LAHORE, Sept 20: Pakistan Labour Party SecretaryGeneral Farooq Tariq on Tuesday alleged an intelligence agency was torturing political workers in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
Flanked by party leaders from GB, Tariq told the media at the Lahore Press Club that the agency picked up scores of workers of his party and was now torturing them.
He said the political government was helpless in the face of the ISI and was not ready to come to the rescue of political workers. Giving background of the action, he said police opened fire at the people affected by Ataabad Lake when they were rallying for compensation during Chief Minister Mehdi Shah’s visit to the area.
The government had announced Rs400,000 each for 457 families affected by the lake. However, 25 of them were not paid this amount and they decided to stage a demonstration during chief minister’s visit.
Police opened fire at the protesting people, killing a young man and his father. The incident provoked the people who ransacked the police station and office of the deputy commissioner. In reaction, 37 people, including Labour Party leaders and workers, were booked. Out of them, 31 were released, but six, including central party leader affectionately known as Baba Jan, have been detained. “The agency took him from jail and tortured him for three days from September 12 to 15 for protesting for people’s rights,” Tariq said.
If party workers are not released at the earliest and affected families are not paid as per the official compensation package, the Labour Party will start a protest campaign and invite other parties to join in, Tariq said. He said his party would take out a peaceful rally in Gilgit on Sept 25 and Lahore on Sept 26.
“Police, in connivance with the intelligence agency, was rigging the case and this would not be allowed. It was the police that first opened the fire and must be taken to task rather than unleashing a reign of terror on the hapless people,” he said.