Members of Awami Action Committee Photograph:( ANI )
The region of Gilgit-Baltistan and the misnamed 'Azad' Kashmir ('AJK') in northeastern Pakistan face severe power shortages
Leaders of a Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) based party have challenged the Pakistani establishment to form a joint team and access the ground situation in Gilgit-Baltistan where the people for long have been facing the question of their survival for different reasons.
The region of Gilgit-Baltistan and the misnamed 'Azad' Kashmir ('AJK') in northeastern Pakistan face severe power shortages, pay higher prices for electricity and receive no royalty from Pakistan against the acquisition of land for China's multi-billion dollar projects under the CPEC and dams raised in the illegally occupied territories.
Addressing the media here, members of the Awami Action Committee (AAC) said: "We have a proposal for Pakistan, let's form one team comprising our members and the journalists and another team comprising members of the administration."
"The Government team can raid common households and our team be allowed to raid government departments. They (Government) can seize our electrical equipment if they find it a luxury for us and let us raid their special electrical connections and transformers they have set up specifically for administrators," they said.
"Let us see if this could resolve this matter of electricity," they said while mocking the Pakistani establishment over the ongoing economic crisis that has badly affected the people in the region, who lack access to water, electricity and even the most basic requirements.
They also stated that had they rejected the taxation policies introduced in the federal budget by the Pakistan government, which negatively impacts businesses in this region.
"The Government of Pakistan first installed a plastic meter during the construction of a 14-megawatt hydropower plant in Gilgit-Baltistan. They coerced us to install those meters saying there would be no electricity issues from now on," said another member.
"Earlier we had much efficient German made meters at our homes but they replaced them with these cheap plastic meters. Where are that crores of money? Another 18-megawatts hydro-electric project is under construction. They would make us install a new metre for that and so on. Electricity does not come just by installing metres," he added.
The Awami Action Committee also pointed out that the region receives no royalty from Pakistan against the acquisition of land for multi-billion dollar CPEC project and dams raised in the illegally occupied territory of Gilgit-Baltistan.
They added: "Electric poles are pegged on our land, wires are laid through our land, rather than getting royalty we are facing load shedding and shortage of drinking water due to dirty water held up after the construction of dams. We are drinking that dirty water just in the optimism of getting uninterrupted power supply. This whole gamut of installing new meters is just to make money through corrupt practice."
There is widespread resentment against the Pakistani administration in Gilgit Baltistan.
They are saturated with the ill-practices of corruption and continuous suppression, which Pakistan has been perpetrating for decades.