Life in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

Discussion in 'Internal Security' started by ajtr, May 14, 2010.

  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    We need dedicated thread on Pakistan occupied khasmir aka Azad kashmir ...so let this thread be one...i think it can be made sticky..

    'How free is my valley' from the friday times.​

    The “Azad” in AJK smacks of oxymoronic rhetoric. Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) is neither a free territory, nor a province of Pakistan. Muzaffarabad has always been under the control of Islamabad and the curtailment of the freedom of expression is constitutionally protected. Without meaning to refer to the new name just bestowed on an old province, let me ask, what’s in a name?

    Here is what.

    There are a number of reports that describe the human rights violations in Indian Occupied Kashmir but it is hard to come by reports of violations on Pakistan’s side. The Pakistani government often pretends that the only problems faced by Kashmiris are in India. The official position that there are no human rights violations in AJK is a naïve and disingenuous position that needs to be challenged. According to the Freedom House World Freedom Reports, in 2008 Pakistan-administered Kashmir was given the status “Not Free”. This index awards a score of 1 to a “free country” based on ratings of political rights and civil liberties. These ratings are averaged, ranging from 1 to 7, i.e. countries or disputed territories with scores from 1 to 2.5 are considered Free, 3 to 5 are Partly Free, and 5.5 to 7 are Not Free. In 2008, this index gave AJK a Political Rights Score of 7 and a Civil Liberties score of 5. The scores for AJK have improved to a 6 and a 5 respectively in 2010. In comparison, Indian Occupied Kashmir has better scores of 5 for political rights and a 4 for civil liberties, and a status of ‘partly free’, which ironically is exactly equivalent to Pakistan’s national score and status!

    According to Brad Adams, Asia Director at Human Rights Watch , the “Pakistani authorities govern Azad Kashmir with strict controls on basic freedoms… The military shows no tolerance for dissent and practically runs the region as a fiefdom.” The presence of an elected local government is a mere formality. In 2006, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported that the federal government in Islamabad, the army and the ISI control all aspects of political life in AJK. Torture is routinely used in Pakistan, and this practice is also common in AJK. HRW also documented incidents of torture by the intelligence services and other agencies and individuals acting at the behest of the security establishment but knows of no cases in which members of military and paramilitary security and intelligence agencies have been prosecuted or even disciplined for acts of torture or mistreatment.

    The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has also articulated tight controls on freedom of expression as a key pillar of government policy in AJK. While militant organizations promoting the incorporation of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir State into Pakistan have had free reign to propagate their views, groups promoting an independent Kashmir find their speech curtailed. Publications and literature favouring independence are banned.

    Pakistan has prevented the creation of an independent media in the territory through bureaucratic restrictions and coercion. Looking at the freedom of expression in AJK, before 2005, the only radio allowed to operate was the Azad Kashmir Radio, a subsidiary of Radio Pakistan. Similarly before the earthquake telephone landlines were limited and being strictly monitored and a very limited mobile telephone service was operational. HRW reports that all telecommunications stations were controlled by the Special Communications Organization (SCO), a functional unit of the Pakistani army. Only after the earthquake did the government allow private mobile phone companies to operate in Azad Kashmir when it was pointed out that the loss of life could have been lessened had people and rescue workers had this technology as they did in affected areas in NWFP (as it was then called).

    It has been widely reported that refugees from Jammu and Kashmir are discriminated against and mistreated by the authorities. Kashmiri refugees and former militants from India, most of whom are secular nationalists and culturally and linguistically different from the people of AJK, are particularly harassed through continuous surveillance, arbitrary beating and arrests and restraints on political expression. Pakistani military bases in AJK are usually placed in close proximity to highly populated civilian areas supposedly because of a lack of space. But many Kashmiris told HRW that the Pakistani military uses the bases to keep a close watch on the population to ensure political compliance and control.

