.
“We have taken this decision keeping in mind the UN Security Council’s resolutions,” Khan added.
Khan said that he could not announce or talk about the development packages for Gilgit-Baltistan since it would be a violation of the stated procedures as elections were about to take place in the area.
“However, I will tell you that it is our government’s foremost policy to uplift Pakistan’s poor that amount to 25% of the population and the country’s backward areas,” he said.
The Prime Minister said that one of the many reasons Gilgit-Baltistan remained backwards was because it was “cut off” from the rest of Pakistan.
“Insha’Allah you will see in the coming days, our development plans will go there [backward areas],” he said.
Earlier on September 28 this year, the Pakistan’s Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Khan Gandapur said the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government was going to give provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Gandapur said granting the provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan has been the longstanding demand of the people in the region.
He said by making Gilgit-Baltistan a province, it would not [adversely] affect Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir as the decision had been taken only after consultations with the Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK) government, Hurriyat leadership, international experts and all other stakeholders.
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