Massive protests and violence erupted in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) on Friday over the Chinese move to build a 33-kilometre road.
According to the reports, the residents of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have launched massive protests against the Imran Khan-led Pakistan government for allowing the People Liberation Army (PLA) to build a road in the occupied Indian territory. A general strike has been going on since January 13, and Friday’s strike is a continuation of the protest against the Chinese presence in the region.
Amjad Ayub Mirza, an exiled activist from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), said that China is building a 33-kilometer road from Yarkand to PoK to move its artillery and military personnel in the region. The activist said that this is the second time in the month such protests are taking place in the PoK region. He said that the protests this time are widespread, last time the strike was limited to the Poonch division but now it has gone out of control.
“China is now building a road from Yarkand of 33 km wide enough to bring its artillery, military and personnel. Things are gearing up in a precarious way, but PoJK people have risen up to the occasion. There will be more protests in PoK, and I think Pakistan has lost in PoJK totally,” said Mirza in the interview to the media.
“The whole of PoJK was under general strike on January 13th and the focal point became Azad Pattan Bridge, which is the entry point between Pakistan and PoJK, that was blocked. Police opened fire, tear gas, and lathi-charged and there were clashes after which police had to retreat back to Pakistan,” said Mirza.
Protests are intense this time, says activist
Activist Mirza said that this time protests are big thing as police check-post was set alight and protests are spreading like a wildfire across 750 miles Line of Control (LoC). People are fed up with food shortages, there is no flour, no electricity, no clean drinking water, and big cities are full of filth because the system has collapsed, added Mirza.
The protests in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir started after the Imran Khan-led government arbitrarily announced the occupied territory as the fifth province of Pakistan.
“Now what is happening that not a single day passes without a protest, sometimes more than one protest in different parts of PoJK. Every single day people are protesting in Gilgit Baltistan, PoJK, and Pakistani media does not report it. International media is not allowed in those areas,” informed Mirza.
Mirza lamented the fact that the elected government of PoK is sitting in Islamabad and merry-making while the public in the region is holding a crusade against Chinese incursions in the area.
“The whole of PoJK government elected after November 15th is sitting in Islamabad, enjoying buffets and parties, having a fun time because it’s very cold in Gilgit. The government of Farooq Haider is called ‘miscreants’ by its people. PoJK has gone out of the hands of Pakistan, it has lost it. There is no sentiment for Pakistan in PoJK,” he said.