“Don’t beat us, just shoot us”, “Electric shocks, beatings”, “India crossed all limits of atrocities in Kashmir” — these are some of the headlines reported by some Pakistan-based new channels. For someone, who isn’t aware of the history of Kashmir, it may appear as a pure form of brutality.
How can one trust a country that is known worldwide as a safe haven for terrorists? Moreover, what’s more deplorable is that in spite of causing damage to its neighbors India and Afghanistan, Pakistan has itself faced significant damage in the past. From 2008 Islamabad Marriott Hotel Bombing to 2014 Peshawar School Massacre, terrorist groups created by ISI and Pakistan Army have come back to haunt them.
However, this is not what we are going to cover today, as today we shed light on the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, also referred to as “Gilgit- Baltistan”. Many people in the world don’t even know that people in this region, were once a part of Jammu and Kashmir, before Pakistan’s forcible annexation in the late 1947.
But the things are slowly moving in the right direction and one testament of that came recently when the UN Human Rights Commissioner Michelle Bachelet spoke on the violations carried out by Pakistani forces in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit- Baltistan for decades.
There have been a long news of Pakistan suppressing their voice with brutal force, arbitrarily arresting those speaking against the Pakistani occupation and imprisoning them under the draconian laws like Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA). A recent example is of a local political leader Baba Jan.
This is altogether a different angle which hasn’t been covered by both the domestic and international media house. One contrasting difference between Indian Kashmir and Pakistani occupied Kashmir is that where the former has preserved its historic culture, the latter is notoriously known for annihilating the local population.
You must have heard about the internet shutoff in Kashmir, due to the security threat that India faces with regards to any unforeseen intrusions from Pakistan. Have you seen the number of news channels that reported this news and got in favor of Kashmir? The answer is- “Many”. It shows that Indian laws and governance allow open media without any regulations. But what about the other side? At least what India is doing, it’s doing to protect its lands, its borders, its people, and even the United Nations has fully supported India.
Whereas, Kashmir present in Pakistan remains directly under control of the regime and even media is not allowed to report fairly about the developments there.
While Pakistan has been raising a hue and cry over the Government of India’s decision to end special status to J &K, it conveniently ignores that how illegitimately it seized all of the powers of the locals in Gilgit-Baltistan.
It was on May 21 last year, the Pakistani government promulgated “Gilgit Baltistan Order, 2018”, which triggered a huge outcry by the locals. The local bodies were snatched and the justice system was tampered with, it was a move to further suppress the indigenous people of the region.
India has not maintained an aggressive stand on Gilgit-Baltistan. It’s perhaps this notion that facilitates Pakistan to spew venom and spread false news about India. We should never give up our claim on Gilgit-Baltistan and India should try hard to regain control on these areas. It would not just help the locals who have been fighting for their independence but it would also help areas like Skardu connect better with Ladakh, for they share the same culture, and ethnicity.
We must stand united with the atrocities against the people in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) and support the Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement. This move has the potential to put an end to terrorism. Aided by Pakistan Army, areas like Muzzaffarabad, Neelum district should be restored to normalcy and the world has to support India, if it wants to avert attacks like 9/11, Paris Attack, etc.