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Massive protests in PoK against Pakistan occupation, atrocities

Over 500 youth, including Gilgit’s top political activist Baba Jan, have been taken into custody by the Pakistani security forces. Angry protesters said these young men were imprisoned for demanding political rights and asking the Pakistani army to leave Gilgit’s soil.

Raising “anti-Pakistan” slogans, angry protesters took to the streets in Gilgit town, Astore, Diamer and Hunza of the Gilgit-Baltistan region, which is only Shia-dominated area in Sunni-dominated Pakistan. The political crackdown and arrests in Gilgit were made against people protesting against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which they said would only benefit China and Pakistan’s Punjabi traders. The youth of Gilgit are not being involved in any manner with the CPEC and those who are protesting are being harshly dealt with, protesters said.

It is important to mention that during an all-party meeting called to discuss the recent violence in Kashmir on Friday, PM Narendra Modi asserted that “PoK is ours” and added that there was a need to track persons who had fled the PoK so that their accounts could be publicised. “Foreign ministry should take initiatives to develop contact with citizens of PoK settled abroad and apprise them about how their family and friends are treated there,” Modi said.

Meanwhile, Union Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Jitendra Singh on Saturday started the Tiranga Yatra with a message to launch a formal movement for liberating people from the areas of Kashmir illegally occupied by Pakistan.

“One more battle for freedom is pending and it is that we have to get the people of PoK liberated from illegal occupation of Pakistan so that they are reunited with India,” he said, while beginning his yatra towards Kathua town.

Meanwhile, broadband internet services were on Saturday suspended across Kashmir, except some areas housing government offices and residences of officials, while mobile internet services remained suspended in the Valley for the 36th consecutive day. The broadband services were snapped around 4.30 pm without any reason being assigned for it.

However, the services were restored after half an hour in Bemina, Lal Chowk and Sonawar areas of the city — where most of the government offices and official residences of government officials are located.
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