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Protests erupt against “sham” elections in PoK - Pak army and Imran Khan are in the firing line

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Locals are protesting against the elections in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (Photo: IANS)

Picturesque Sharda Neelam Valley has been tense since Monday evening amid allegations that the elections in the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have been rigged. Thousands of people thronged the streets,  protesting against the alleged electoral fraud by the Pakistani army and the ruling party led by Prime Minister Imran Khan. When the protesters were asked to stop their “peaceful” protests by the Pakistani security forces, they refused. In return, they were  baton charged by the forces. There was also a firing incident.

The famous ancient Sharada Peeth, temple close to the Line of control (LoC), sits in PoK’s Sharda village in the Neelum Valley, at a distance of around 140 km from Muzaffarabad. 

Since Pakistani media is “ignoring” PoK protests against the Pakistan army, local people have posted pictures and videos of brutalities of the forces on social media. 

 

“Ateeq Shah an unarmed civilian who has been shot dead by Pakistani Paramilitary Force today in an unprovoked attack in Sharda Neelam valley “Azad” #Jammu #Kashmir . Netizen Mehtab Ahmed shared the picture of the victim. 

He also shared the video of soldiers of Pakistani Frontier Crop thrashing the protestors. 

“Pak Army,FC  & unarmed civilians in Sharda, Neelam face to face, FC opened fire on civilians ,1 killed & another seriously injured in an unprovoked  attack. Public anger rises, demanding FC personnel be arrested. Raising slogans for independence.”

Watch : Videos of Kashmiri protests in Sharda Neelam Valley in POK. Protestors are also asking for freedom from Pakistan.

 

 

 

 

Activists and small local parties have been accusing the Pakistani establishment of conducting “fake” elections. 

“In Kashmir, only a party that accepts the idea of Pakistan's accession to Kashmir can participate in the electoral process. #ElectionBoycottAjk2021 .”

Like Imran Khan’s win in national elections in 2018, this time too the Pakistani army made sure the winning of his PTI party in POK, replacing rival Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N in a triangular fight.

The opposition parties PML-N and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) have refused the result of the elections in POK calling it “sham”.

“I have not accepted the AJK election results… and I will not. I had neither accepted the results of the 2018 general election nor this fake government. The PML-N will soon announce a strategy on this shameful rigging in the AJK polls,” PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz tweeted on Monday.

Even the PoK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider has called the election 'a farce.' "The assembly elections were nothing but a farce exercise to hoodwink the people," he said in a statement.

There is apprehension that after winning the elections, Imran Khan and the military establishment will try to make PoK, another province of Pakistan under pressure from China. 

India has conveyed its strong protests to Pakistan and reiterated that the entire Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, including the areas of so-called Gilgit and Baltistan are an integral part of India by virtue of its accession in 1947. The Government of Pakistan has no locus stand on territories illegally and forcibly occupied.

Read More: Man rescued from PoK police station by locals after he hurled shoe at PTI minister

Read More: The great plunder of Pok and Gilgit Baltistan