GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan has claimed that a conspiracy is being hatched to topple the PTI-led government in the region and vowed to resist any such move.

Addressing a press conference on Friday with Information Minister Fatehullah Khan, Finance Minister Javed Ali Manwa, and his adviser Syed Sohail Abbas, Mr Khan also said that the federal government has reduced the subsidy on wheat and other grants for GB.

He claimed that local PPP and PML-N leaders were part of the conspiracy to topple the government and dissolve the assembly before the completion of its five-year tenure.

The federal government had planned to dissolve the GB Assembly to conduct polls in the region with general elections next year, he added.

“At a time when the government is focusing on relief and rehabilitation of flood-affected people, the actions of opposition leaders will harm public interest,” he said.

The chief minister also claimed that the federal government was interfering in GB’s judiciary, adding that the centre wanted to “appoint its favoured judges in the regions’ courts”.

Referring to the vacant position of GB Supreme Appellate Court chief justice, Mr Khan said the appointment should be done on merit.

He also criticised the centre for cutting financial grant, annual development budget, and PSDP projects for the region.

The chief minister called the Rs3 billion aid announced by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for flood-affected people “inadequate”, and demanded that the prime minister reverse the announcement.

Meanwhile, a federal government team has arrived in the region for on-ground assessment of damages due to recent flash floods.

In a statement, GB Chief Secretary Mohyuddin Ahmad Wani has said that the administration will extend full cooperation to the team comprising representatives of NDMA and the army.

Published in Dawn, September 10th, 2022

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