SC issues notices on Kashmir ministry’s plea

ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to the respondents on the application of Ministry of Kashmir Affairs regarding extension of time for implementation of top court’s January 17 judgment pertaining to promulgation of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) Order.

A seven-judge larger bench headed by acting Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed took up the matter regarding G-B’s constitutional status for hearing.

The other judges of the seven-judge larger bench include Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Faisal Arab, Justice Ijazul Ahsan, Justice Sajjad Ali Shah and Justice Munir Akhtar.

The top court in its January 17 judgment had ruled that the proposed order with modification shall be forthwith promulgated by the President on the advice of federal government.

It had also ruled that no amendment shall be made to the said Order as so promulgated except in terms of the procedure provided in Article 124 of the same, nor shall it be repealed or substituting (as the case may be) the same being placed before this Court by the Federation through an application that will be treated as a petition under Article 184(3) of the Constitution.

The top court had further ruled that if the order so promulgated is repealed or substituted by an Act of Parliament the validity thereof, if challenged, shall be examined on the touchstone of the Constitution.

The application of the said ministry stated that the G-B Governance Reforms 2019 was placed for approval of the federal cabinet. “Some discontentment expressed by the people and the Government of Gilgit-Baltistan were reported. The people of Gilgit-Baltistan and demanded that instead of governing Gilgit-Baltistan through Presidential Orders, the area should be governed through an Act of Parliament of Pakistan. The government of Gilgit-Baltistan also raised certain observations that their view points were not addressed.”

Therefore, the application maintained, a meeting of the stakeholders was held in February and the consensus was reached that the G-B Governance Reforms 2019 may be enacted through the Parliament of Pakistan as per aspiration of the People of G-B.

The application further stated that some amendments in the proposed Order of the G-B Governance Reforms 2019 were made in consultation with all the stakeholders including the Government of G-B, Ministry of Law and Justice and the office of the Attorney General for Pakistan.

As per the outcome of the said meetings, it is proposed that a Bill be tabled before the Parliament with the proposed amendments.

Attorney General for Pakistan Anwar Mansoor Khan pleaded the application before the bench informing it that substantial compliance of the directions of top court has been done adding it would also fulfil the demands of the people of G-B.

He requested the bench that for full compliance of the directions of this court, time be granted for the enactment of G-B Governance Reforms 2019 such that the Federal Government may table the Bill before the Parliament of Pakistan.

The top court while issuing notices to respondents in the case including G-B’s Supreme Appellate Court adjourned the hearing of the case for next week.


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