Pakistan to hold assembly elections in Gilgit-Baltistan in November

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Pakistan is planning to hold general elections for the legislative assembly of Gilgit Baltistan (G-B) on 15 November, the country’s local media reported on Wednesday.

New Delhi considers G-B a part of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir and has consistently opposed changes made in the disputed region by Islamabad, reported Hindustan Times. A summary regarding the assembly election has been approved by President Arif Alvi and sent to Prime Minister Imran Khan for the final go-ahead, reports said.

Analysts have said that once the elections are held, the government will move towards making GB a full province. The election date was announced after a meeting on Tuesday between opposition parliamentary leaders and the army high command, in which Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Inter-Services Intelligence director general Lt Gen Faiz Hameed discussed the prospects of giving GB the status of a province.

Leader of the opposition in parliament Shehbaz Sharif, along with his party colleagues Khawaja Asif and Ahsan Iqbal, attended the meeting on behalf of the PML-N while the PPP was represented by party chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and senator Sherry Rehman. With all stakeholders on board, the process to make GB a full province within the Pakistan federation has been started, an observer told the newspaper.

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