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Treason charges: Two AAC leaders remanded in police custody

By Shabbir Mir

GILGIT: An anti-terrorism court remanded two leaders of Awami Action Committee (AAC) in police custody on Monday.

Maulana Sultan Raees and Fida Hussain had been charged with treason by the government earlier for observing a strike on a day that coincided with Independence Day of India.

“Both the AAC leaders have been sent for remand till September 2,” a lawyer said.

AAC, which is an alliance of political and religious groups in Gilgit-Baltistan, observed a shuttersdown strike on August 15 against the lack of share for G-B in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

On AAC’s call, business activities came to a halt on the day in the region and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also thanked people of G-B for supporting him.

“There are three other leaders who are being chased by the police,” an AAC leader said, referring to Yaqubuddin, Gulam Abbas and Nizamuddin.

Meanwhile, AAC leaders in Gilgit and Skardu denounced the arrest of the leaders and asked the government to release them without any delay. They said the arrest of AAC leaders was a plot against CPEC.

The AAC members said a meeting of its leaders was held in Gilgit to chalk out future course of action in the backdrop of arrests. “The issue is serious and we will resist with full force,” another leader said. He also asked the government to not terrorise politicians by using ATA charges.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 30th, 2016.

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