By Farooq Ganderbali
In Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) citizens have no right to buy land and move freely in the rest of the country. The bishop of the Islamabad-Rawalpindi wanted to make a school and a Chapel in Muzafarabad but permission was refused and he was told that non-Muslims are not allowed to own land. According to some socio-political analysts, Pakistan wants a 100% Muslim (predominantly Sunni) population in the occupied territories in order to retain complete control.
The situation would, at a later stage, assist in the wholly illegal claim that the country wishes to make on the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is a diabolic game plan, unlikely to succeed, but made with evil intentions. It is for this reason that the demographic pattern in the region is being changed, with support from the federal government, by settlement of Pakistani Punjabis and Pushtuns over there.
The extent of the depravity of Pakistani society has now also reached Israeli newspapers where a journalist has highlighted the case of Kainat, a 13-year-old girl who wanted to become a doctor but was drugged, kidnapped and gang-raped for four days before she escaped back to her family. Instead of the usual custom of an “honor” killing, the family fought for justice. The police refused to act, because the rapists were powerful in their community.
This is the methodology being used by the powerful state apparatus to subjugate the people, virtually enslave them and take possession of their land. It is the land that the Pakistani establishment covets; the people are secondary and even dispensable. The people of the region are no longer ready to take things lying down. They are coming out in large numbers to protest against the arbitrary manner in which they are being treated.
The people of the region, who have been denied basic fundamental rights since partition of the country, are now openly protesting despite the threat of extreme brutality that the Pakistani establishment resorts to in order to quell their voices. Such is the frustration of the people that they are ready to face danger to their very lives for the sake of their future. Activists of the region are also vociferous in their assertion that the Government of Pakistan has been an active party to the consistent exploiting their natural wealth
Exploitation of natural resources in POK and Gilgit-Baltistan has deprived the natives of the region of their natural wealth. Pakistan is plundering their natural resources without consultation of the local population. Mega projects in the disputed territories of POK and Gilgit-Baltistan is a clear violation of the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir and other international laws.
It is now a common sight in POK for activists to be seen on the streets chanting slogans like “We want freedom,” ‘Down with Lent Officers,” “Foreign forces quit from Jammu and Kashmir,” “Stop plundering natural resources of POK and Gilgit-Baltistan.”
By Farooq Ganderbali