GILGIT - Complete shutter down strike was observed in Gilgit and Skardu Monday demanding proper share in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and determining the constitutional status of the region.

The call for strike was announced by the Awami Action Committee Gilgit-Baltistan which is the alliance of 11 political parties. The strike was endorsed by traders, nationalist leaders, lawyers and religious parties. High Court Bar Gilgit-Baltistan also boycotted the hearings of all courts. The members of different political parties, civil society organizations and trade unions held protest rallies in Gilgit, Daniyor and Skardu.

Addressing the rallies in Gilgit, Sultan Rais, Chairman Awami Action Committee GB, said that CPEC will pass through 600 kilometers area of Gilgit-Baltistan but it is unfortunate that they are not getting even a single industrial zone or any development project.

“We are not opposing the CPEC. People want that at least they should be informed about the project, be taken into confidence so that they could get to know what all benefits they will get from this project,” he said.

They said that collection of income tax, general sales tax, withholding tax from the people of the region without giving them representation in the parliament was unlawful. Addressing the rallies, Nawaz Khan Naji, member of Legislative Assembly GB, said that people of the area could not get their basic rights even after 68 years of the country’s independence. The protesters also demanded that Gilgit-Baltistan should get representation in the NA, Senate and the National Finance Commission. Meanwhile, an 11-member delegation of Senate Special Committee on CPEC, led by Senator Taj Haider visited the region to solve the CPEC related issues in the region.