The streets of Muzaffarabad city in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) were filled with the dissent of the youth regarding an allegedly “discriminatory and suppressive” legislation sanctioned to regularize ad hoc, temporary and contractual employees. The protest that erupted in the city also included two prominent civil society activists who echoed the voices of the youth.
The protestors accused the government of corruption, nepotism, and working towards the oppression of the people of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The government in power in the region, earlier, approved a law addressing the years-long demands of regularization of the temporary, ad hoc, and contractual workers, but the protestors accuse the government and say that only those who had a connection or any sort of allegiance to the ruling party got the job.
A petition is also filed in the high court in the region against the legislation, challenging the constitutional aspect of the law. The petition, which was filed by five individuals and two civil society activists, mentioned that the sanctioned legislation did not align with the constitution of that region and called the law “inconsistent and in contravention with the constitution.” The petition also said that the law had been passed disparaging the UN Charter of Human Rights.
The unemployment rate in the regions of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is amongst the worst in the areas under the governance of Islamabad. The young people in Pakistan looking to get employed are constantly denied occupation systematically over the years. The protestors have pledged to continue the demonstration and keep the dissent on the streets of Muzaffarabad until the law is taken back by the legislative assembly or is annulled by the court.