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People in Gilgit stage protest, demand compensation from Pakistan government for acquired land

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

ANI Gilgit Baltistan Aug 08, 2019, 11.54 AM (IST)

People in Gilgit-Baltistan held protests to demand compensation for their lands which were acquired by the Pakistani government, in the name of development, decades ago.

Even though land acquisition took place in 1949, people are yet to be compensated.

Protesters on Wednesday claimed that their ancestors became homeless overnight after the acquisition drive was started by Pakistan in the aftermath of its "illegal occupation of the territory."

Islamabad did not even pay them the market price of the land.

At least 193 families were affected after their lands were acquired for the construction of the Gilgit airport.

The demonstrators alleged that the issue garners politicians` attention before every election and they come up with their template scripts assuring compensation. However, all promises are yet to be fulfilled.

A large number of tourists visit Gilgit-Baltistan every year and the airport is the single major connectivity point.

The exchequer of Pakistan has made billions of rupees because of the Gilgit airport but has deprived the people, who sacrificed their land and possessions during the construction, as per the protesters.

"Today we are not begging but are demanding our rights and if there comes any obstacle in between then we have all the rights to resist and fight them," one of the protesters said.