ISLAMABAD, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday signed
the Gilgit-Baltistan Internal Autonomy Ordinance 2009,allowing the region to
exercise its political dependence, local TV channel ARY News reported.
In its special meeting Aug. 29, Pakistan's federal cabinet approved the
Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009, which would be
implemented through a presidential ordinance.
Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani earlier said that replacing the
Northern Areas Governance Order 1994, Gilgit-Baltistan had been proposed as the
new official name of the Northern Areas where a governor would be appointed by
the president to represent the federation.
Besides changing its nomenclature to Gilgit Baltistanr, the government
aimed at giving the Northern Areas full internal autonomy, local media reported.
Gilani said the Chief Minister of the region will be elected by the
Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly, who will be assisted by six ministers.
The Northern Areas is the northernmost part of Pakistan. It became a single
administrative unit in 1970 under the name "Northern Areas." With its
administrative center at the town of Gilgit, Gilgit Baltistan covers an area of
72,971 square kilometers and has an estimated population of 1,000,000.
Special Report: Pakistani