ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has said that Pakistan People's Party has played a leading role in improving the lives of people of Gilgit-Baltistan by giving administrative and financial autonomy to the region.

The Prime Minister expressed these views while talking to a delegation of Gilgit-Baltistan, which called on him at the PM House on Monday. The delegation was jointly led by its Governor and Chief Minister, Pir Syed Karam Ali Shah and Syed Mehdi Shah respectively. The Prime Minister expressed his satisfaction over the trust people have shown in the leadership of Pakistan People's Party (PPP).

During the meeting, Syed Razi-ud-Din Rizvi, member Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, announced to join Pakistan People's Party. Speaking on the occasion, Syed Razi-ud-Din said that he was in active politics for the past fifteen years and was elected to the Council on an independent seat. He said that his decision to join Pakistan Peoples Party was based on the policies of the party for the people of Gilgit Baltistan.

Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he said, had created awareness among the people of Pakistan. Pakistan, he said, would prosper during the PPP government. Talking about the Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan, he said, he was the first Chief Minister who got elected unopposed.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf while welcoming Syed Razi-ud-Din's decision to join the party said that this is a testimony to the love and trust people have in the party. Only yesterday two members of the National Assembly belonging to PML (N) joined the PPP, he added.

Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf said that Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had a special place for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. This government, he said, had empowered the people of Gilgit Baltistan, which had its own elected assembly as well as government. "I have always maintained that all historic decisions are taken during the PPP's rule in the country", said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister also expressed his satisfaction over the way the law and order situation had been tackled in Gilgit-Baltistan and appreciated the GB leadership on this count.

The delegation apprised the Prime Minister of the financial, administrative and other issues pertaining to Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Prime Minister directed Federal Minister Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo to arrange a meeting of the delegation with Finance Ministry so that they can work out mechanism to resolve the financial woes of Gilgit-Baltistan and put it on a self-sustaining path.

The Prime Minister also issued directions for immediate release of Rs 1.8 billion, approved by him earlier during his visit to Gilgit-Baltistan so that they can tide over their financial problems.

The delegation comprised Prof Ghulam Hussein Saleem, Advisor to Prime Minister, Moulana Attaullah Shahab, Advisor to Prime Minister, Muhammad Ali Akhtar, Minister for Finance GB, Muhammad Jaffar, Senior Minister for Food GB, Wazir Shakil, Minister for Law, Naseer Khan, Minister for Excise & Taxation and members of Gilgit-Baltistan Council.