Chilas: A group of transporters on Sunday said that they will close all traffic on the Karakoram Highway and the Babusar Pass, leading connecting Gilgit-Baltistan with the KP province. They said that the suspension of traffic will start on the 23rd of August (Wednesday).
Addressing a press conference in Chilas, the transporters said that they were forced to protest due to the ‘excesses’ of the Hazara police. “They take up to 5,000 rupees from us on the pretext of fines”, said the coaster transporters’ leader, Haji Muhammad Javed, flanked by other members of the transport union.
They said that passengers want to travel through the Babusar road, which remains open for a few months, because the region is beautiful and the journey takes less time. “Only the transporters from Gilgit-Baltistan are being fined by the Hazara Police”, said the union leaders.
They said that route permits are not being issued to the coasters and other large vehicles, allowing the policemen to plunder the poor drivers and transporters.
The union leaders demanded halting of the fines, and giving route permits to the transporters from Gilgit-Baltistan.
“We have been demanding permission for traveling on this route but our pleas have been ignored. We will close traffic on the KKH and Babusar Road from the 23rd of August, until our demands are met”, the union leaders said.
The Babusar road is frequently used by smaller vehicles carrying passengers from and to Gilgit-Baltistan. Larger transport vehicles, like buses and coasters, however, have not been issued route permits by the KP government.