Lahore: Protesters have taken to the streets in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) against human rights abuses and crackdown by the Pakistani security forces. Over 500 youth, including Gilgit’s top political activist Baba Jan, have been taken into custody by the Pakistani security forces.
Angry protesters said these young men were imprisoned for demanding political rights and asking the Pakistani army to leave Gilgit’s soil. Raising “anti-Pakistan” slogans, angry protesters took to the streets in Gilgit town, Astore, Diamer and Hunza of the the Gilgit- Baltistan region, which is only Shia-dominated area in Sunni-dominated Pakistan.
The political crackdown and arrests in Gilgit were made against people protesting against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which they said would only benefit China and Pakistan’s Punjabi traders.
The youth of Gilgit are not being involved in any manner with the CPEC and those who are protesting are being harshly dealt with, protesters said. During an all-party meeting called to discuss the recent violence in Kashmir on Friday, PM Narendra Modi asserted that “PoK is ours” and added that there was a need to track persons who had fled the PoK so that their accounts could be publicised.
“Foreign ministry should take initiatives to develop contact with citizens of PoK settled abroad and apprise them about how their family and friends are treated there,” Modi said.