–‘Pakistan’s enemies exploiting regional issues against CPEC, Diamer-Bhasha Dam’
ISLAMABAD: In a surprising revelation, a young nationalist has exposed a ‘plot’ against the multi-billion dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).
Addressing a press conference in Gilgit on Saturday, Afaq Ahmed, who remained associated with several nationalist parties like Balawaristan National Front (BNF) Abdul Hameed Group and Balawaristan National Students Organisation (BNSO), claimed that the “people working for foreign elements tried to make him their part”.
Afaq, born in Gilgit in 1993, was contacted by the elements after noticing his views and activities on social media regarding the nationalism of GB. The activist, who studied in Lahore, and later shifted to Karachi for further education, was impressed by the activities of the nationalist parties like BNF and BNSO, mostly run by outsiders.
After being elected as the president of BNSO Lahore chapter, he was initially tasked to deal with issues related to the GB students in the colleges and universities. During the same time, Abdul Hameed, who heads these parties from outside the country, contacted Afaq and appreciated him for his work for the students and extended all kind of financial support to him, the young nationalist said in his confession.
He was also asked to motivate more students in various education institutions towards the party. Hameed also tried to motivate the youth towards his party for, what he claimed, freedom of the GB and eradication of the sense of deprivation.
ESCAPE TO AFGHANISTAN:
According to Afaq, he later shifted to Karachi and got admission in the University of Karachi. While studying in Karachi and working in a restaurant as part-time job, he was once informed that the police are trying to arrest him. Meanwhile, a Facebook friend, Naila Qadri Baloch, approached him as he feared arrest.
The lady suggested him to shift to Quetta for shelter. A man named Mir Murtaza received Afaq in Quetta and shifted him to a safe house in August 2017, owned by Mir Wadood Raisani.
Later on, under the pretext of threats to his life, Afaq was shifted to Chaman and then to Afghanistan. In Afghanistan, he was given a separate house by a person named Umar at Wesh Mandi, Spin Boldak, a border town and the headquarters of Spin Boldak District in the southern Kandahar province of Afghanistan, next to the Durand Line border with Pakistan.
“I was given Afghan mobile sims and internet facilities to reconnect with my friends on social media. Meanwhile, Raisani came to see me there and appreciated my activities for the rights of GB. He also asked me to continue the efforts. Since I had the communication facilities, Naila and others also contacted me in Afghanistan,” Afaq said.
Meanwhile, Raisani, through his men, asked Afaq to record a video message in which he was asked to talk against CPEC and Chinese investment in GB. The video, he informed quoting Raisani, was to be sent to Geneva and other international organisations. Raisani also informed him that the video message would also be shared with Abdul Hameed, Wajahat, Sardar Shaukat, and other nationalists, who were already propagating against CPEC.
Naila and Raisani also assured Afaq that through Afghan passports, he would soon be sent to Geneva to raise his voice against CPEC at various international forums.
“A few days later, Raisani suggested me to share more names in GB to make groups of nationalists to train them in Afghanistan and later start a freedom movement in GB while taking up arms against the government,” he said, adding that “this was the moment I felt I have been trapped by the enemies of Pakistan. Although throughout my career I stood for the rights of GB, I never talked against Pakistan.
“After facing various difficulties, I managed to flee from Afghanistan and reached Islamabad, where police arrested me and after facing trial in courts, I am now back in Gilgit,” he said.
“Through the statement in media, I want to inform all those students, political activists and nationalists that enemies of the country are exploiting their issues and using them against CPEC, Diamer-Bhasha Dam and other regional projects. They should be aware of these conspiracies. Demanding rights is not a crime but do it while living in the country. Don’t let the enemies use our words and slogan against the country and national interests,” he advised youths and fellow activists.