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Army deployed for Chehlum, clarifies Solangi

Army deployed for Chehlum

Gilgit Baltistan remains a heaven of peace and harmony

Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Murtaza Solangi has denied the deployment of Pakistan Army in Gilgit-Baltistan “to maintain law and order”.

In a statement, the minister termed it “rumours” that the Pakistan Army has been called out in Gilgit-Baltistan, adding that the services have been sought on the occasion of Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain.

He took to social media website X, formerly Twitter, on Sunday and quoted the Home Department of Gilgit-Baltistan as saying that “the situation in Gilgit-Baltistan is completely peaceful and the news and speculations circulating in media regarding the deployment of Pakistan Army are completely baseless.”

“All roads, trade centers, business activities and educational institutions in G-B are open as usual. The services of Pakistan Army and Civil Armed Forces have been requisitioned only to maintain law and order on the eve of Chehlam of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA),” he continued.

“Special measures have been taken for the security of procession routes and Imambargahs as per past practice,” Solangi wrote on X.

“Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure 1898 has been imposed across the region to maintain law and order, protect lives and property of the people and avoid any untoward incident,” his message concluded.

It may be recalled that the provincial government had decided to seek deployment of the army to quell unrest in the region on the Parliamentary Peace Committee’s decision on Friday.

The situation turned tense on Sept 1, when demonstrations were held in the Gilgit city and surrou-nding areas on the call of Anjuman-i-Imamia, hours after a prominent religious leader, Maulana Qazi Nisar Ahmed, allegedly made derogatory remarks during a protest in Gilgit.

According to officials, a case had been registered against Qazi Nisar at the City Police Station, Gilgit, while another FIR against Agha Baqir Al-Hussaini had already been registered in Skardu.

Unrest spread in the region after protesters in Chilas in Diamer blocked the Karakoram Highway and the Babusar Pass road for three days, demanding Agha Baqir’s arrest. The unrest spread to Astore and Gilgit where call for registration of a case against Agha Baqir become vociferous.

However, the action did not go down well with his supporters and a shutter-down and wheel-jam strike was observed in Skardu, with the protesters also blocking Juglot-Skardu Road and other thoroughfares on Aug 25.

The government suspended two police personnel and a school teacher on allegations of sharing sectarian posts on social media and 12 others were taken into custody for posting controversial posts.

The Gilgit-Baltistan government has opted to call in the army to ensure peace and security in the region.According to the GB Information Department, Section 144 will be imposed in big cities across the region, and personnel of the Rangers and Frontier Constabulary (FC) deployed alongside GB scouts.

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