Information minister says situation in GB ‘under control’
By News Desk
September 3, 2023 12:28 PM
Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi said on Sunday that the situation in Gilgit-Baltistan is completely peaceful, terming the news and speculations circulating in media regarding the deployment of the Pakistan Army as completely baseless, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
The minister shared a statement on platform X (formerly Twitter).
Solangi tweeted: “In a statement released by the Home Department of Gilgit-Baltistan, it has been clarified that the situation in Gilgit-Baltistan is completely peaceful and the news and speculations circulating in media regarding the deployment of Pakistan Army are completely baseless.
“All roads, trade centers, business activities and educational institutions in Gilgit-Baltistan are open as usual.
“The services of Pakistan Army and Civil Armed Forces have been requisitioned only to maintain law and order on the eve of Chehlam of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA). Moreover, special measures have been taken for the security of the procession routes and Imambargahs as per the past practice.
“It has been further stated by the Home Department that Section 144 of CrPC 1898 has been imposed across the region to maintain law and order, protect lives and property of the people and avoid any untoward incident.”
The developments come after unrest spread in the region following protests in Diamer’s Chilas.
The protesters blocked the Karakoram Highway and the Babusar Pass road for three days demanding the arrest of a religious leader from Skardu for allegedly passing controversial remarks.
Protest demonstrations were also held in Astore, Gilgit, however, they were called off after the registration of a first information report against religious leader Agha Baqir Al-Hussaini.
In reaction to it, a markets and transport strike was observed in Skardu with protesters also blocking main roads, including the Juglot-Skardu road.
Yesterday, a meeting of the Parliamentary Peace Committee was held in Gilgit under the chair of GB Chief Minister Haji Gulbar Khan and attended by several ministers and high-ranking officials.
It was decided in the meeting that legal action would be taken against those who insult the beliefs of any sects in public gatherings.
On Saturday, the United Kingdom joined Canada and the US in advising its citizens to avoid visiting the northern areas.
The US embassy’s statement said that American citizens should exercise heightened caution in GB due to recent protests in Skardu and Diamer and the potential for additional demonstrations, road closures, and associated disruptions to local mobile and internet networks in the region.
Reporter: Awais Kiani