    Freedoms of association and assembly are restricted and constitutionally repressed. Article 4(7)(2) of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Interim Constitution Act of 1974, states: ‘No person or party in Azad Jammu and Kashmir shall be permitted to propagate against, or take part in activities prejudicial or detrimental to, the ideology of the States accession to Pakistan’. In recent years anti-government demonstrations have been violently suppressed and examples of these incidents are not hard to find. In 2005, at least ten people were killed when the police fired on a group of Shia students, after which curfews were imposed in Gilgit to prevent demonstrators from assembling. In 2006 police detained leaders of the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front, including Amanullah Khan, after they attended a peaceful rally in Rawalpindi against the construction of the Bhasha Dam. Khan was detained for a week and was not permitted to receive visitors during that time, according to the U.S. State Department’s human rights report. In October 2008, police baton-charged dozens of people demonstrating against the proposal to move the capital of Azad Kashmir from Muzaffarabad. Three people were arrested but released the same day. In November 2008, the police blocked activists of the pro-independence APNA who were protesting in favor of truck services across the line-of-control from entering a town near the line-of-control.

    In 2007, the European Union (EU) passed Emma Nicholson’s Kashmir report with an overwhelming majority and adopted it as an official EU document. This kind of report sits squarely in the grey area of the AJK problem. It has been touted in the media as being anti-Pakistan and there are Kashmiris who find it pro-Kashmiri rights and some call it dubious. The key problem with this report is that it fails to acknowledge Indian repression in Kashmir and portrays a benign image of a “pro-people” India.

    The EU report titled ‘Present situation and future prospects’ was critical of the fact that the Pakistan side of Kashmir was governed through the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs in Islamabad, that Pakistan officials dominated the Kashmir Council. This report also highlighted the facts that at the time the Chief Secretary, the Inspector-General of Police, the Accountant-General and the Finance Secretary were all from Pakistan. Nicholson disapproved of the provision in the 1974 Interim Constitution, which forbids any political activity that is not in accordance with the doctrine of Jammu and Kashmir as articulated by Pakistan, and obliges any candidate for a parliamentary seat in AJK to sign a declaration of loyalty to that effect.

    Looking at the rule of law, the whole system of law and order seemingly rests on the control by the army and Islamabad. A clear illustration was given at the time of the 2005 earthquake when the AJK governmental structure collapsed. Analysts noted how, in the aftermath of 2005 earthquake the local government system was exposed. To quote Akbar Zaidi, “the local government system and its elected bodies are part of the rubble along with the entire physical infra-structure of the area.”

    Due to the limited mandate of the AJK Legislative Assembly, the elected political leaders of Azad Kashmir essentially remain ostensible heads of the territory while the real power resides in Islamabad with the Ministry of Kashmir and Northern Areas (KANA). Naturally this requires an obedient AJK administration. Since the early 1990s, the decision-making authority and management of the Kashmir issue has been under the Pakistan military, the ISI and ISI backed militant organizations.

    In this unique case of “self-rule”, under the constitution, the elected representatives are acquiescent to the Kashmir Council controlled by Islamabad. The High Court and Supreme Court Judges can only be appointed by approval of the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs in Islamabad. The Minister of Kashmir Affairs can dismiss the Prime Minister, as can the Chief Secretary – another Islamabad appointee. Under Article 56, the President of Pakistan can dissolve the Legislative Assembly.

    Adding to the already dismal situation of human rights in AJK is the instability of the Northern Areas and the migration of these people into AJK. It can be argued that the appropriation of land in the Northern Areas by non-Kashmiri migrants with the tacit encouragement of the federal government and army has diminished economic opportunities for the local population. An externality of this has been an increase in sectarian tension between the majority Shia Muslims and the growing numbers of Sunnis in AJK and 2009 and 2010 have seen increasing tension and sectarian violence.

    So is the human rights and law and order situation of AJK worse than that at the east of the line of control? Answers can range from “yes” to “maybe” to “no”. The truth is that this is a loaded question, and this sort of a comparison is hard to make. Reports and perspectives of AJK from the Indian side refer to AJK as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. It is indeed true that there is a lack of consideration of human rights on both sides. Yet the facts are blurred by the political biases of both sides, and neutral reports become emotionally charged. External reporting by international watchdogs like Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch are a step behind. Research by organizations like the HRCP and reporting by local news channels is only just making headway.

