ISLAMABAD - Reiterating the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s strong commitment of giving a provisional-provincial status to the Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur Monday said the initiative would begin a new era of development and prosperity in the area that suffered due to slackness of the past regimes.

Addressing a public meeting at Khaplu, the minister said the GB people’s forefathers had rendered great sacrifices for its liberation, but unfortunately the governments chosen by them in the past did not recognise their sacrifices. 

“Prime Minister Imran Khan is the first leader in the history of Pakistan who has taken the decision for granting provisional-provincial status to the GB by taking cognizance of its people’s sufferings,” he noted.

Amin regretted that the GB dwellers had been deprived of their constitutional rights for the last 73 years, adding the prime minister had a vision to uplift the less-developed areas like GB and the erstwhile Federally Administered Tribal areas (FATA). 

“The credit for FATA merger goes to Prime Minister Imran Khan,” he remarked and pointed out that the present government had given Rs 400 billion for removing sense of deprivation from the FATA’s people. 

He said both the parties including Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) had governed the GB in the past but did not own its residents.

The minister said contrary to the Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Sindh government had refused to give the FATA’s share in previous National Finance Commission (NFC) Award.

He believed that the opposition parties would never give them their share in the NFC awards. “It is only Imran Khan who can ensure FATA people get share in the NFC award,” he added.

Terming the opposition parties’ leaders as ‘opportunists’, he said they just wanted to loot public money and gain benefits by coming into the power.

He urged the GB’s people to use ‘power of the vote’ for their upcoming generations by casting vote to the PTI.

The minister also took jibe over the opposition parties for spewing venom against the national institutions.