A conclusive result has finally enabled PTI to claim victory by securing a total of 9 seats in the region in comparison to PPP’s 4, PML-N’s 1 and 6 independent candidates. Now that members of the assembly have been decided upon, the focus of the government should be on how GB can be given the full status of a province within Pakistan. Considering that the process is long and intricate, a framework needs to be set up that provides sufficient guidance to make this possible.

Already, the region is off to a good start with the total voter turnout of 745,361 people, out of which 339,992 were women. Such levels of political participation serve as a representation of the people’s commitment towards fighting for the rights and freedoms that they are entitled to. However, this is not where the line should be drawn. Historically, we have made immense promises to people of GB under various orders like the Empowerment and Self-Governance Order of 2009 and the Gilgit-Baltistan Order of 2018, but they have proven to fail with regards to granting desired representation.

Our promise of granting the region the status of a province demands for a particular focus on acknowledgement of status and development. Medicinal, transitory, educational and economic infrastructure needs to be created so the region can emulate an established province—especially one that is integral to major projects like CPEC. Not only does this go a long way in fulfilling promises of granting full status but it also ensures the interests of the people are protected.

Now is the time that all authorities should work collectively for GB’s benefit and remain committed to promises of making headway as efficiently, and harmoniously, as possible.