    The 2006 Human Rights Watch report on Kashmir quotes a Muzaffarabad resident, “Pakistan says they are our friends and India is our enemy. I agree India is our enemy, but with friends like these, who needs enemies?”

    AJK is yet to operate as a ‘free’ territory given the way we control it. Yet, understandably, we are loathe to accept this reality and our mainstream media is usually silent about this. Our rhetoric on AJK remains inflated and questionable.
     
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  3. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    AJK demands its share of income tax receipts



    MUZAFFARABAD, May 13: The Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council (AJKC) has allegedly turned a deaf ear to repeated demands by the AJK government for the release of its net share of income tax receipts, it has been learnt.

    Official sources told Dawn that the AJK government believed that the council’s “apathetic” attitude towards its financial woes had worsened in the face of the judicial crisis as its in-charge federal minister, Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo, had zealously taken an anti-AJK government position on the issue.

    The AJKC collects income tax from the AJK territory and after retaining 20 per cent under the head of “administrative expenditure of the AJKC secretariat in Islamabad, development activities in AJK and Pakistan,” it transfers 80 per cent of the net income to the AJK government.

    While the AJK government had long been pleading for revision of the 80:20 per cent ratio, it was finding itself helpless in getting in time even the existing share of income tax, sources said, adding, the predicament left the AJK government with no option but to obtain overdraft from the State Bank and subsequently pay mark-up on it.

    The sources said that as the net income in 2008-09 was Rs4,413.629 million, 80 per cent share of the AJK government stood at Rs3,530.903 million. Of this amount, the AJK government received only Rs2,674.147 million by the end of last fiscal year.

    Of the remaining Rs856.756 million, the AJK government was paid only Rs600 million by March 2010, whereas Rs256.756 million was still outstanding against the AJKC, although the current fiscal year was drawing to a close, the sources added.

    As far as the collection in the first nine months of the current fiscal year was concerned (Rs3944.723 million), the AJKC owed Rs3155.778 million of it to the AJK government (as 80 per cent share) but it had paid only Rs2,948.282 million and retained Rs207.496 million, the sources said, adding, the council had stopped further releases to the AJK government since March.

    Less receipt of its net share had cost the AJK government Rs18.312 million, which it had paid as mark up on overdraft during the current financial year, sources said.

    Apart from that, the sources said the AJKC had also refused to pass on the benefit of $40 million it had received from different cellular companies operating in the AJK as security.
     
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  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    How Azad is `Azad Kashmir'


    By Sultan Shaheen


    If you want to study the situation in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir and cannot go to even the minuscule part of this region designated as `Azad Kashmir', the best place to go to is England. Bradford, Birmingham, Nottingham, Luton, Slough and Southall are perhaps even better sources of information about the POK than Muzaffarabad, Mirpur, Bagh Rawalakot and Kotli. For the Kashmiris living in Britain breathe free air that it not much available in the so-called Azad Kashmir. Even if you so much as apply for a job you have to sign an affidavit saying you believe in the ideology of "Kashmir banega Pakistan" (Kashmir will become Pakistan).

    I happened to be in England on the eve of recent election in `Azad Kashmir'. Meeting `Azad' Kashmiris in Britain proved revealing. The politically active among them have organised themselves on the lines of politics back home. Nearly all political organisations and ideologies are represented. They all appear to be working against India and, except JKLF, pro-Pakistan. Their activities range from the ridiculous to the more sober. I come across some Tehrik-e-Kashmir activists in Birmingham attempting to impose a boycott of Tilda rice supposedly imported from India. They are aware that India is far too big and powerful a country with a vast capacity to take losses to be bothered with such nonsense. But they think this helps them spread hatred against India. On the other hand they are making a serious and somewhat successful attempt at lobbying political parties, media and bureaucracy to convince them of the genuineness of their case against what they call Indian occupation of Kashmir and serious human rights violations.

