LONDON (June 30, 2012): About 150 activists from the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) gathered outside the Pakistan High Commission to protest against the long hours of loadshedding in Azad Kashmir and the crackdown by the AJK government on the protesters.
Organised by the UKPNP, the protesters alleged that in some parts of Azad Kashmir there was no electricity for more than 24 hours and the local administration had failed to do anything about this situation. They alleged that hundreds of traders and ordinary citizens have been put behind the bar across Azad Kashmir for raising their voice against the power shortage.
Saqib Rafique, UKPNP senior vice president, said the Azad Kashmir government was taking draconian steps to suppress the democratic right of the people, who had lost all hope in the ability of the government to deliver anything, to protest. He said that the Pakistan People’s Party led government in Azad Kashmir was more concerned about paying visits to Larkana to “perpetuate its rule” and was “totally oblivious” to the plight of the poor, who suffer from deep economic deprivation.
The UKPNP said tens of thousands of Kashmiris migrated to Britain and elsewhere precisely for the reason that Mangla Damn was built on their lands in Mirpur district but Kashmir was not getting the right amount of royalty as well as now it was facing acute power cuts.
Usman Kayani, UKPNP president, called on the Pakistan government to release prisoners in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir and answer questions over the spate of sectarian killings in those areas. He said the situation in those areas warranted attention by media and human rights organisations, as not only the locals were living in danger facing threats from terrorists but they were also at the receiving end of the administration’s brutal policies.
A memorandum was presented to the Pakistan High Commission on the occasion in which the Pakistan government was urged to take effective steps for ending loadshedding in Azad Kashmir.
The News International