ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) challenged the appointments of caretaker chief minister, governor and chief election commissioner Gilgit Baltistan (GB) in the Supreme Court.

Two local politicians of PTI from Gilgit Baltistan Amna Ansari, Mirza Hussain and Chairman Election Campaign Committee PTI MNA Ghulam Sarwar Khan Saturday filed separate petitions in the apex court.

The petitioners through his counsel Asaf F Vardak requested the Supreme Court to strike down all these three appointments and direct the federal government to appoint suitable individuals on these posts through the involvement of all political parties, especially through leader of the House and Leader of Opposition in Gilgit Baltistan Assembly. They also pleaded the SC to strike down GB (Empowerment & Self Governance) order 2009 as it is being violated of the constitution. "The affection, loyalty, good will of the entire population of GB depends squarely on holding of free and fair elections in those areas. It would be most damaging internally and externally, nationally and internationally to conduct elections in that area in any other manner, or even for the elections to appear to be, other than absolutely free, fair and impartial," said the petitioners.

The federal government has appointed Sher Jan Mir as caretaker CM Gilgit Baltistan, Birjees Tahir, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Balistan as Governor and Justice (Retd) Tahir Ali Shah as Chief Election Commissioner. The petitioners state that the constitution of Islamic republic of Pakistan 1973 is the only fundamental law that governs the whole of Pakistan including Gilgit and Balistan. "No organic law can be framed in violation of the provisions of the constitution purporting to govern the area of Gilgit Balitsan. Any law that violates the constitution of the Islamic republic of Pakistan 1973 and holds itself out as the constitution of Gilgit Balistan is void ab initio," the petitioners added.

The petitioners stated that leader of house belonged to Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and leader of the opposition belonged to Pakistan Muslim League-Quid but they were not consulted, therefore the appointment caretaker of CM GB is nullity in the eyes of law.

The petitioners stated that an employee of the government cannot participate in politics for two years after retirement from service. Sher Jan was the CEO of Karakoram Cooperative Bank, a government institution, before his nomination as the CM Gilgit Baltistan. This is proved by the application of Sher Jan Mir to the chief secretary G-B for three months leave in order to enable him to act as caretaker CM.

About the appointment of CEC, the petition says that in Pakistan, the appointment of CEC is done through a consensus between the leader of House and Leader of Opposition but the appointment of CEC was made arbitrarily and unilaterally by the prime minister.

"The person selected for this important office is most unsuitable for it. He is committed party worker of PML-N," the petitioners said.

Regarding the appointment of Governor GB, the petitions state that GB Empowerment & Self Governance order 2009 is a law that is inconsistent with the fundamental rights of the people.

It is further stated Article 20(8) of the order provides that Governor shall not hold ay office of profit in the service of Pakistan nor occupy another position carrying the right to remuneration for rendering services  

"The fundamental rights of the people of GB as full citizens enjoying the protection of all the fundamental laws as well as the organic laws of Pakistan be restored to them and be so declared," the petitioners requested.