Gilgit-Baltistan elections 2020

Gilgit-Baltistan elections 2020 probable PTI-PPP face-off

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This will be the region’s 3rd election since GB was given the autonomy to rule itself in 2009 through its assembly under a parliamentarian precisely Ministry of Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. A puppet legislative assembly having no any prior authority of constitute any law or made any amendments in the existing red book.

In the first election held in 2009 Pakistan People’s party won the majority of seats, then the same trend set by the PML-N in election 2015.
The PML-N completed its term on June 23, 2020 and the Legislative Assembly wrapped up after five years in power. Mir Afzal was sworn in as the caretaker chief minister for Gilgit Baltistan on June. The vote will be held on November 15.

Number of seats and voters
GB has 24 constituencies and its assembly has 33 seats. Candidates from political parties will stand for 24 seats. Of the remaining seats, six are reserved for women and three for technocrats. The area has a population of about 1.3 million and a total of 753,341 voters have registered, of which half roughly are women.

Total candidates in GB Election
A total number of candidates are 330 in election 2020. The PML-Q is fielding candidates in 14 constituencies. And the PTI has issued party tickets to 22 people and made alliance with MWM in rest of the 2 constituencies.

The PPP, which suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of the PML-N in 2015 then ruling party, announced candidates for all 24 constituencies. Many of the PPP candidates are seasoned politicians and Bilawal Bhutto is running self-campaign to support its party’s candidates.

His arrival in Skardu has already charged the environment and ramped up the competition. PTI’s GB general secretary Fateh Ullah Khan objected to Bilawal running the PPP election campaign as he said it was against a joint declaration made at the all-parties conference agreeing that federal and provincial ministers and senators would not take part in election campaigns. “The commission should ask Bilawal to leave otherwise we will also bring our leaders to run election campaigns,” he said.

Bilawal’s strategy aside, the PTI appears to be putting its money on previously successful candidates. According to PML-N provincial vice-president and former GB chief minister Hafeezur Rehman, the PTI has approached former ministers and members of the GB assembly to offer them membership and tickets. Fida Muhammad Nashad, who became Speaker after the 2015 elections, has been awarded a PTI ticket, he added.

Other former PML-N minister and MPAs who have joined PTI include former provincial minister Dr Muhammad Iqbal, Haider Khan, and Ibrahim Sanai.

Currently running campaigns of PTI is accelerating much fast, PPP at the second position and PML-N faced a downfall in the region. Their downfall due to the lack of performance, nepotism and killing the merits in the region.

Many supporters are leaning towards the PTI as well, as the Imran’s party is currently in power in the Centre. The PTI’s announcement to make the autonomous region a province could prove fruitful for the party in the upcoming elections, but if they turn their back same like the previously resonated back propagandas, a regretful downfall of PTI in GB may not be a surprise. On September 17, the government decided to give GB the status of a province with all constitutional rights, including representation in the Senate and the National Assembly. 

Flash Back
Gilgit-Baltistan is a historically distinct political entity near the disputed region of Jammu and Kashmir. It is located at the junction of China, Central and South Asia, and Afghanistan.

Situated in the mountains of northern Pakistan, Gilgit-Baltistan covers 72,971 square kilometers. Its estimated population of 1.3 million.
Gilgit-Baltistan was previously known as the Federally Administered Northern Areas (FANA). It is an autonomous region in northern Pakistan with separate government and electoral systems. In 1970, it became a single administrative unit called the Northern Areas under administrative control of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas, formed from the amalgamation of the Gilgit Agency, the Baltistan District of the Ladakh Wazarat, and the states of Hunza and Nagar.

The region is divided into two administrative divisions: Gilgit and Baltistan/Skardu. Its government is made up of a GB Council, Legislative Assembly, ministers, a chief minister and a governor. Its assembly has the power to make laws on 61 subjects, including land revenue and administrative courts and it votes on the budget.

CPEC passes through the Karakoram Highway and covers almost 600 kilometers distance in GB, making nexus between China and Pakistan.
Since 1947, GB has not been granted provincial status due to its colonial association with the disputed region of Kashmir. As per clause of the UN on Kashmir dispute, Gilgit-Batistan is also associated with Kashmir dispute. A very fallacious and fabricated case had been made against GB by both India and Pakistan, Mehmoodabad agreement is one of those. In which the fate of GB was decided without the presence of representative of GB in that meeting.

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