Activists from PoK are holding massive protests against Pakistan, demanding freedom and peace. On Monday, September 25, at the 54th Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, political activists from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) raised slogans against Islamabad to vacate Kashmir and allow them live a peaceful life.
The activists were participating at a demonstration organised by United Kashmir People’s National Party at the Broken Chair. The protest was also attended by Pashtuns, Sindhi, Baloch and activists from Bangladesh who jointly condemned extremism and terrorism.
The protesters carried with themselves banners “STOP human rights violations in PoJK and Gilgit Baltistan” and “Pakistan must stop Human Rights Violations”. The PoK and Gilgit Baltistan is witnessing an outrage against Pakistan due to violation of human rights, misuse of laws and issues like high inflation, poverty and unemployment.
Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, the exiled Chairman of United Kashmir People’s National Party, said, “Our people, under Pakistani occupation, are protesting. Our protest has continued since 1948 – asking Pakistan to vacate this territory because it is not for Pakistan…In PoK, huge infrastructure has been installed by Pakistani Intelligence Agencies and everywhere they are moving around freely and harassing people.”
He further added that they are asking the global community and UN to look at Pakistan exploiting their natural resources. “We are asking them to respect the dignity of Kashmiri people, respect our freedom of expression and all those political workers who are in detention or proscribed by the Pakistani agencies just so they can’t communicate with the people…We are facing slavery and exploitation and natural resources…”
Furthermore, earlier in September 2023, an activist from the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir Shabir Choudhry expressed the general public’s concerns and blamed Pakistan for the huge protests being held across the region. He stated that the residents of PoK are facing load shedding, food insecurity, high inflation and unreasonable tax imposition among various other concerns.
He had also appealed Indian Prime Minister Modi for help, appealing to the leader to free them from Pakistan’s illegal occupation.
Reports of protests against Pakistan has often been in news. Earlier, in year 2018, massive protests erupted in Rawalakot in PoK due to Pakistan’s increased support and financing of terror activity in the region. The residents and political activists in PoK had then blamed Islamabad for “providing shelter, training and finances to terror groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM).
Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, including Gilgit-Baltistan, is part of Jammu and Kashmir, and has been under the forceful and illegal occupation of Pakistan since 1948.