Thu, 23 Mar 2023

Muzaffarabad [PoK], July 18 (ANI): Dozens of angry residents in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) are blocking the region over Islamabad's harsh policies that are reportedly hurting the economic interest of locals.

PoK's four million residents have never been allowed to speak a word and address their political and socio-economic grievances. Its high unemployment rate, poor infrastructure, and lack of resources force its citizens to migrate to large cities of Pakistan where they are only allowed menial jobs as labourers, cleaners at hotels, drivers, etc.

Pakistan is unable even to provide the bare minimum necessary to keep people alive in its colonized state, reported Asian Lite International.

The difference in allocation of funds as well as development projects in Kashmir - PoK and Kashmir amply describes the tale of two Kashmirs.

At the beginning of this fiscal year, India presented a USD 13.33 billion budget for the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory. New Delhi allocates nearly five times more funds to JK than Islamabad allocates for PoK.

While India is implementing several new projects in Jammu and Kashmir to meet the demands of the post-Covid economy, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on the other hand has suffered many budgetary cuts with the government favouring corrupt politicians as well as China making inroads into the territory and using the land to fulfill its ambitions.

At the 50th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, UKPNP (United Kashmir People's National Party) chairman and human rights activist Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri held a demonstration at the 'Broken Chair' monument to condemn Pakistan's forcible occupation of Kashmir and serious human rights violations in PoK.

He said, "Pakistan has no locus-standi on its occupied Kashmir. It has illegally occupied Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Back home, Pakistan is fighting tooth and nail to put an end to rallies in Muzaffarabad (PoK) through threats and torture. It has given a free hand to Pakistan Army in the region to mellow down the angry mobs through 'whatever ways necessary', reported Asian Lite International.

Since July 1, women and children have been sitting on roads for days in PoK, shouting slogans of freedom and demanding the army return to barracks. Many people have been arrested, reported Asian Lite International.

The Planning and Development Department of PoK reports that 50 per cent of the total population of the region has no access to piped water; 78 per cent of the total households have no tap water connections.

And on the other hand, the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam is a ticking bomb for PoK, which can swipe all lives in the area.

The electricity produced in PoK relieves the heat in Punjab, while people of the region face load shedding of 18 to 20 hours. The water of rivers is diverted for hydropower projects built by Chinese companies.

For three years in a row, there is a severe shortage of food grains leading to starvation, reported Asian Lite International.

Since July 2 the locals of Gilgit-Baltistan have staged a sit-in blocking the Karakoram Highway in Nasirabad, Hunza, to protest against the minerals department for permitting mining leases to an outsider company.

There are rumours that Pakistan may cede Gilgit-Baltistan to China on lease to pay off its growing debt. They will do anything to appease China - their puppet masters, reported Asian Lite International.

Chairman of Karakoram National Movement, Mumtaz Nagri, expressed her fear but told people to stand their ground and "not to be scared of Pakistan's spy agency and be prepared to go to jail". The people at large recently expressed a desire to merge with India.

All those who oppose the government in PoK are labelled as traitors or agents, and then put through a series of torture, humiliation, or even worse - jail. Since its inception, Islamabad has exploited the land, resources, and people of PoK indiscriminately.

Through the nation, they are treated as outsiders, second-class citizens, or maybe not humans at all looking at the present scenario, reported Asian Lite International. (ANI)

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