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Tensions Ease in PoJK Following Islamabad’s Concessions, UKPNP Stresses Long-standing Grievances

After days of violent protests and a shutter-down strike in Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK), the situation has begun to calm following Islamabad’s announcement of immediate financial grants. The grant of PKR 23 billion aims to address demands for fair electricity pricing and subsidized wheat flour, which had been central to the unrest in the region.

However, amid the easing tensions, the United Kingdom-based United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) has issued a statement reaffirming PoJK’s long-standing grievances.


Decades-long Denial of Fundamental Rights

In their statement, the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) underscored the decades-long denial of fundamental human rights in PoJK. They cited injustice, inequality, and systematic plundering of natural resources as enduring issues that have fueled the recent protests. The party condemned the eruption of violence, attributing it to the deployment of paramilitary forces such as the Punjab Constabulary and Frontier Constabulary, which are notorious for their alleged inhumane actions.

Reports emerged of three civilian deaths and over 100 injuries during firing by Pakistan Rangers and local police as peaceful protests escalated following a crackdown on local leaders. The UKPNP expressed concern over the re-deployment of para-military forces, fearing further suppression of the people’s movement.

The UKPNP voiced full endorsement of the peaceful struggle led by the Awami Action Committee, asserting its pro-people and pro-peace stance. It vehemently rejected accusations of foreign financing, dismissing alleged links with India, Taliban, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI), Baloch Liberation Army, or any purported Jewish lobby.

Shabir Choudhry, President of the Foreign Affairs Committee, UKPNP, condemned the dissemination of fake propaganda by Pakistani politicians, secret agencies, and media outlets. He emphasized the loss of credibility in such allegations, citing historical instances of baseless accusations against dissenting voices.


Demands for Autonomy and Resource Control

In its demands, the UKPNP called for the establishment of a national grid in so-called ‘Azad Kashmir’, ensuring local control over electricity production and distribution. It advocated for the sale of surplus electricity to Pakistan and emphasized community control over resources, particularly water reservoirs and dams.

Furthermore, the UKPNP demanded the revocation of Act 74, asserting the need for autonomous management of affairs in accordance with local priorities and requirements.

As tensions ease with Islamabad’s concessions, the people of PoJK remain steadfast in their pursuit of justice and autonomy, hopeful for a future free from exploitation and denial of fundamental rights.

The UKPNP’s statement underscores the deep-rooted issues faced by the region, highlighting the importance of addressing long-standing grievances to achieve lasting peace and stability.

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