Voice of the Mountain People

Mehdi set to become GB’s first chief minister

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on November 20, 2009

Islamabad, November 20: Syed Mehdi Shah, chief of the Gilgit-Baltistan chapter of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), is set to become the first chief minister of the region after his nomination as the party’s parliamentary leader in the Legislative Assembly here on Thursday.

Islamabad: PPP information secretary Fauzia Wahab addresses a news conference. Syed Mehdi Shah, chief of the Gilgit-Baltistan chapter of PPP is also present.

Mehdi Shah was nominated parliamentary leader at a meeting of the members-elect of the Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly.

The decision was announced by PPP information secretary Fauzia Wahab at a news conference.

The PPP won 11 out of 23 seats for which polling was held on Nov 12. Later, an independent member-elect, Abdul Hameed Khan, joined the party.

Mehdi Shah said the PPP was engaged in negotiations with other parties and independents for forming the government.

He said although the PPP was in a position to form government on its own, the party’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari had directed them to form a coalition government.

He said the party would call for appointment of a local figure as the governor. He was of the view that the governor should preferably be from the PPP.

However, he said, any decision of the party co-chairman would be acceptable to him and his colleagues.

APP adds: Acting Governor of Gilgit-Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira hosted a reception for the PPP members-elect of the legislative assembly on Wednesday night.

Speaking at the reception, Mr Kaira said the PPP had given a lot of sacrifices for democracy and it would not give anyone any excuse to derail the system.

He said the co-chairman had the party’s leaders and workers to remain cool despite a vilification campaign launched by opponents.

Mr Kaira said victory in the elections was an achievement, but coming up to the expectations of the people of the area was a bigger challenge. He said the PPP had a history of serving the people of Gilgit-Baltistan and it had made efforts for providing them political rights.

He said the PPP had introduced the Gilgit-Baltistan self-governance reform package which was another step towards political and socio-economic development of the area.

Mehdi Shah vowed to take steps for eradicating poverty from the region and to implement the Self-Rule Ordinance.

He said the people of the region could be better served through investment in the social and infrastructure sectors with the ultimate purpose of creating job opportunities and raising the living standard of the poor.

The members-elect pledged to work jointly for promotion of peace and sectarian harmony and for socio-economic prosperity of the region and welfare of its people.-Dawn

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