About 150 activists from the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) gathered outside the Pakistan High Commission to protest against the killings, kidnaps and arrests of political and human right activists especially arrest of President of Anjaman e Tajiran Mr Iftikhar Feroz and Baba Khan (political activist) and demanded of immediate release and withdrew of fake cases against them. Protesters also raised their voice against the long hours of load-shedding in Azad Kashmir and the crackdown by the AJK government on the protesters.
Baba Khan and two other activists were among estimated 100 political and Human rights activists who were arrested last year with blame of ransacking a police station and torching government offices in Hunza. But as per the independent sources they were only protesting against the killing of a disaster-hit man and son during a clash between the police and the people affected by the Attabad Lake. But police lodged a false case against BABA Khan and others under the anti-terrorism act just to press their voice in support of the agencies and even Baba Khan was tortured during investigations and also attacked in jail by the ISI supported personal. It is believed that Mr Baba Khan's life is at great danger in jail and UKPNP demanded for his immediate release and an independent enquiry into the matter.
Organised by the UKPNP, the protesters also alleged that in some parts of Azad Kashmir there was no electricity for more than 24 hours and the local administration had failed to do anything about this situation. They alleged that hundreds of traders and ordinary citizens have been put behind the bar across Azad Kashmir for raising their voice against the power shortage.
Iftikhar Feroz President of Anjaman e Tajiran, was arrested for protesting against the long hours of load-shedding in Pakistani occupied Kashmir, which forced them to close their businesses and shops as there is no production possible or supply demand can be met without the electricity supply. Businessmen and local traders were protesting peacefully against long hours load-shedding when they were charged with sticks by the police and other under cover agencies.
Protesters also raise their concerns over the killings, kidnaps and arrests in Gilgit Baltistan on the name of religion and sectarian basis. Many locals were stopped and taken off from the buses and then shot to death by the militants who have strong support of the secret agencies, who are functions in all parts of the Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan to press any voice and Human rights worker stand against the illegal occupation of Pakistan or demand the basic rights to live a normal life.
Usman Kayani President UKPNP Britain, said tens of thousands of Kashmiris migrated to Britain and elsewhere precisely for the reason that Mangla Damn was built on their lands in Mirpur district but Kashmir was not getting the right amount of royalty as well as now it was facing acute power cuts and if they raise their voice for the rights either they been killed or but in the behind bars to press their protests.
Saqib Rafique, UKPNP senior vice president, said the Azad Kashmir government was taking draconian steps to suppress the democratic right of the people, who had lost all hope in the ability of the government to deliver anything, to protest. He said that the Pakistan People’s Party led government in Azad Kashmir was more concerned about paying visits to Larkana to “perpetuate its rule” and was “totally oblivious” to the plight of the poor, who suffer from deep economic deprivation.
Zahid Mehmood UKPNP Media Secretary, called on the Pakistan government to release prisoners in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir and answer questions over the spate of sectarian killings in those areas. He said the situation in those areas warranted attention by media and human rights organisations, as not only the locals were living in danger facing threats from terrorists but they were also at the receiving end of the administration’s brutal policies. Mr Mehmood further said that the division of Kashmir as Gilgit Baltistan is not acceptable as its an integral part of State of Kashmir and UKPNP will always stand against this division of Kashmir.
Jamil Latif UKPNP Secretary General said that the protest across Kashmir is in result of the cruelty and injustice of Pakistan with Kashmiris and for treating them like their bought slaves. Mr Jamil also thanked to the workers and leaders of UKPNP, who travelled from across the Britain and Europe to join and support the UKPNP London unit in this demonstration.
Tanweer Azam President Poonch District who is on visit to Britain said that all the workers and leaders are united and standing steady with our great leader and chairman UKPNP and we assure our full support to the UKPNP leaders and workers in Britain and I congratulate the UKPNP Britain for organizing this successful demonstration to highlight problems in Kashmir and to show UKPNP support to our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
During this demonstration speakers pointed to the High Commission workers from ISI wing and said keep making video of protesters, UKPNP leadership and workers to report and please your masters in Pakistan. UKPNP never afraid of agencies and also ready to pay any price for standing and defending basic human rights and interests of people of Kashmir, even UKPNP workers gave their lives for this noble cause and will not fear if more sacrifices demanded.
Other speakers Akhtar Kashmiri, Abrar Abbasi, Sardar Tahir Khan, Tanweer Azam, Intikhab Ahmad, Naqeer Ahmad, Sardar Anwar Jamal, Syed Guftar Hussain Shah and Sajid Abbasi condemned the use of force against the political and human rights activists in Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistani Occupied Kashmir. They also demand the immediate withdraw of the Pakistani army from all parts of Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan and to let the Kashmiris decide their future either they want freedom or accession with India or Pakistan. They futher said that Government of Pakistan has no right to control the administration of Kashmir.
Sardar Afzal Tahir founder of Kashmir International Front, also address the protesters and assure full support in campaign for basic rights of people of Kashmir.
A memorandum was presented to the Pakistan High Commission on the occasion in which the Pakistan government was urged to take effective steps for immediate release of the political and human rights activists and for ending load-shedding in Azad Kashmir.
United Kashmir People's National Party
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