In PoK, locals raise anti-Pakistan slogans, demand removal of Army
The ongoing protest in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) against Islamabad’s atrocities and rigged polls reached a new boiling point on Friday when agitators criticised the provincial government and raised anti-Pakistan slogans demanding removal of Army.
Angry protesters raised slogans for ‘Azadi’ (freedom from Pakistan) and slammed the Pakistani security forces for torturing and killing innocent people in the region.
In the video that has surfaced today, protestors can be seen raising anti-Pakistan slogans and demanding freedom from the rule of Pakistani political parties and their media.
“Hum kya chahte? Azadi!” and also “Pakistani media haye haye!” (‘What do we want? Freedom!’ and ‘Down with Pakistani media!’), people are seen shouting in the video.
In the Gilgit-Baltistan region, a separate administrative unit in the northernmost administrative territory of Pakistan, protesters took to streets against crackdown by Pakistani security forces that saw incarceration of over 500 young residents.
Angry protesters said that these young men were imprisoned for demanding political rights and asking the Pakistani Army to leave Gilgit's soil.
The protests are being seen as a huge setback from Nawaz Sharif’s government and his Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) which had won the elections which were held on July 21.
Pakistan Human Rights Group had earlier confirmed the allegations of rigged elections, saying that there was a role of corrupt practices and money and muscle power was used to swing the results in winning party’s favour.
Neelum Valley in PoK especially has become the scene of the protests, with police having a tough time controlling the protesters.
The crackdown and arrests in Gilgit have also forced the people to protest against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which they said will only benefit China and Pakistan's Punjabi traders.
Earlier his week, Asian Human Rights Commission had accused Pakistan of encouraging police excesses and torture in the Gilgit-Baltistan region of PoK.
The AHRC report mentioned that with the police handling the prosecution department, tortures of individuals are not reported. What comes as a surprise to the AHRC is that torture is not considered a crime in Pakistan. Also the Gilgit Baltistan region is not represented in the Pakistan’s Constitution.
Recently, demands for merging with India in the region had gained momentum with locals alleging large human rights violations and illegal detentions on the soil on which Pakistan has been claiming rights for Kashmiris.