Ministry for N.Areas has no local employee
16 April 2006
Gilgit: The Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas does not have a single employee from Northern Areas which is hindering smooth running of affairs of the region. Sources said this was causing delay in resolving issues pertaining to the region. Several members of the Northern Areas Legislative Council (NALC) and government employees said that due to non-representation of local people in the administrative ministry, minor issues took weeks to be resolved because it was difficult to get proper information and guidance about the matters. The NALC members demanded that people from Northern Areas should be appointed in the ministry at least at the deputy secretary level because they could better deal with matters of the region. This would help reduce the sense of deprivation among people of the region. The local officials would assist lawmakers, political leaders and government employees who visited the area for resolving problems of the region, they added. There are six districts in Northern Areas (Gilgit-Baltistan) with a population of 1.5 million. The region has been under the de facto control of the federal government since Nov 16, 1947. Its control was transferred from the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas in 1949 and since then the KANA ministry is the administrative ministry of the region. The minister acts as the chief executive of Northern Areas who has all executive, legislative and financial powers, including the appointment of chairman and members of the higher judiciary of the region. According to the entry 76 and 77 of the Federal Government Rules of Business, 1973, the ministry of KANA has to deal with administration, policy making, development and legislating laws for Northern Areas.