Ethnic rift rocks G-B government

Published: February 26, 2011
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Corruption is contagious – this is what Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister Mehdi Shah proved when he and other members of his government were accused of violating the principle of merit in terms of appointments, postings and transfers, along with the arbitrary suspension of employees in different departments.

Despite the ban on appointments in G-B, a large number of people, PPP activists in particular, have been appointed in different positions seemingly through the backdoor.

In a recent incident, the provincial Finance Minister Muhammad Ali Akhtar was manhandled by the adviser to the CM, Muhammad Musa, and was warned by Education Minister Ali Madad Sher to give in his resignation if the lobby associated with the chief minister didn’t stop its domination when it came to administration matters.

The physical assault on the finance minister took place at the G-B secretariat when Musa and Sher failed in their effort to stop the replacement of the incumbent education secretary. Musa had punched the finance minister who was in support of the replacement.

The internal rift in the Pakistan Peoples Party camp on ethnic basis proves the resentment that is being expressed against the excesses of the Baltistan lobby in violation of both merit and rules in G-B.

The CM has been accused of diverting development funds and employment opportunities to his hometown at the cost of the rest of the area.

Charges of nepotism amongst senior appointments have dented the image of the provincial government and fuelled sectarianism, ethnicity and regionalism in the most sensitive areas of the country where sectarian violence has often been a result of petty issues.

Such policies also damage the image of the political set-up which has come into being following a six-decade-long struggle.

Peer Muhammad

Peer Muhammad

A correspondent for The Express Tribune in Islamabad.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.