An autonomous NALC on the cards?
12 November 2005
The Daily Times
Gilgit: Northern parts of Pakistan are abuzz with rumours that the existing Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) will be upgraded to a full legislative assembly after its dissolution. Some local body representatives in Skardu have even distributed sweets to welcome this fresh move on the part of the federal government. Political analysts believed that the federal government was considering proposals tabled by the NALC in its previous sessions to upgrade the NALC to the status of a full legislative assembly and that it had held consultations to determine whether this was feasible in the context of the recent developments in Kashmir. They said that if the new assembly was not vested with full legislative authority as other provincial assemblies in the country are, it would be futile. Sources said the Northern Areas chief executive and the federal minister for Kashmir Affairs held talks with the deputy chief executive of the Northern Areas, the regional chief secretary and other top officials in Islamabad and are expected to meet the prime minister on Monday. Sources said that if the NALC was upgraded, the present body would automatically stand dissolved and seats in the new body would be increased. They added that new constituencies could also carved in the Gilgit and Skardu districts.