A strong group of more than 100 individuals carried out a march in Pak-occupied-Kashmir’s Muzaffarabad city to protest against the Pakistani government’s oppressive and discriminatory policies.
The protestors raised slogans against Pakistan demanding complete independence of Kashmir and jobs for the local youth.
The march was led by Jammu and Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF) and Jammu and Kashmir National Awami Party (JKNAP).
Jobs usually go to the Pakistanis from other parts of the country and not to the local Kashmiri population.
This is not the first time that anti-Pakistan protests are being raised; the local population has frequently voiced their anger at Islamabad’s oppressive tactics in PoK.
As recently as in October 2015, a video showed Pakistani police officers brutally assaulting some protestors in PoK.
The video was discussed at the highest levels in India. New Delhi said that it shows the real face of Pakistan and exposes its lies about PoK.
At the time, Jitender Singh, MoS Parliamentary Affairs, said that people in PoK suffere from “discrimination not just in terms of development but also in the basic facilities provided with respect to health care and education”. he added that there have been instance of human rights violations in the region but Pakistan has always been in denial.
PoK comprises Gilgit-Baltistan region and Azad Kashmir (see map). Though having its own President and Prime Minister, Azad Kashmir is ‘azad’ in name only.
Interestingly, Muzaffarabad is the capital of Azad Kashmir.
Pakistan’s powerful military, which practically calls the shots from Islamabad’s corridors of power, is the one which has the real control over the region.