The land of atrocities By Manzoor Parwana

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The land of atrocities By Manzoor Parwana

Gilgit Baltistan, the land of atrocities, where hundreds of political

leaders and rights defenders are facing state brutalities besides

fabricated cases for 3 decades. Ironically, there seems no improvement

in the situation and the rights abuses go on unabated in the disputed

territory. There are a number of political activists who are still

behind bars for raising voice for the rights of the two million

disenfranchised people of Gilgit Baltistan. Syed Haider Shah Rizvi,

one of the most prominent nationalist leaders from Skardu, passed away

while defending himself in one such concocted case.

Manzoor Parwana, chairman, Gilgit Baltistan United Movement (GBUM),

was booked in a treason case on July 28, 2011, and after the passage

of about five years this case is still progressing at a snail’s pace.

The state is deliberately trying to delay the case to torture him

financially and mentally. Mr Parwana is charged with putting the

security of the country at a stake by demanding the reopening of the

ancient trade route Skardu to Kargil to re-join the divided families

across Loc.

Progressive youth leader Baba Jan and Iftikhar Karbalai have been

awarded life imprisonment after being booked under the anti-terrorism

act for raising voice and leading rallies for the rights of the people

displaced by the Attabad Lake. They are at the moment languishing in

the district jail of Gilgit.

A leader of the Ghizer Youth Congress, Tahir Ali Tahir, has also been

booked in another treason case for struggling to ensure the basic

rights of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. Another treason case is

under adjudication in the chief court of Gilgit Baltistan against

Karakorum National Movement chief Javed Hussain , Mumtaz Nagri, Taaruf

Abbas and their colleagues. The Balor Research Forum leaders Engineer

Amanullah and Sulatan Madad , Right activist Hidayatuualh Akhtar, GBJM

Chairman Shujaat Ali, Secretary General GBDA Burhan Ullah , AWP leader

Wajid Ali, GBNM Chairman Dr. Ghulam Abbas and dozens of others

political activists are also booked in sedition charges.  They are

charged on speaking in a conference on the issue of Gilgit Baltistan

and Kashmir.

The, scores of political activists and nationalist leaders including

Col retired Nadir Khan, Safdar Ali, Iftikhar Hussain, Waseem and

others were rounded up by the police and put in jail for trying to

hand over a memorandum to the UN observers in the city regarding the

public reservations over the China Pakistan Economic Corridor last

year in Gilgit. Recently Muhammad Qayoom of Balawaristan National

Front was sent to prison, participating in a public protest on the

boundary issue with KPK.

It is very disturbing to note that most of these political activists

and rights defenders were booked under the anti-terrorism act and

treated as terror suspects for raising voice for the rights of the

people of the region.

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