Thursday, September 29, 2022

Kashmiris stage anti-Pakistan protests, highlighting Islamabad’s human rights atrocities

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On the fringes of the United Nations Human Rights Council’s 50th session, which is now underway in Geneva, a group of Kashmiri activists led by the chairman of the United Kashmir People’s National Party, Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, marched against Pakistan.

They chanted anti-Pakistan chants and demanded that ‘Islamabad release’ Kashmir and other portions of the country that it had unjustly held for decades. They carried banners that said, “Stop taking land and occupying PoK hilltops” and “Terrorist infrastructure must be removed.”

In his address to the marchers, Shaukat Ali Kashmiri stated that Pakistan has allowed the army free rein and that it is increasingly implicated in human rights crimes in the region.

According to Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, Chairman of the United Kashmir People’s National Party, “It is the only country that exists just to serve the army and not the people. And here we are, representing all persecuted nations. We have come together. We shall fight together against slavery, natural resource plundering, and human liberation”.

Soon after the partition of British India in 1947, the Pakistan army, mostly made up of tribal mercenaries, attacked and seized a portion of Jammu and Kashmir.

Since then, PoK and Gilgit Baltistan have been under their control. Islamabad has been unduly exploiting the region’s land, resources, and people for many years.

While on one side, Pakistan has marginalized these people socially and politically, it has exploited all their resources indiscriminately. Their land and rivers are used to serve the people of Pakistan and not those who have a prerogative over them.

“We are going to submit a memorandum to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. We are here protesting against the Pakistani atrocities. Pakistan is plundering our natural resources. It is occupying our land,” ANI quoted Nasir Aziz Khan, Spokesperson of UKPNP, as saying.

“We are the owners of the rivers, dams but they are producing electricity and exporting to Pakistan and there is a shortage of electricity of 15-20hrs a day. There is unemployment, there is terrorism, there is extremism promoted and projected by Pakistan and we are here to raise our voices against these atrocities,” he was further quoted as saying.

Kashmiri activists have time and again knocked on the door of the international community to intervene in the rapidly worsening human rights situation in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

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