    But this is a superficial impression. Beneath the surface, most of them are disgusted with Pakistan and many of them find India's handling of its part of Kashmir, despited the obvious difficulties and current hostilities, more commendable. Several people, for instance, mentioned that while India has respected Kashmir's age-old practice of not allowing outsiders to settle down in the valley, Pakistan has allowed over 28,000 Afghan families to settle down and fleece the local populace in the name of Jihad. These Afghans are even more exploitative that the Hindu baniya ever was, they point out.

    The comparisons are endless. Kashmiris in the valley are better educated and better skilled. They have their own university with medical and engineering colleges. Some of us, particularly Mirpuris may be more prosperous, they say, but that is only because we managed to come to England when we were virtually thrown out of Pakistan as we lost our livelihood in the wake of the construction of Mangla Dam. The reference to Mangla Dam always brings out either complete silence in pro-Pakistan circles or vociferous protest from those who are not so particular about living with Pakistan. This Dam is said to supply 65% of the electricity needs of Pakistan, but the so-called Azad Kashmir does not get any royalty. Pakistan's Water and Power Development Agency (WAPDA) is estimated to be earning over Rs. 50 crores from the electricity produced at Mangla, thought the total budget of the Azad Kashmir is in the vicinity of Rs. 10 crores.

    The most talked about issue, of course, is that of Northern Areas which has been virtually swallowed by Pakistan Army. It comes in the news periodically only when there are Shia-Sunni clashes in the area of firing by the Army to quell anti-government demonstrations. In a historic judgment when a Kashmiri chief justice of the High Court dared to say a couple of years ago that the area was a part of Kashmir and had been illegally occupied by Pakistan Army, he instantly became a hero. Similar enthusiasm was shown by the Kashmiris towards Raja Mumtaz Hussain Rathore, the last PPP `Prime Minister' of the so-called Azad Kashmir, who started taking up the issue of Northern Areas followed his dismissal and detention by the last Nawaz Sharif government.

    This leads any discussion in the direction of almost complete denial of democracy to the so-called Azad Kashmir. While India has at least one or two free and fair elections in the valley, notably in 1977 and 1983, the Pakistani Establishment has dismissed and installed governments of `Azad Kashmir' at will. The only party that has not been able to do so is Ms. Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People Party as it is not considered a part of Establishment even when in power.

    It is hardly surprising in view of such perceptions of the Pakistani Kashmiris that they throw out Sardar Qayyoom's obscurantist Muslim Conference which has ruled them for most of the last half a century at the first available opportunity. They did that in 1990 and they have done that now. Sardar Qayyoom's protestations of massive rigging by the PPP government in Islamabad is unbelievable. All that she had to do to win elections there was not to concede Sardar Qayyoom's demand of allowing the Army to conduct elections.


    ELECTION EXPOSE SIMMERING DISCONTENT IN POK OBSCURANTIST INDIA-BAITERS FACE MASSIVE DEFEAT
    Sardar Abdul Qayyoom Khan's ruling Muslim Conference has been virtually wiped out in the small part of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) designated as "Azad Kashmir" where generally farcical elections are held intermittently to buttress the fiction of its Azadi. He has blamed massive rigging for his defeat. This is predictably music to Indian ears. We have ourselves faced similar allegations in international as well as sections of national media in regard to recent elections in our part of Kashmir. But by playing up Sardar Qayyoom's incredible claims in our media and in the diplomatic circuit, we are simply playing in the hands of Pakistan's right wing obscurantists, Army and the Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI).

