G-B ‘denies’ calling in army to maintain peace
In response to the unrest, 4G broadband services in the area were temporarily suspended. However, 2G services remained operational.
Media reports claim law, order in Chilas bad
The Gilgit-Baltistan government has decided to call in the army to quell the escalating unrest in the region, but its home department described the reports as “baseless”.
According to earlier reports, the region’s Parliamentary Peace Committee, which decides law and order matters, made the decision on Friday.
The G-B government decided to impose Section 144 in Diamer’s Chilas, a ban on display of weapons, aerial firing, religious gatherings and any attempts to obstruct highways as a form of protest. It also decided to deploy Rangers, G-B Scouts and Frontier Corps personnel in major cities across the region.
In response to the unrest, 4G broadband services in the area were temporarily suspended. However, 2G services remained operational. The decision came in the wake of the recent unrest triggered by protests in Chilas.
The protesters blocked the Karakoram Highway and Babusar Pass for three days, demanding the arrest of a religious leader from Skardu for his alleged controversial remarks.
However, the state-run APP on Saturday quoted the G-B home department as saying that that the situation in the region was “completely peaceful”. It added that the “news and “speculations” circulating in the media about the deployment of the army in the region were “baseless”.
“All communication roads, trade and business centres and educational institutions in Gilgit-Baltistan are open as usual,” the statement continued.
The home department further claimed that the services of the Pakistan Army and civil armed forces had been procured to maintain peace and order at the Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain.
It added that special measures had been taken for the security of the procession routes and Imambargahs similar to the ones in the past.
The statement quoted the home department as saying that Section 144 had been imposed across the region to maintain the law and order situation; protect the lives and properties of the people; and avoid any untoward incident.
As per earlier reports, protests were also staged in Astore and Gilgit, but came to an end following the registration of an FIR against the religious leader.
In reaction to these events, a market and transport strike was observed in Skardu, with protesters obstructing major thoroughfares, including the Juglot-Skardu Road.
In response, the G-B government deployed the Karakoram Task Force and police on Karakoram Highway, Juglot-Skardu Road, and Babusar Top to ensure passenger safety and the smooth flow of vehicular traffic.