Note by Comrade Sherbaz of the Free Baba Jan Committee
Those helping the Hunza Five in Gilgit as well as some more information:
There is a panel of five advocates in Gilgit helping Baba Jan and his friends for the last 11 months voluntarily. They are Ihsan Ali, former president Gilgit High Court Bar Association, Mohammed Nafees advocate, Jafar Ali advocate, Jahanghir Shah Advocate and Shafqatullah advocate. They have been to the various courts involved in these cases and have appeared on each hearing in the courts. These advocates are fighting the cases of the Hunza Five despite the threats and offers from different sections of the government and other political parties. This is to appreciate the efforts of these advocates working in difficult times. Labour Party Pakistan thanks these advocates.
In Karachi, there have been 12 protests by Labour Party Pakistan and Free Baba Jan Committee to demand the release of those detained in Gilgit jail. These advocates used their influence to motivate students and young activists from Gilgit to take part in these solidarity demonstrations and hunger strike camps.
In Free Baba Jan Committee, there are several Left groups and trade unions participating: Labour Party Pakistan, Progressive Youth Front, National Trade Union Federation, International Socialists, Jamu Kashmir National Awami Party, Gilgit Baltistan Youth Adhoc Committee, Biloristan National Student Organisation (Naji) , Biloristan National Front (Hamid) and Karakuram National Movement1.
In Gilgit itself, demonstrations are not taking place because of the difficult objective situation. However, Baba Jan has become a folk hero of the youth and students in particular throughout the valley. When, in the beginning of this month, the news arrived in Ali Abad, Karim Abad and Nasir Abad Hindi in Hunza valley that Baba Jan had been granted bail, there was a huge wave of sympathy for the comrades and people were preparing their welcome in thousands but Baba Jan was framed in another case.
Why is the government terrified of releasing Baba Jan? The reason is that they are afraid that many more will be in the streets to demand justice for the victims of the Atta Abad Lake and the compensation movement will start again. The religious parties, the parties of the rich and the bureaucracy are also not happy with the politics of Baba Jan and his friends who are very militant in actions and always there to help the most downtrodden strata of the valley. There is an alliance of these three groups to keep Baba Jan inside the jail.
Member Labour Party Pakistan Karachi Committee,
Progressive Youth Front,
Member Free Baba Jan Committee Karachi