    Indian media pundits and bureaucrats may have valid reasons to regard the ruling Pakistan People Party headed by Ms Benazir Bhutto and even its so-called Azad Kashmir branch as communal or obscurantist and anti-India. Obviously they must have more impeccable sources of information and intelligence. But the people of the so-called Azad Kashmir have been consistently told since the formation of PPP itself that it is secular, anti-Islam, anti-Pakistan and pro-India. The Pakistani media, the Sardar Qayyoom government, indeed the entire Pakistani Establishment has indulged in this propaganda on the largest possible scale for years. And yet they have chosen to give a massive mandate to this supposedly secular, progressive, pro-India party. Whether or not the PPP is secular and pro-India is not the issue. The fact that despite this widespread perception, the people of this piece of POK have chosen to elect it again must mean something to us in India. There is so clearly some message in this massive PPP victory and we should try to understand and interpret it in this light. Our hatred for Pakistan seems to have blinded us and we are reacting mindlessly.

    Sardar Qayyoom's party has ruled the so-called Azad Kashmir (I prefer to use this term rather that the popular POK, as this area is actually less than half of the POK) for most of the last half a century. He has himself ruled as President as well as Prime Minister for decades. he retains the love and affection of the military-bureaucratic and feudal-industrialist complex that rules Pakistan as ever. He is the darling of the obscurantist elements in the Pakistani Opposition, despite his son Sardar Ateeq's shenanigans. he had himself come to power in the present instance through a farcical election following an undemocratic and immoral, though constitutional and legal, dismissal and even detention of the last Prime Minister Raja Mumtaz Hussain Rathore who headed a duly elected People's Party government.

    The rule in Pakistan is that the movement changes hands in Islamabad, the so-called Azad Kashmir government is dismissed and a new one installed through a farce of an election unless this happens to be a Muslim Conference government headed by Sardar Qayyoom. Following this glorious tradition the last Muslim league government headed by Mr. Nawaz Sharif had dismissed Mr. Mumtaz Rathore, detained him and installed Sardar Qayyoom. But Ms. Benazir Bhutto's PPP has never been allowed to follow this tradition. When she came to power a couple of years ago, she was widely expected to reinstall Mumtaz Rathore. She would not have required to rig the elections to do so. For reasons that we will discuss later the people of the so-called Azad Kashmir are fed up with the Sardar Dynasty. Indeed Ms. Bhutto is not capable of rigging elections there or anywhere else.

    Ms. Bhutto came to power for the first time having won elections that followed President Zia-ul-Haq's death in August 1988, she was told that as chairperson of the Kashmir Council, she had the power to dissolve the Kashmir Assembly order fresh elections. She was considering the popular demand for dismissal of the Muzaffarabad government. But Sardar Qayyoom criticised Ms. Bhutto's policy of normalisation with India "to undo the Islamic ideology and weaken the Pakistan Army". He wrote to President Guhlam Ishaq Khan: "We will not allow a pro-India government in Azad Kashmir," He made it clear that he would not accept the electoral verdict if the PPP won. And despite all the pressure from the people of Pakistan Occupied `Azad' Kashmir and her party she could not topple the Sardar government. Sardar Qayyoom completed his tenure in 1990.

    Informed people are aware that Pakistan is ruled by a troika. A Pakistan Prime Minister can only do things with the concurrence of Washington and the local Establishment which includes the Army, ISI, Bureaucracy, Business, Feudal and Obscurantist elements. Ms. Bhutto's PPP was allowed to stay in power because for a variety of reasons not germane to this discussion she was for the moment begin tolerated by the two other parts of the troika. But she had very obvious limits to her power. She had enough powers thought to ensure that elections in the so-called Azad Kashmir are not rigged by any part of the troika including the Pakistani Establishment which would have loved to see Sardar Qayyoom back in power. All that she needed to do was not to concede Sardar Qayyoom's persistent demand to allow the Army to conduct the elections.

    Why did Ms. Bhutto allow Sardar Qayyoom during her second term to continue for so long and complete his full term again is thus no mystery. She was under intense pressure from the Sardar government. But she continued to be so incensed with Mr. Nawaz Sharif who had earlier dismissed and detained the PPP Prime Minister Raja Mumtaz Rathore that she was seriously considering taking them on in this case. This was when, according to my sources in PPP, a new element entered into the picture which proved decisive and finally saved the Sardar government.

