N A Legislative Council To Be Empowered
28 February 2005
Islamabad: Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas, Makhdum Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat, stated that necessary institutional rectification in law and order in Northern Areas is being taken in the light of January 8 unfortunate incident in Gilgit, so that similar incidents were prevented timely. Flanked by Deputy Chief Executive Raja Ghazanfar Ali and Speaker Mohammad Miskeen, the Minister stated this while addressing a press conference after chairing Northern Areas legislative Council's meeting here Monday. He said that bi-partisan committee of Northern Areas has suggested certain proposals to defuse the situation in the area. We have already taken some steps to control the ugly situation and other measures will be taken through the Federal Government to improve the daily business affairs in the area. The bi-partisan committee is playing vital role to stabilize the normal affairs of the life of and around that area, he said. Northern Areas are sensitive and enjoy a special status with political and sentimental affiliations with Pakistan. The Government of Pakistan has given 58% increase in annual budget in 2003-04 and about Rs. 2.75 billion in addition to a package of Rs. 500 million announced by the President General Pervez Musharraf, he added. He said that we have decided to empower the council for more effective role, for which some amendments will be required in LFO(Legal Framework Order). This will help empower the council socially, politically and a new economic chapter will be opened for the people. The council will be meeting the Prime Minister of Pakistan Shaukat Aziz in the middle of March and would discuss all the proposals for his approval. Federal Minister said that there are 4 main religious communities namely, Sunni, Shia, Ismailis and Noor Bakhshis. The Council has representation of all these sects. With the support and co-operation of these representatives, we will be able to overcome the situation within our control. He said the issue of syllabus would be recommended to the Federal Minister of Education to review the syllabus for schools and colleges of Northern Areas. In response to a question the Federal Minister said that only the people of Kashmiri origin would be able to travel from Muzaffarabad to Srinager and vice versa. Muzaffarabad chakothi road has a distance of 60 kilometer only, which will be maintained immediately at a cost of Rs. 150 million provided by Federal Government.