Gilgit-Baltistan protest to free political prisoners intensifies as it enters 5th day

New Delhi (NVI): Karakoram Highway in Aliabad of Pakistan occupied Gilgit-Baltistan’s Hunza valley today witnessed the fifth day of sit-in by locals for the release of their loved ones including several political activists, some of whom have been jailed for 70-90 years since 2011 for raising voice against Pakistan atrocities.

The protesters have been demanding the unconditional release of all political prisoners in G-B including  Baba Jan, Iftikhar Karbalai and others who have been languishing in Pakistan jails for years for raising their voices against Pakistani military and ISI.

The protests have intensified over the last four-five days even as Pakistan media chooses to ignore the voices of people of Gilgit-Baltistan. According to reports, the sit-in has terminated all traffic between Pakistan and China. Pertinently, Beijing tries to expolit the region under an unholy nexus between Pakistani authorities who have been oppressing the locals for years now.

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.

Several human and political rights activists have raised their voice against human rights violations and given their support to the protesters.

“09 October 2020 – 5th day of sit-in at Karakoram Highway Aliabad for the release of political prisoners in #GilgitBaltistan who have been jailed for 70-90 years since 2011 for raising voice for basic human rights. This sit-in has terminated all traffic between Pakistan & China,” tweeted Prof Sajjad Raza, Chairman of National Equality Party of Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir Gilgit Baltistan (PoJKGB).

Prof Raza has been exposing the dark face of Pakistan at international platforms like UN, and making the international community aware of Islamabad’s intentions to plunder the natural resources in the G-B under the garb of development. People in Gilgit-Baltistan have been denied basic human rights and the development in the region only depends upon the will and comfort of Pakistan.

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

In a recent media briefing, Pakistan’s Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur stated that Pakistan 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.