Gilgit-Baltistan: Massive protests in Hunza by families of political prisoners

New Delhi (NVI): As Pakistan tries to forcibly merge Gigit-Baltistan with the mainland under China’s pressure for completion of CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), people in Hunza Valley staged a sit-in today for the release of their family members who are under forcible detention and enforced disappearance for years.

A massive protest rally was held in Hunza by the families of politicial prisoners in Gilgit-Baltistan who remain in Pakistan’s illegal custody for raising their voices against oppression by Islamabad and ISI.

Political and Human Rights activists have condemned for long the illegal detention of people from the region who have been arrested merely for criticising the Pakistan government or military.

“05 Oct 2020 Gilgit Baltistan. Families of political prisoners stage a sit-in in Hunza for the release of their loved ones. Baba Jan, Iftikhar Ahmed, Aleem & dozens others have been jailed for 70 to 90 years since 2011 for raising voice for the Basic Human Rights issues in GB,” tweeted Prof Sajjad Raza, Chairman of National Equality Party of Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir Gilgit Baltistan (PoJKGB).

Baba Jan who has been serving sentence behind prison bars for 6 years now. Reportedly, he is the longest-serving political prisoner in occupied Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan.

People in Gilgit-Baltistan, have been demanding the release of Baba Jan and 13 other political prisoners before elections.

Even as mainstream Pakistan media doesn’t highlight the plight of people in Balochistan and Gilgit Baltistan, under pressure and censorship from Pakistan government, innocent citizens in these regions are facing hardships and the loss of their loved ones under Islamanad’s oppressive regime and appeasing Beijing for construction of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

In a recent media briefing, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur stated that Pakistani Government has decided to change the status of G-B and to make it a full-fledged province.

India has opposed Pakistan’s plans to conduct elections in Gilgit-Baltistan on November 15, saying that the Imran Khan government has no locus standi on territories illegally and forcibly occupied by it.

India has also slammed the Pakistan government for its intentions to make material changes in areas under its illegal occupation and make Gilgit-Baltistan its fifth province.

Pakistan plans to hold an election for the so-called legislative assembly of Gilgit-Baltistan on November 15, following which it will move towards making the region a full-fledged province.

India has also called upon Pakistan to immediately vacate all areas under its illegal occupation.

In recent weeks, Pakistan has repeatedly raised its “fabricated narrative” on Kashmir at international platforms such as UN but India has exposed Islamabad on the status of Gilgit-Baltistan, part of the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

-ARK