    President Laghari of Pakistan visited India and met a delegation of Kashmir valley's pro-Pakistan leaders. This delegation pleaded with him to persuade Ms. Bhutto not to dismiss Sardar Qayyoom. Their argument was that in the absence of Sardar Qayyoom the network supporting militancy in the valley would be disturbed. A PPP government there can obviously not be trusted to support the right wing network. Their second argument was even more important. Islamabad dismissing a duly elected Muzaffarabad government without any apparent reason, thought constitutionally valid and legal, would be clearly immoral and undemocratic that it would weaken their case that Kashmir's identity and autonomy would better protected by Pakistan that it is with India. Even though Pakistan has a history of such undemocratic dismissals, this particular dismissal at the height of militancy in the Valley would prove disastrous, so pleaded Hurriyat leaders. Despite all his sophistication and persuasive arguments, my sources tell me, it took President Laghari two and a half hours of intense pleading to dissuade Ms. Bhutto from dismissing Sardar Qayyoom's government.

    One wonders if the pro-Pakistan Hurriyat leaders in the valley are now pleading with Sardar Qayyoom not to accuse PPP government in Islamabad and his own government in Muzaffarabad of massive rigging in the elections. For, this too weakens their case of Kashmir's accession with Pakistan. It brings to light the farcical nature of `Azadi' in the so-called Azad Kashmir. Of course, even this so-called Azadi is not available to the hapless people of the majority area of the Pakistan occupied Kashmir designated as Northern Areas. The vast areas of Gilgit and Baltistan have simply vanished from the face of the earth as far as the Pakistan Constitution and other legal documents are concerned, though until 1954, Pakistan used to supply maps that showed these territories as a part of Kashmir.

    The Muslim Conference alleging massive rigging is indeed ridiculous. The People's Party massive mandate in Azad Kashmir represents not so much its own popularity as it articulates the disgust of the `Azad' Kashmiris with Pakistani Establishment. The Muslim Conference is seen as this Establishment's local representative despite its regional character. Ironically, the People's Party Kashmir unit is seen as more representative of the regional aspirations despite this Party's all-Pakistan character.

    The plight of Azad Kashmiris calls for a separate write-up. What we can say here is that economic factors like lack of development of any industry, communication facilities, exploitation of Mangla dam for providing electricity to 65 per cent of Pakistan without any compensation, no local university, no local bank, no new bridges over the river Jhelum and so on do weight heavily on the minds of `Azad' Kashmiris, what they resent most is their virtual slave status in the Constitution, new tensions in the wake of settlement of over 28,000 Afghan families, militant training camps and the inevitable rise of obscurantism due to almost uninterrupted half-a-century rule of the Muslim Conference. They have been told for years now that the accession of Kashmir valley to Pakistan is round the corner. But neither the proud Suddhan tribals, nor the wealthy Mirpuris (most of them have relatives in England) are prepared to accept the inevitable domination of the better educated and numerically stronger `hatos' as they contemptuously refer to the Kashmiris of the valley in case Kashmir is united.
     
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  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    A Bird's Eye View of the Pakistani Terrorist Machinery

    Details On The Extensive Pakistani Terrorist Network Directed At Kashmir


    [​IMG]
    The red dots show the location of some of the well-documented terrorist camps operating in Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir
    **The sole red dot in Afghanistan depicts the location of terrorist camps housing Pakistani trainees targeted by US missiles



