ISLAMABAD - The Committee constituted by the Prime Minister to formulate proposals for further empowerment of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan Thursday finalised the proposals, a foreign ministry statement said.

Adviser to PM on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz chaired the meeting which was attended by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Law Minister Zahid Hamid, Minister for Kashmir and G-B Affairs Chaudhry Muhammad Barjees Tahir, Special Assistant to Prime Minister Khawja Zaheer Ahmed, Chief Minister G-B Hafiz Hafeezur Rehman, Secretary Kashmir Affairs and G-B Pir Bakhsh Jamali and Chief Secretary G-B Kazim Niaz.

“The Committee discussed and finalised several proposals and options for strengthening regional governance through delegation of administrative and financial powers to the government of Gilgit-Baltistan and for increasing financial resources to expand essential services for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan,” said the statement.

A separate statement by the foreign ministry Thursday said the Human Rights Committee reviews Pakistan’s initial report on the implementation of international covenant on civil and political rights.

“The 18-member Human Rights Committee which monitors the implementation of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) reviewed Pakistan’s initial report on 11-12 July 2017 in Geneva,” the statement said.

Pakistan’s delegation was led by Minister for Human Rights Kamran Michael, and included General Secretary of Women’s Parliamentary Caucus Shaista Pervaiz Malik, Permanent Representative of Pakistan to the UN, Geneva, Ambassador Farukh Amil, Secretary Ministry of Human Rights Rabiya Javeria Agha and Chief Commissioner Afghan Refugees Dr Imran Zeb Khan.

The experts of the Committee appreciated ratification of ICCPR and efforts of the Government to implement the Convention. They also highlighted challenges faced by the Government in implementing the Convention, said the statement.

Minister for Human Rights Kamran Michael said: “We believe that ICCPR upholds principles of human dignity, equality and non-discrimination which are essential for any democratic and inclusive society. Pakistan continues to uphold and make efforts to implement the provisions of the Covenant which continues to contribute to strengthening of democracy and upholding rule of law, civil liberties and fundamental freedoms.”

The delegation thanked the Committee for an open and constructive dialogue,  responded to the questions and observations of the Committee and reaffirmed government’s commitment to give further impetus to implement the provisions of the Convention in accordance with Pakistan’s international human rights obligations and national human rights priorities with regard to advancement of civil and political rights.