While Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan (POGB) is witnessing one of the biggest and unprecedented protests in its history, people from all walks of life are contributing to the public cause. In the latest development, the Contractors Association initiated protests for its ten-point demands since yesterday [January 23rd]. However, the oppressive regime showed its brutal face by attacking the protestors of the Contractors Association.
After clashes between the protestors and occupying police in Gilgit, the office bearers of the Contractors Association held a press conference at the Gilgit Press Club, expressing grave concerns over the brutal actions. According to their statement, the Contractors Association presented its ten-point demands of utmost importance to the contractors in Gilgit Baltistan. Their plan of action was to hold a short march from the PWD headquarters to the Chief Secretary’s Office. Upon reaching there, they planned to conduct a short sit-in demonstration before concluding the protest. However, as the short march started from the PWD headquarters, the police barricaded the road to stop the protest. As stated in the press conference, the protestors were attempting to hold a peaceful protest but were instead attacked by the police using tear gas and baton charges.
Contractors Association questions Finance Secretary
Later, the protestors returned to headquarters and began a sit-in there. Criticizing the Islamabad-imposed Finance Secretary Aziz Ahmad Jamali, the protestors claimed that he aims to make Gilgit Baltistan the new Balochistan by oppressing the people. They also demanded the suspension of police officials.
The protest by the Contractors Association is sufficient to illustrate the precarious condition of every individual in Pakistan-occupied Gilgit Baltistan. While the common man is demanding the right to the most basic human necessity – wheat, the working class is demanding their rights to work in a development-oriented environment. Unfortunately, the occupying regime and its puppet government have only engaged in mocking the people’s interests and rights, rather than upholding them.