Nationalist leader arrested in Gilgit under terrorism charges

Ghizar: A leader of Balawaristan National Front (BNF) has been booked under terrorism charges for taking part in political activities in Gilgit Baltistan on Thursday.

Qayoom Khan, a local leader of BNF was, earlier, placed under the fourth schedule of Anti Terrorism Act 1997. He is first victim to face such baseless charges in the region, despite the fact that there was no such official ban on political activities of the organization.

Yasin police had taken him into custody on Monday from his residence in Barkolti. He was first taken to office of Superintendent of Police (SP) Ghizar in Gahkuch, and then produced in Anti Terrorism Court (ATC) in Gilgit. The honorable judge of ATC, Justice Shehbaz Khan was surprised to see that he was harassed without any legal cover. A large number of legal fraternity and political activists was also present at the moment.

However, the police took him back to Yasin the same day and registered FIR against him under Anti Terrorism charges. He will be appeared before the same ATC in Gilgit today.

Qayoom Khan belongs to respected indigenous family of Yasin valley. He contested general election of Gilgit Baltistan Legislative Assembly last year, but withdrew at the last movement for being victimized by the government and protesting against the launching of CPEC project without consultation of local leadership. He blamed the local government of accepting ruthless dictation from Islamabad against the wishes of local population.