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Pakistan Army Forcibly Transports PoK-Gilgit Positive Covid-19 Patients

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MIRPUR: Amid strong protests from locals, the Pakistani military began moving Covid – 19 positive patients from Punjab province to Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan, the two most marginalized areas under Pakistani occupation.

Sources at POK reveal that special quarantine centers have been established in Mirpur and other major cities in the occupied regions to cleanse the Punjab province of Covid-19 patients, as senior army officers have ordered that no positive patient should be near Army facilities and Army family home is there.

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Consequently, large numbers of patients are being transported by closed carriers to the city of Mirpur and other parts of PoK and Gilgit Baltistan.

Local residents have held protests against the establishment of Pakistan’s Covid-19 patient quarantine centers, as the region already lacks infrastructure and trained medical personnel.

They fear that the pandemic will take over the entire region and the lives of the indigenous Kashmir are in danger. However, the senior commanders of the Pakistan army are not concerned about this, as the POK and Gilgit Baltistan are of no political importance in Pakistan, especially compared to the Punjab province.

Muzaffarabad residents are terrified that their region will be affected by the pandemic, and even more so because the area simply does not have health care facilities to treat even minor ailments.

They say that the Pakistani army only thinks about Punjab and nothing else. Jaffar Ismail, a merchant in the busy center of Muzaffarabad, said: “We have been seeing the movement of coronavirus patients from all over Punjab to hospitals in Muzaffarabad and we are very frightened by this latest betrayal of the people of Kashmir by the Pakistan army” .

He added: “The Pakistani military only thinks about Punjab and they want to keep Punjab free from this coronavirus. They are treating Kashmir and Gilgit as the Pakistan garbage dump.”

Dr. Amjad Ayub Mirza, a PoK political activist said: “On the one hand, we are emphasizing social distancing and on the other hand, the government of Pakistan is forcing people to rally and demonstrate against the creation of centers for quarantine”.

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“There is a lack of governance in Pakistan, so they have turned the whole country over to the Army. The Army is making all the arrangements to satisfy their interests,” said the activist.

The total number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Pakistan increased to 1,000. More than 400 cases of COVID-19 were reported in Sindh, the most affected region of the country.

The Punjab province recorded almost 300 cases of coronavirus, while the north-eastern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa confirmed 78 cases of COVID-19.

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