A wave of anger has swept towns and villages across the illegally occupied Gilgit Baltistan after the stooge administration launched a crackdown against the political activists, dissenting political leaders and anybody who hasn’t fallen in line with the arbitrary orders of the government.People across the region have taken to streets and are demanding the immediate release of activists who have been falsely implicated and have been awarded rigorous punishment. Carrying pictures of Baba Jan, a prominent local activist cum leader serving a ninety-year sentence on trumped-up charges, and shouting anti-establishment slogans, people said that the government had grown fearful of the growing resistance in the region.

Amzad Hussain, a local political leader from the region said that the government of Pakistan had been exposed at the global forum for its increasingly authoritarian attitude and it was now using all tactics to muzzle the voice of the people.”A number of our brothers are languishing in jail for years. Everybody knows about them. Even the United Nations has mentioned them in its report on the region. The UN Human Rights Commission report has its mention. They all know the atrocities being meted upon brothers of Gilgit Baltistan.” Said Amzad.

Another political activist Shabir Mayar, a local leader of Awami Action Committee, Gilgit Baltistan urged the youth to remain united against the barbarity of the establishment.He said that the establishment was planning a systematic elimination of all the voices that posed it a challenge.”The Bureaucrats come from Punjab and suppress people after targeting them. Trade in the area has suffered massively. Small businessmen have been deeply affected. Truly hard working people of the region are living in the state of abject poverty. We will have to come together and rise, else, slowly but certainly, they will kill us all. We will have to brace ourselves for the future,” Mayar said.

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The local leaders, who do not find adequate mention in daily publications and news channels have appealed to people to gather in even greater numbers in the coming time.They have also asked the government to release Baba Jan and other activists before the scheduled elections in the region.Pakistan has for decades been plundering the region of its land and resources and been giving it nearly zero returns.Demanding rights has seemingly become an unwritten crime in Gilgit Baltistan. Anybody who has dared to raise his voice against this discrimination has been subject to intimidation, arrest and imprisonment.

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