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Protesters in Gilgit-Baltistan demand release of Shia cleric, merger with India Pakistan
Photo Courtesy: Video grab from X Page of syedustb

Protesters in Gilgit-Baltistan demand release of Shia cleric, merger with India

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 01 Sep 2023, 06:20 pm

A large number of protesters recently gathered in the Pakistan-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan's Skardu region and demanded the release of a Shia cleric who has been detained over blasphemy charges.

The protesters were even heard shouting slogans demanding to unite the region with India's Kashmir region.

Skardu witnessed protests in recent times after cleric Agha Baqir al-Hussaini was detained and booked for his remarks during a religious gathering.

Despite the Pakistani media’s lack of coverage of the protests in Gilgit, social media has seen the emergence of videos and accounts that show the intensity of the unrest. Since most of it cannot be verified, even this is simply a trickle, reports The Statesman.

Accounts on X (previously Twitter) claim that the first demonstrations on August 22 were by Sunnis calling for the detention of Agha Baqir al-Hussaini. The Karakoram Highway, which connects the hilly area to Pakistan, was subsequently shut.

In videos, local authorities can also be heard warning that if the route was still closed, people would head to Kargil rather than Sindh or Punjab (both in Pakistan).

Along with demanding the release of al-Hussaini and the opening of the roadway, they also threatened civil war.

(Note: IBNS could not separately verify the image) 

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