Anger in AJK over violence across LoC

Kashmiri people chanting anti-india slogans. PHOTO: REUTERS

Kashmiri people chanting anti-india slogans. PHOTO: REUTERS

MUZAFFARABAD: As Indian-controlled Kashmir simmers over the killing of Burhan Wani, anger spills onto streets of Azad Jammu and Kashmir as well.

In the weeks since Wani’s killing, Kashmiri refugees in AJK along with a considerable part of the population have been taking out anti-India rallies in Muzaffarabad, reflecting anger in the valley against Indian brutality.

All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) AJK chapter leaders and workers have mobilised members of civil society and refugees settled in AJK to continuously stage street protests.

Social activists are working round the clock to highlight excesses of the Indian forces.

Maria Tarana, a social activist in Muzaffarabad, told The Express Tribune that the latest episode of unrest was emotional for them. “Sometimes, we cannot control our tears when we hear that thousands of people have been hit by pellet guns with hundreds losing their vision,” Tarana says.

“Internet was shut and the media gagged in Srinagar. Despite that, we continue to conduct seminars and rallies to highlight the Kashmiri struggle,” she adds.

These protests have resonated far and wide. Tarana points out that for the first time a group of activists from Pakistan, led by Admiral (retd) Fasih Bokhari, travelled to Muzaffarabad to express solidarity with Kashmiris.

When unrest on the other side of Line of Control broke out, AJK was smack in the middle of general elections. However, it did not stop leaders of most religious and political parties from marching to the United Nations Military Observers Group for India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP) in Muzaffarabad to present them with a memorandum. They also voiced plans to launch anti-India protests in the valley soon.

Professor Taqdees Gilani, an active civil society member, says the people of AJK and Pakistan need to approach world human rights bodies about Kashmir. “It is time to approach the global human rights watchdogs to put pressure on India to stop the use of pellet guns in Kashmir,” he says.

“India is lying that pellet guns are not lethal. A weapon that blinds Kashmiris should be highlighted before the entire world how one of the largest democracies in the world was killing the people who are fighting for their political rights and snatches their visibility through a lethal weapon like pellet guns.”

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