Pakistan imposes section 144 in Pak-occupied Gilgit to halt protests

Section 144 in POGB
Representative Photo

Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan (POGB) is vehemently protesting against the brutal Pakistani establishment and its puppet government in POGB. And at the centre of struggle is the indiscriminate hike in the wheat prices along with the imposition of cruel taxes under new Finance Act 2023. In a move to thwart the ongoing protests, the occupying-government imposed Section 144 in Gilgit which resisted the protest, rendering people further agitated. Meanwhile, heavy police and FC forces were deployed at Ghari Bagh in Gilgit.

This move comes along with inclusion of many protestors and leaders of Awami Action Committee in Schedule 4, which inscribes the proscribed persons under Anti-Terrorism Act 1977.

The inclusion has further exacerbated the tensions between the Awami Action Committee and occupying government. According to the protestors, the imposition of new wheat price was arbitrary and authoritarian in nature and the imposition of Section 144 has further stopped them from raising their righteous voices. To the worse, the inclusion of about 27 people in Schedule 4 has also violated the status of POGB. Awami Action Committee argues that Schedule 4 is the laws of Pakistan not POGB and hence cannot be imposed directly on the native citizens of POGB. And above all, the inclusion is also wrong as it provisions for the terrorists and the Awami Action Committee is the representative of people raising the voice for the rights of the people.   

Chief organiser of Awami Action Committee lambasts establishment over Section 144

After the imposition of Section 144, Chief organizer of POGB Awami Action Committee Ehsan Ali Advocate addressed the protestors on the deployment of FC and police personnel in Gilgit Ghari Bagh on January 7th. In his address he said that from past 14 days they are protesting in entire POGB. Even that day also they were trying to protest but the administration at Gilgit district headquarters stopped them from protesting using force.

He raised questions to the head of occupying government that his government has been formed based on a law named “Government of Gilgit-Baltistan Order, 2018,” the basis of which is the rights of people. It grants rights to the people to voice for their rights and protest to safeguard them.

He went on to say that instead of serving people, the occupying government is serving Islamabad. The wheat subsidy has been revoked by the orders of the caretaker PM who is installed in Islamabad by the IMF. According to him, the inflation in Gilgit Baltistan is double to that of entire Pakistan. He said that subsidy is not alms but the right of the people. Ehsan Ali lambasted the occupying government saying that 60 per cent of the people of POGB, as per official data, are living below the poverty line and still the subsidy has been revoked, only to please the caretaker PM. He warned the people that till 2025, the price of wheat will rise to Rs. 7000 per quintal.

Pakistan breeds terrorists

Raising question on the intensions of the Pakistan Army, he stated that in the name of protection, the security forces are deployed to crush the protestors. The only one protected is the politicians, officers. Launching a staunch criticism, he questioned the excuse of security reason for the imposition of Section 144. He said that there is no threat because the terrorist are breaded by the power holders in occupying government and Pakistani establishment.

The statements of Awami action committee leader clearly highlights the condition of people of Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan and the way Pakistan is trying to alienate them and make them deprived.

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