Islamabad: Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) has been dealing with a tense situation for the past week now after two clerics from different schools of thought made insensitive remarks hurting the feelings of the respective communities, reported Dawn.

Following this, the authorities have suspended mobile internet services across the region till further orders.

The Gilgit-Baltistan government has dismissed the reports of army deployment as baseless and said that it has requested the services of the Pakistan Army and civil armed forces to maintain law and order ahead of Chehlum of Hazrat Imam Hussain.

However, a top official said that the security situation in the region is normal and added that the decision to suspend internet services and impose Section 144 had been taken to maintain law and order, reported Dawn.

Moreover, the situation turned even more tense on Friday following the demonstrations held in the Gilgit city and nearby areas on the call of Anjuman-i-Imamia, hours after prominent cleric Ma­u­lana Qazi Nisar Ahmed allegedly made derogatory remarks during a protest in Gilgit.

Following his remarks, the protestors were demanding action against the cleric.

Sheikh Baqir Al-Hussaini, a prominent Islamic expert living in Skardu, is reported to have sparked protests in August with his sacrilegious comments. He has been charged with making disparaging statements about religious and historical figures, as reported by Pamir Times.

Demonstrators want the academic to be detained and a complaint will be lodged against him.

According to an official, an FIR has been lodged against Mau­lana Qazi Nisar Ahmed at the City Police Station Gilgit, while an FIR has already been registered in Skardu against Baqir Al-Hussaini, reported Dawn.

Demonstrators want the academic to be detained and a complaint will be lodged against him. They have vowed to keep the roads blocked till the scholar is arrested.

Following the blocked Karakoram Highway and the Babusar Pass road for three days, unrest has spread in the region, demanding Agha Baqir’s arrest.

The government further suspended two police personnel and a school teacher over allegations of sharing sectarian posts on social media. Moreover, over 12 persons were picked up for posting controversial posts, as per Dawn.

On Saturday, along with the US and Canada, the UK advised its citizens to avoid visiting the northern areas.

The United States has issued a travel advisory for its citizens asking them to remain vigilant and practice caution in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) amid violent protests in the region.

The US Embassy and Consulates in Pakistan in its advisory has asserted that due to recent protests in Skardu and Diamer regions, there are chances that large gatherings may become violent.

"Even large gatherings intended to be peaceful may become violent with little or no warning," it added.

The Gilgit-Baltistan government further decided that legal action would be taken for "insulting the beliefs of any religion and holy persons" and the government would take all measures to maintain law and order, reported Dawn.

It will also ensure normal business and tourism activities in all circumstances, according to the meeting.

Moreover, it stated that the government is keeping an eye on those who propagate hatred through social media and other means, according to Dawn.