Proposed Constitutional Amendments in the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973, for Empowerment of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan

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Publication No: PD-230

Rs 1,500  

The Discussion Paper “Proposed Constitutional Amendments in the constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan 1973 for empowerment of Azad Jammu &Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan” authored by Justice (Retd.) Syed Manzoor Hussain Gillani, is an attempt to initiate a discourse on the question of a more appropriate interim constitutional arrangement for the State of Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. The author of the paper has related this arrangement to an ‘enhanced autonomy’ for these regions. The paper encompasses the constitutional status of the AJ&K and G-B region that remain invisible in the mainstream political and constitutional structure of the country for almost half century. In March 1949, the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas (now known as Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan) was established, which has been liaising between the Azad Jammu & Kashmir and northern areas and Pakistan governments, although local Kashmir authorities have always been critical of its role. In a landmark decision, the Government of Pakistan had approved a Self-Governance Reforms Package for the Northern Areas on August 30, 2009, aimed at giving it full internal autonomy, but without the status of a province, and changed its name to Gilgit-Baltistan. However many so-called nationalist parties criticized the package as a ‘gimmickry of words’. While the AJK Constitution of 1974 gives Islamabad a significant legal authority in the affairs of AJK through the Azad Jammu & Kashmir Council under the chairman ship of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.The AJK Constitution also restricts the AJK Assembly and the Kashmir Council from making any laws regarding the subjects of defence, trade, security and paper currency etc, which fall under the purview of the Federal Government of Pakistan.

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