Illegally occupying territory is one thing and sustaining the illegal occupation is a different thing altogether. Pakistan is suffering from the same dilemma in Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK).
POJK has erupted in protest over the rising cost of electricity, inflation and unjust tax hikes. People in POJK took over to streets in Hajia region of the Rawalkot district. People organized demonstrations and bike rallies to protest against the government.
Frustrated protestors raised concern over the hikes in the price of electricity despite the long power cuts. The protests also led to standstill in the region as a call for complete shutdown was also made by the protestors. The call was well received by the people across POJK as most of the area remained closed.
The nationalist parties and the pro-Independence groups also urged the people to break-free from the clutches of imperial Pakistan that can’t even provide basic amenities to the people. On of the prominent cause of such massive protest is the luxuries enjoyed by the Pakistan Army, leaders and bureaucrats. All of them thrive on the cost of poor Kashimiris.
Taxes Double As Of Charges
People are enraged by the fact that Pakistan has been illegally occupying a part of Jammu and Kashmir and has exploited the region and its resources. On the other hand, it has only deprived the people of their rights and legal share of the benefits of their own resources.
Sheikh Abdul Rashid, the Chairman of Federation of Realtors said, “They should not change any tax from the people of this region. We are ready to give the taxes that are just. But we cannot allow them to impose taxes of Rs. 5,000 or Rs. 10,000, in a bill of Rs. 5,000. That’s atrocious. We were promised free electricity by the then President when the Mangala Dam was being constructed. Pakistan is already receiving massive benefits from the dam.”
Protestors have demanded immediate roll back of the taxes that have been raised. Along with that, the protestors also demanded a transparency in pricing mechanism, swift economic relief measures and immediate redressal of issues related to health and infrastructure.
Also, this is not the first time that the people of POJK have protested the rising cost of electricity. A month ago, similar protests were held in POJK where people opposed Pakistan’s policy. They protested over the rising cost of electricity and wheat flour. But unfortunately, Pakistan has failed to address the concerns of Kashmiris. Maybe because they actually believe in the reality that the inhabitants are not Pakistanis and are Indians.
Pakistan is nothing more than a land grabbing establishment that see a territory as a piece of land only and does not look after the inhabitants. Now after more than seven decades this harsh reality is emerging out.