Anti-Pakistan protests erupt in PoK, protesters demand basic rights

Kotli Sattian, PakistanUpdated: Dec 05, 2018, 12:11 PM IST


Story highlights

While expressing anger over exploitation of their land and resources, people demanded an absolute freedom from the clutches of Pakistan.

Unprecedented scenes of anti-Pakistan sentiment swept across the illegally occupied territories of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir where locals gathered in thousands to protest against the seven-decades of subjugation of Islamabad.

While expressing anger over exploitation of their land and resources, people demanded an absolute freedom from the clutches of Pakistan.

Leaders urged the protesters to ramp up their peaceful campaigns citing Pakistan will soon have the authority over all their prerogatives with locals reeling under abject poverty and depravity.

Shafqat Inqalabi, the leader of Karakoram National Movement said, "I just want to ask as to which freedom you will ask for when your water and electricity will be owned by someone else. What will you do when mountains of Gilgit will be given to Pathans and Punjabis? What are we going to with the freedom that will come after the water of Neelum-Jhelum comes under their control and they will have a complete authority over the resources and equipment of Bhasha?"

Suppressed for seven decades, the people of PoK have not only been denied basic rights but are also forced to lead their lives on terms dictated by Islamabad`s political puppets in the region.

The protesting leader accused that Pakistan is hell-bent on destroying their identity and has been propagating a narrative that suits its oppressive agenda in the region.

Another Nationalist leader, Sardar Ahmad stated that Pakistan lies about its own history and has denied the history of Kashmir.

"Pakistan is being taught the book `Mutala-e-Pakistan` which is full of lies. The book is full of misinformation. Pakistan lies about its own history. The history which is taught to our children carries the narrative of rulers and politicians of Pakistan and not the narrative of locals. The history of Kashmir is banned," Ahmad stated.

Thousands of people gathered in Hunza valley to protest against the intermittent and hours-long power cuts that have made the lives of the locals miserable.

Lamenting the novercal treatment meted out to them by the authorities, locals asserted that hefty bills were being charged from them for limited hours of power supply with students and women who required the energy most are taking the toll of the mistreatment.

Singer Abida Khanum also participated in the protest saying, "Today, we have gathered here because Hunza has no electricity for days now. It is said that Hunza is a developed region but we, the local citizens know the fact, and we know what is going behind the bushes."

She further asserted that the people of Hunza valley have been deprived of basic human rights as well as constitutional rights by the government of Pakistan.

"We are not getting our basic rights here, we are not getting constitutional rights and we are not getting all other rights too. There is an acute shortage of water and electricity and all those people who are sitting at higher constitutional positions have everything for them; they have generators. It is an incompetent and a puppet administration. Everybody, especially the students and women are only suffering," Khanum said.

The region, which was forcefully occupied more than seven decades ago by Pakistan, has still not been given any recognition or constitutional status.

It continues to suffer a step motherly treatment. People demanding their rights are more than often subjected to inhumane treatment with their voices getting muzzled with brute force.