Gilgit-Baltistan: Awami Workers Party’s Baba Jan and other prisoners, released after nine years

The Gilgit-Baltistan government has suspended the sentences of Awami Workers Party leader Baba Jan and his associates from the Hunza Valley and released them nine years later.

Those released on Friday evening include Baba Jan and his two accomplices, Iftikhar Karbalai and Shukarullah Beg alias Mathoo, and their families have confirmed that they have reached home safely.

Amin Jan, Baba Jan’s brother and leader of the movement for his release, told that the release was the result of negotiations following a seven-day sit-in in the Hunza Valley in October.

He said that the protest was called off only after the caretaker government of Gilgit-Baltistan assured the release of Baba Jan and 14 other political activists before November 30.

It may be recalled that Baba Jan and other political activists were arrested in 2011 on charges of rioting during a protest by the victims of Lake Ataabad. He and 40 others was sentenced to nine year in prison.

Amin Jan said that the cases against Baba Jan and his accomplices were not over but the caretaker government, using its legal powers, had suspended the sentences of all the prisoners while their appeal was pending in the appellate court.

Before the release of Baba Jan and his two companions, 12 other prisoners were released at different times in the month of November.