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PoK activists slam Pak oppression at UNHRC

PoK activists slam Pak oppression at UNHRC

Pakistan’s image took another beating at the global stage when political activists from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan held protests in Geneva, urging the UN Human Rights Council to intervene and save them from “oppression” and “terrorism” at the hands of country’s government and army.

“Pakistan pushes the narrative that the people of Balochistan are happy, that they want to be part of Pakistan. This narrative is baseless and demeaning to the actual lived experiences of the Baloch. The people of Balochistan were never asked whether they wanted to be part of Pakistan. Furthermore, they never gave their consent to have their territory annexed into the fundamentalist hotbed that Pakistan is. The Pakistani government has denied their right to self-determination,” said Arif Ajakia, a human rights activist from Pakistan who was amongst the many who braved rain and cold to protest at Broken Chair in Geneva at the sidelines of 43rd Session of Human Rights Council.

The United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP), which calls itself “a political party which believes in freedom, democracy and equality, and advocates an independent, united and socialist Kashmir” also used the opportunity to draw attention of the participating delegates towards the growing human rights violations taking place in PoK.

“In so-called Azad Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan, peaceful political activists and members of civil society have become targets of state infrastructure. Leaders of banned terrorist organizations are roaming freely. Despite FATF recommendation, Pakistan is not serious to take action against extremists, terrorists organizations and groups,” said UKPNP spokesperson Nasir Aziz Khan..