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23 May 2018

Hostage for 10 hours, Police Chief airlifted to Gilgit

Usman Zakaria IGP Police Gilgit

Gilgit—Law enforcement agencies in Gilgit have launched a targeted operation in the city. Four religious leaders—Faquir Shah, Mulana Atta Ullah Saqib,  Sheikh Nayer Abbas and Hassan Shah— have been arrested. The leaders belong to Anjuman e Imamia, Jammat Ahle Sunnat and Tehrik e Jafferia of Gilgit Baltistan. Against the arrest of Nayer Abbas, people took to the streets in Nomal and in the suburbs of Gilgit.  They had blocked the roads and were demanding release of Nayer Abbas.

The situation turned serious when Inspect General of Police, Usman Zakaria arrived on the spot to negotiate a way-out. That attempted aborted and the police chife was taken into hostage by protesters for almost 10 hours. They were demanding release of Nayer Abbas in exchange for Zakaria. He was besieged in a private house reports said. A large contingent of security forces reached Nomal and negotiated to recover Usman Zakaria. An Army helicopter airlifted him back to Gilgit.

The PPP government of Gilgit Baltistan is criticized heavily for disproportionately dealing with crimes and terrorism in the region. 

The protesters in Nomal have also besieged a major powerhouse, cutting supply of electricity to Gilgit and other regions. The power was negotiated to be restored after 20 hours but was cut off soon.

Meanwhile, efforts are underway for release the three arrested religio-political leaders. They have been arrested under the directives of Mehdi Shah, the Chief Minister of Gilgit-Baltistan.

After the killing of JUI politician and religious leader Mulana Abdul Rehman, Mehdi Shah has threaten through media statements that he will go after those who use mosques for politics.  A day later, a targeted search operation started and some religious leaders were arrested. Reports claimed that all the four leaders have been shifted to Ghizar District.

The PPP government of Gilgit Baltistan is criticized heavily for disproportionately dealing with crimes and terrorism in the region. The real killers go untouched and soft-targets are harassed and detained for months in order to wash away public pressure. No legal proceedings, judicial reports or political resolves are even waited for. 

Asim Iqbal and Irfan Khan have contributed to this story from Gilgit Baltistan
Photo Credits: 
Shaheen Cable TV © 2012, Danyore