- GB administration terms reports on media “baseless”.
- Home dept to take special measures for Chehlum.
- Govt says businesses, educational institutions are open as usual.
As reports regarding the worsening law and order situation in Gilgit-Baltistan gained pace on social media platforms, the region’s Home Department clarified that the situation is, in fact, completely peaceful.
For over a week now, social media posts shared from the country’s northern region have reflected unrest and tensions with the mobile internet services reportedly suspended by the authorities, The News reported on Sunday.
The department also denied news and speculations circulating in the media regarding the deployment of the Pakistan Army, terming it “baseless”.
However, section 144 has been imposed across the province to maintain law and order, protect the life and property of the people, and avoid any untoward incident.
All communication roads, trade and business centres and educational institutions in Gilgit-Baltistan are open as usual, the department said, adding that the services of the Pakistan Army and Civil Armed Forces have been procured to maintain peace and order during the Chehlum Imam Hussain (RA), along with this, special measures have been taken for the security of the procession routes and Imambargahs like in the past.
‘Reports of unrest are baseless’
Endorsing the GB home department statement, Caretaker Information Minister Murtaza Solangi rejected the “misleading social media narratives and fake news” setting the “record straight”.
Taking to X, formerly Twitter, the interim minister wrote: “Gilgit-Baltistan is experiencing peace and stability. Schools, colleges, markets, and roads are open, displaying a sense of normalcy. Peaceful protests do occur at times in reaction to some religious and sectarian concerns but the law and order situation is calm.”
He maintained “no army deployment” has taken place, but the military personnel are prepared to protect the community during the chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA) in the coming week.
Refuted all reports of tensions in the region, the minister said: “The reports of unrest are baseless; no shots were fired, no damage to public and private property did occur.”
However, Solangi also did not deny the protests, terming it a “natural political democratic response to local issues”. He added that they were managed peacefully in Gilgit-Baltistan.
“Gilgit Baltistan remains a heaven of peace and harmony,” he claimed.
A day earlier, reports emerged regarding the GB government’s decision to call in the army for the maintenance of the law and order situation in the region.
The decision, as reported, was made during a meeting of the Parliamentary Peace Committee headed by GB Chief Minister Gulbar Khan. In view of the alleged worsening state of peace in the region, the meeting reportedly decided to deploy Rangers, scouts and Frontier Corps personnel in big cities.
Meanwhile, the GB administration imposed a ban on “illegal gatherings” and blockage of streets with heavy contingents of Rangers, scouts and law enforcers scheduled to be deployed in all major cities to ensure peace in the area.
The GB chief minister warned of strict action against spreading hatred on social media platforms and via other sources.