Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that his government would work on a priority basis to grant the provisional provincial status to Gilgit-Baltistan, according to a media report.
His remarks came after he arrived in the disputed region to attend the oath-taking ceremony of the 14-member Gilgit Baltistan Cabinet.
“What will the new government do? First, we will work on granting the region provisional provincial status so that the prevailing sense of deprivation [among the people] can be eradicated,” Dawn newspaper quoted Khan as saying.
India has slammed Pakistan for its decision to hold elections in Gilgit-Baltistan and said any action to alter the status of the militarily-occupied region has no legal basis. India also clearly conveyed to Pakistan that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of Gilgit and Baltistan, are an integral part of the country.
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Elections were held on 23 seats of the legislative assembly in Gilgit-Baltistan on November 15. Polling on one seat was postponed after the death of one of the contestants.
Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) won most of the seats in the legislative assembly election in Gilgit-Baltistan.
Khan expressed the hope that the new Gilgit-Baltistan government would set a “new tradition” and give a governance system that “sets new standards.”