Sun, 25 Oct 2020

Geneva [Switzerland], September 28 (ANI): A political activist from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir lambasted Pakistan and China, at the 45th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on Monday, for constructing mega-dams in the occupied territories.

Nasir Aziz Khan, Central spokesperson of United Kashmir People's National Party said in his intervention: "Plundering of natural resources in disputed areas of so-called Azad Kashmir (Pakistan occupied Kashmir) and Gilgit Baltistan deprived people of their own natural wealth. Kashmiris are owners of rivers and water but Islamabad is constructing mega dams without consulting local population. Pakistan and China signed agreements to construct Azad Pattan and Kohala Hydropower Projects which will be built on Jhelum River in so-called Azad Kashmir".

He added, "Neelum Jhelum Hydropower is already built. Our natural resources are being exploited, instead of giving ownership and paying royalty, Islamabad is receiving hefty surcharge from local consumers through monthly electricity bills in the name of these projects".

Nasir Aziz said that according to Article 257 of the Pakistani constitution, the State of Jammu and Kashmir is disputed territory. In the international arena, Pakistan is a self-proclaimed advocate and pretends as a champion of the right to self-determination of the people of Jammu and Kashmir,but her actions are contrary to its claims.

"Recently Islamabad unveiled its new political map showing Jammu, Kashmir, so-called Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan as its territories. It shows that she has no love for Kashmiris but wants to take full control of our areas which do not belong to it", he told the United Nations.

"We are ruled through the draconian interim act of AJK 1974 which bans political parties that do not endorse State of JammuKashmir accession to Pakistan, applying for a government job or to take part in elections one must declare loyalty to the cause of accession. Similar rules prevail in Gilgit Baltistan", said Nasir Aziz.

"Those who oppose discriminatory rule are also subject to surveillance, harassment, imprisonment and even killed. Pakistan is violating several articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and wants to impose more restrictions on nationalist political parties and groups through the 14th amendment in AJK act 1974 (Act 2020)", he said.

Nasir also said that the amendment of Article 4 to form an association or union, form or be a member of a political party will be linked with the interest of the sovereigntyintegrity of Pakistan. No person or political party in so-called Azad Jammu and Kashmir shall be permitted to propagate against or take part in activities prejudicial or detrimental to, the ideology of the State accession to Pakistan.

"Therefore, I' urge this august council to take serious note and ask Pakistan to repeal all discriminatory laws and stop imposing new draconian laws and medieval practices in disputed areas of State of Jammu Kashmir", he added. (ANI)

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