The locals in the Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) carried out protests in support of political prisoners in Gilgit-Baltistan, and also against grave human rights violations in the region. The Jammu Kashmir Awami National Party (JKNAP) and the National Students Federation (NSF) on Thursday raised anti-Pakistan slogans in support of the residents of Gilgit-Baltistan, and demanded the release of Baba Jan, Husnain Karmal and others. The protestors said Pakistan was plundering resources of the PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan, which should stop. Another group of the NSF organised its convention on August 25-26. Baba Jan is Gilgit’s leading political figure, who questioned Pakistan’s occupation of Kashmir. Following this, he was jailed for nearly two years along with hundreds of his supporters. The Pakistani intelligence services later tried him in a military court which sentenced him to 40 years of rigorous imprisonment.
The movement to free Baba Jan is being carried out all across the world. Protest rallies are held regularly to highlight Pakistan’s violation of human rights and the atrocities being perpetrated on the Kashmiri people in the PoK. Earlier, JKNAP president Liaqat Hayat, while addressing the gathering at the Rawalakot Chowk, urged Pakistan to abolish military courts as they are being misused to target political activists. “We went to Gilgit last week and met Babajan in jail. He told me that his sacrifice would mark the onset of a new uprising,” he said, amidst slogans of ‘Baba Jan jo riha karo’ (Free Baba Jan). He also opposed Pakistan’s move to declare Gilgit Baltistan as its fifth province and appealed the people of the region to join them against the state’s oppressive policies