Gilgit-Baltistan: Neutral Forces to Guard the Disputed Border, Till the Decision of the Boundary Commission Formed by SC

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MANSEHRA (Dawn): The federal government has started deployment of Frontier Constabulary and other forces in the area between the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where a dispute over a checkpost set up by the GB led to blockade of Karakoram Highway and protests in Kohistan this month.

“Yes, the deployment of neutral forces has been started in the disputed territory in the boundary area between the KP and GB and these forces would stay there until a commission established by the Supreme Court decides the issue once and for all,” said deputy inspector general (DIG) of police Akhtar Hayat Khan Gandapur while speaking to media persons here on Sunday.

The KP government had made a commitment with the elders of Kohistan on Dec 20 that the government would address their reservations about the checkpost established by the GB in the disputed territory on Karakoram Highway within 15 days.

“Yes, the deployment of forces led by the federal government is part of the agreement reached between the district administration and local jirga of Kohistan people earlier this month,” said Mr Gandapur.

The protesters in Kohistan had blocked the KKH for four consecutive days earlier this month, demanding removal of the controversial checkpost, which according to them, was established by the GB government in the KP’s territory.

The DIG said that according to the agreement reached between the jirga and district administration at the time of reopening of the KKH no force of KP and GB would be deployed in the disputed territory until the ownership issue was settled. Mr Gandapur said that the Supreme Court had set up a commission to settle the dispute between KP and GB in 2007 and now these forces would remained deployed until the commission completed its work.

“These forces would also take over the controversial checkpost established by the GB,” he said and added that more paramilitary forces would be deployed and their arrival was in progress.

The DIG said that the divisional administration was also in contact with both the federal and provincial governments to resolve other issues related to the people of Kohistan. He said that the issues of land compensation and employment opportunities for local people in construction of Dassu dam would also be addressed.

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