People in PoK live in atmosphere of fear, says Kashmiri leader

Geneva [Switzerland], Mar 12 (ANI): A leader from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) has said that the people in the so-called ‘Azad Kashmir’ or Free Kashmir have no freedom and they continue to live in an atmosphere of fear.

Speaking to ANI here, Mahmood Kashmiri, chairman of Jammu Kashmir National Independence Alliance (JKNIA), said: “We have no control over there. Pakistan has sent officers and officials from various secret agencies. In ‘Azad Kashmir,’ an atmosphere of fear exists.””In such a situation, there are very few people who speak against it. Those who speak are being harassed by the security agencies of Pakistan. Despite all, a large number of young people are there who oppose Pakistan’s forceful occupation,” said the PoK leader, who attended the 43rd Session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Pakistan continues to occupy PoK and Gilgit Baltistan since October 1948, when Pashtun tribal militias supported by Pakistan Army attacked Jammu and Kashmir.

In the late 1980s, the country used the territory as a breeding ground for terrorists for its proxy war against India.

The leader also expressed anger and concern over the effects of terrorism, radicalisation, and intolerance on local populations in the PoK in the name of ‘Jihad’.

He accused Pakistan’s intelligence agencies of trapping Kashmiri youth in a cycle of terrorism.

Mahmood Kashmiri said: “In 1988, they started proving shelter to terrorist outfits and the locals have protested against it. They have clearly stated that such terror activities are unacceptable.””The issue of Jammu and Kashmir is a political issue, which is required to be resolved politically. Now, a strong voice is present (in PoK) which defies any kind of terror activity in the region. The people are standing tall against it. It is impossible that we are being used as proxies in the age of social media,” he added. (ANI)