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Political landscape of GB

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FOR the locals, the short summer of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) may not be as vibrant and promising this year. While on the one hand, the coronavirus pandemic has badly hit tourism in the region, on the other, the upcoming regional assembly election, which many thought would add some exuberance to life, has been postponed.

Political parties in GB are not happy with the decision of postponing the election by the GB Election Commission and view the move with suspicion. There is a popular perception that another king’s party is in the making and the election schedule will not be announced until the ongoing process of political engineering is complete. Some political observers in GB also see a bigger design behind the delay of the electoral process and link it to a major constitutional shift for the region.

In the election schedule issued on July 2, the GB Election Commission had declared Aug 18 as polling day. But later, election commission officials regretted that preparations for managing the polling in August were still incomplete. They declared that the commission needed to delay the election for at least two months so that appropriate arrangements could be made. Although the political parties have started their electoral campaigns, the scale of activity does not match the political zeal of the region, mainly because of Covid-19 concerns and the prevailing uncertainty about the election.

Politics in Azad Kashmir and GB is mainly steered by the power corridors in Islamabad. This is a general belief that the ruling party........

© Dawn

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