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“India must act, cannot remain aloof from current situation in PoJK”: Human rights activist

Political activist from PoJK Amjad Ayub Mirza (Photo: ANI)

Political activist from Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) Amjad Ayub Mirza said India cannot remain aloof from the current situation in PoJK and must act now. He called on India to focus on PoJK as the situation is getting out of hand there.

Mirza said people of PoJK, particularly the younger generation are confronting Pakistani forces on the streets. He said that Pakistani forces have been shooting people and at least two people have been reportedly killed recently. He said that one police SHO is rumoured to be killed and the situation is getting out of hand.

In a statement, he said, “India cannot remain aloof from the current situation in Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir. At the moment, our people are fighting. The whole of Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir has been shut down by peaceful protesters who are being beaten up and shot at by the Pakistan police, Punjab police, the so-called Azad Kashmir Police and the FC.”

“Situation is getting out of hand. It already is actually out of hand. and India now should focus all its attention on Pakistani-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and help and facilitate the independence of this occupied territory, including Gilgit-Baltistan,” he added.

He accused police of entering people’s houses without warrants. He further said that police entered the house of Joint Awami Action Committee leader, Shaukat Nawaz Mir, without any warrants.

He said, “At the moment, the people of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir especially the young generation is out on the streets and they are confronting Pakistani forces. Pakistani forces are shooting at them and at least two people have reportedly been killed.”

“One police SHO has also been rumoured to be killed. Situation is getting out of hand. Security forces and police are entering people’s houses without warrants. They have entered the house of the leader of Joint Awami Action Committee, Shaukat Nawaz Mir, without any warrants,” he added.

Calling on India to act considering the situation in PoJK, he said, “The situation is getting worse by the day. India must act. India has to act. India must not follow the footsteps of previous governments where they thought that by ignoring Pakistani-occupied Jammu and Kashmir it can be business as usual. It is not business as usual. And if today the Indian government does not step up their efforts to free PoJK and Gilgit-Baltistan then this golden chance of our freedom will wither away.”

Meanwhile, the Awami Action Committee in Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) has vowed to continue protests amid a police crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in Muzaffarabad.

Protests against inflation turned violent on Friday as police cracked down on demonstrators in the capital, Muzaffarabad. The city was brought to a standstill as a wheel-jam and shutter-down strike paralyzed normal activities.

Shaukat Nawaz Mir, a prominent figure in the movement, narrowly avoided arrest and emerged as a leading voice, addressing gatherings across the town, and emphasizing the determination to continue their struggle.

“Put any tag on us, but as long as God is with us, you cannot harm us. Let us live in peace. If you raid people’s houses again and arrest them, there will be no peace. I am saying this openly,” said Shaukat Nawaz Mir in his address.

He added, “I appeal to everyone to save your region, save your identity. If your identity remains intact, everything will be possible; otherwise, nothing could be achieved. I have faith in all of you that you will fight this long battle and achieve success. The battle has to be fought with peace and by saving ourselves. It will be difficult to fight if you don’t stay grounded.”

The Awami Action Committee called for the protest, demanding tax-free electricity from the Mangla Dam and subsidies on wheat flour.The strike was catalyzed by overnight police raids resulting in the arrests of numerous leaders and activists. Clashes ensued between law enforcement and protesters in Muzaffarabad, Dadyal, Mirpur, and other parts of PoJK.

Reports indicate that Pakistan’s security forces employed excessive force against peaceful demonstrators. Tear gas and bullets were reportedly used against unarmed civilians exercising their right to protest.

A protester and senior citizen whose house was raided by security forces said, “My house was raided yesterday evening, and another attempt was made this morning, but I stopped them. Those people who are with the action committee are not going to back down.”