Islamabad, December 25: Thousands of Gilgit-Baltistan bound passengers are stranded on the Karakoram Highway due to forced closure of the road by the residents of Kohistan district. The protests are being held against alleged highhandedness of the Diamer police who, reportedly, roughed up two residents of Kohistan while stopping them from entering the district on a Non-Custom-Paid (NCP) vehicle.
The GB government had ordered the police to gradually block entry of NCP vehicles into the region due to reports that they are being used in acts of violence and terrorism, apart from being an environmental nuance.
Efforts of the authorities to negotiate with the protesters failed and the thousands of passengers, including women, children, the elderly and patients were forced to spend the day inside their vehicles on the KKH, in the chilly cold weather.
Hundreds of vehicles coming from Giglit and Skardu were also ordered to return to their basis, due to the forced road closure.
Residents of GB based in Islamabad have deplored the situation and asked the GB and KPK government to help the commuters reach their homes safely.
The KKH is the only paved route connecting Gilgit-Baltistan with the rest of the country. Traveling on the road has become a source of trouble for the commuters due to threats of terrorism, as well as due to sporadic protests held from time to time by different communities.