    Some Vital Statistics and Facts on the Pakistani Terrorist Machinery Aimed at Kashmir
    Number of Terrorist Camps in Pakistan: 37
    Number of Terrorist Camps in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir: 49
    Number of Pakistani-run Terrorist Camps in Afghanistan: 22
    Total Number of Hardcore Terrorists Operating in Jammu and Kashmir: 2300
    Total Number of Foreign Mercenaries Operating in Jammu and Kashmir: 900
    Number of Pakistani terrorists killed by Indian security forces: 291
    Number of Pakistani terrorists in Indian jails: 125
    Number of Indian civilians killed by Pakistani terrorists: over 29,000
    Number of firearms recovered from Pakistan-trained terrorists in India: 47,000
    Amount of explosives recovered from Pakistan-trained terrorists in India: 60 tons (30,000 kg)
    Number of explosions carried out by Pakistan-trained terrorists in India: 4,730
    Nationalities of Foreign Mercenaries Operating in Jammu and Kashmir:
    Pakistan, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Afghanistan,
    Egypt, Sudan, Yemen,
    Bahrain, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq
    Deadliest Pakistani Terrorist Groups Active in Jammu and Kashmir:
    Harkat-ul-Ansar (recently renamed Harkat-ul-Mujaheedin)
    Headquarters: Muzaffarabad (Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir)
    Lashkar-e-Toiba
    Headquarters: Muridke (Pakistan)
    Hizbul Mujahideen
    Peak time of annual infiltration of terrorists into India:
    Summer months, when the snows have melted, under cover of Pakistani Army firing (Washington Post, Oct. 15, 1998).
    Number of people in Jammu and Kashmir killed in violence waged by Pakistan-supported terrorists over the last decade: over 20,000.
    Ethnic Cleansing in Kashmir: Nearly 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits (original Hindu inhabitants of Kashmir valley) driven out of their ancestral homeland by Pakistan-supported terrorists.
    Pakistan's response to charges of terrorism support: "It only provides diplomatic and moral support to the terrorists". To see through this outright lie, read about the "credible reports of official Pakistani support to Kashmiri terrorist groups..." in the US State Department 1997 report on global terrorism.
    The US Tomahawk missiles killed Pakistani terrorists belonging to Harkat-ul-Ansar in the Khost camps in Afghanistan this year. These terrorists were training to fight in Kashmir.
    The Harkat-ul-Ansar and the Lashkar-e-Toiba threatened US citizens recently in open news conferences in major cities in Pakistan (Kashmir Chronicle, Vol. 1, No. 6). The Pakistani government makes no attempt to shut down any of these groups.
    Most recent recruits to Pakistani terrorist camps: Kashmiri Muslim children as young as 12 years old, coerced into a dead-end career by Pakistani terrorist groups(CNN Online, Oct. 8, 1998).
    Why is the Pakistani economy in shambles? 70% of its budget goes to the military plus its debt payments, much of the military spending being on sustaining the Kashmiri terror (NY Times, Aug. 30, 1998, The Tribune, Oct. 10, 1998).
     
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  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Azad Kashmir today


    [​IMG]
    Azad Kashmir’s future is as murky today as it was in 1947. — File Photo by AFP

    Azad Kashmir was created within two months of Pakistan’s independence with high expectations. Nestled in the mountainous western region that abuts the vale of Kashmir, it forms an archer’s bow that is about 100 miles long and about 20-40 miles wide.

    The Pakistani security elite hoped that an arrow fired from the bow would bring about the instant liberation of the vale of Kashmir from Indian occupation. The first arrow was fired almost within days of creation.

    It plunged the entire region of Kashmir into armed conflict. Fourteen months later, a ceasefire sponsored by the United Nations took effect on Jan 1, 1949. The ceasefire line remained stationary despite several attempts to move it. But after the 1971 war which saw the secession of East Pakistan, it was renamed the Line-of-Control (LoC). That militaristic designation persists to this day since the line which separates the two Kashmirs has not been formalised as an international border.

    ‘Azad’ means free and Azad Kashmir was supposed to serve as a model state whose liberty and freedom would inspire rebellion in Indian-administered Kashmir. That did not happen for several reasons. Constitutionally, Azad Kashmir is not a part of Pakistan. But neither is it an independent state. For its entire 62-year history, it has depended on Pakistan for its economic and political survival. It does not even issue its own postage stamps.

    Because Islamabad has always exercised its claim on the entire state of Jammu and Kashmir, Azad Kashmir is not counted as a fifth province of Pakistan. But for all practical purposes, Muzaffarabad lives under Islamabad’s shadow. