A two-member bench of the Supreme Court on Wednesday referred the Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Minister’s petition against the appointment of judges in GB to the Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) for the formation of a larger bench. Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Shahid Waheed heard the case seeking to set aside the appointment of judges made by the Prime Minister of Pakistan without the advice of the GB chief minister and cabinet. During the course of proceedings, Advocate Makhdoom Ali Khan said the power to appoint judges rested with the provincial government and the chief minister under the Gilgit-Baltistan Order 2018. The GB Governor bypassed the CM and the provincial government on the summary for the judges’ appointment, which was approved by the Prime Minister, he added. He said Gilgit-Baltistan had an elected government which was bypassed in appointing judges. In the civil aviation case, the Supreme Court ordered the appointment of a commission for the appointment of judges in 2019, he added. He said the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision had not yet been implemented. Justice Ijaz said the issue of the appointment of judges in Gilgit-Baltistan was important. He consulted the fellow judge and decided to send the matter to the Chief Justice to form a larger bench. Attorney General for Pakistan Mansoor Usman Awan said the Federal Government had submitted a reply to the Supreme Court and pleaded to the court to fix the case for an early hearing. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court ruled to abolish the verification requirement for issuing passports and identity cards to the Hazara community. This decision was made during a hearing on the suo motu notice against the target killings of the Hazara community. During the hearing, Justice Athar Minullah inquired about the status of the community’s problems. The community’s lawyer responded that while progress had been made, issues related to bank accounts and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) still needed to be resolved. The additional attorney general (AAG) informed the court that the federal government had submitted its reply and that the problems of creating bank accounts, passports, and identity cards for the Hazara community had been resolved. As a result, Hazara community members will no longer need any kind of verification to obtain passports and identity cards. In addition to abolishing the verification requirement, the court also ordered that Hazara community members arriving from Europe and Australia should not be harassed at Quetta Airport.