Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs (MoS) Jitender Singh, who represent Jammu and Kashmir's Udhampur in the Lok Sabha, today pointed that residents of Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir have been suppressed and tortured by Islamabad since 1947.
"There has been a simmering discontent among people from PoK for a long time. It is because of the discrimination suffered by this region as compared to other regions of Pakistan. This is not in terms of development but also in the basic facilities provided with respect to health care and education," Singh was quoted as saying by ANI.
When asked whether the issue will be raised, Singh said, "I cannot speak on if we will raise this at some stage. But as representative of Jammu and Kashmir, I can say that there is a common opinion that people on PoK are being deliberately oppressed in comparison to other provinces of Pakistan. Even elections are farcical as more often the Prime minister of PoK is elected by powers in Islamabad. The deprivation of democracy and discrimination has had an effect which is a matter for everybody who has an interest in J&K."
Claiming Pakistan used excessive power to quell protests in PoK, Singh said, "Protests have taken place in the past but powers in Islamabad managed to quell it. Now it has come to a boiling point and it has come to surface. There had been instances and evidence of human right violation in PoK. They have been written about but Pakistan has been in denial mode."
Backing Singh, Union Minister and former Army Chief General VK Singh said, “India has been saying for very long that Pakistan is not treating people in POK well. There are no democratic rights for the people there. Pakistan has always ill-treated minority groups. Pakistan is accountable and Pakistan needs to be taken to task."
Reacting to the issue, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party said Pakistan always accuses India of human rights violations in Kashmir and now it is time for India to put these violations in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) in focus for the entire world to see.
"Pakistan always accuses India of human rights violations in our part of Kashmir. This is an opportunity for India to draw the attention not only of the Government of Pakistan, but of the international community, to the repression and the suppression of the people`s aspirations in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and in Gilgit Baltistan," senior BJP leader and former external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha was quoted as saying by ANI.
"This is a known fact that people in Pakistan occupied Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are very very unhappy. The videos demonstrate clearly that unhappiness. They have come into media attention recently but the unhappiness is very old," he added.
Meanwhile, the government also got the backing of main opposition party Congress on the issue, which said the video has given the Modi regime an opportunity to take up the matter at the UN.
"This is an opportunity for India to take the matter to UN. The expose confirms the unrest in PoK. People's anger in PoK is now spilling on the streets," said Congress leader Manish Tewari.
There are massive protests in PoK, demanding freedom from Pakistan aggression. These can’t be called sporadic protests, as the swelling crowd, and the police and Army presence to reign them in is a clear indicator that these agitations are not one off and are a force to reckon with.
Some protesters have said on camera that Pakistan has no right to use force on them and even that India is better than the neighbouring country.(Zeenews)