Pakistan grants provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan

Altering Gilgit-Baltistan status unacceptable: India

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday announced the provisional-provincial status for Gilgit-Baltistan.

“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 addressing the region on the 73rd “I-Day” celebrations.

“I am very happy that I am here for a second time to celebrate this day with you and it will be my effort for as long as I am prime minister to spend this day with you,” he said at the start of his address after taking part in the parade.

“I want to pay tribute to GB scouts and those shuhada (martyrs) who gave sacrifices and freed this region. I wanted to congratulate people of GB on another thing: our decision to give GB provincial status. This decision has been taken while keeping in view the UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.” He said he could not speak in detail about a development package because of the upcoming elections but assured the people that his government would prioritise helping the poor and people from underdeveloped areas.

Various governments in Pakistan have tried in the past to regulate the issues of GB through reforms and executive orders. Recently, the region has come under the spotlight again when the federal government announced plans to give GB provincial status. The decision to make GB a province of Pakistan was taken about four months ago, said Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur on Saturday. “It was amazing for me to hear that the GB people had liberated themselves from the Dogra rule and decided to annex the region to Pakistan unconditionally,” he said.