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Centre mulls move against GB chief minister

Centre mulls move against GB chief minister

GILGIT: The federal government has decided to act against Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan for allegedly using the region’s police force and other resources to protect PTI Chairman Imran Khan from possible arrest, sources said on Saturday.

They said the federal government collected all evidence pointing to the use of GB police force and resources for the former premier’s security.

Federal authorities, the sources said, were considering many options to act against the GB chief minister and his government.

When Dawn asked Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb about the development, she said the GB chief minister should resign.

Prime minister’s adviser on Kashmir affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, Qamar Zaman Kaira, also told Dawn that GB police officers were deployed at Mr Khan’s Lahore home. Mr Kaira said cops from GB pointed guns at their Punjab counterparts during Tuesday’s operation, an action he described as “alarming and illegal”.

Khalid Khurshid allegedly used GB police to prevent Imran’s arrest

“If GB police were guarding GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid Khan, why did they intervene in Punjab police work, who were there to arrest Imran Khan?” he wondered.

GB Governor Syed Mehdi Shah told Dawn the region’s people would pay the cost of possible action against the CM. “Gilgit-Baltistan is dependent on the federal government for funds and other resources,” he said.

Mr Shah said the federal government had all information regarding the use of the GB police force and it might chargesheet Mr Khurshid. However, he said the Centre had not consulted him so far regarding a possible action against the chief minister.

Former GB chief minister Hafeezur Rehman, also a PML-N local president, said that using the region’s force for Mr Khan’s security was illegal and the chief minister’s action had created differences between the GB and the federal government.

The opposition leader in the GB assembly, Advocate Amjad Hussain, alleged that more than 200 police officers from GB had been deployed to protect the PTI chief.

He said some 40 uniformed PTI workers had been deployed at the PTI chief’s Zaman Park residence in Lahore. It was alarming that state resources were being used against the state, Mr Hussain said, adding that the federal government would definitely take action against the GB chief minister for “violating the law and putting GB in a bad light”.

Speaking to the media in Lahore on Friday, Federal Minister of Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique said that bringing people from all the provinces to Zaman Park Lahore was not the right thing to do.

“If Islamabad police go to Gilgit-Baltistan and fight, how will the people of Gilgit-Baltistan feel?” he asked.

Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2023

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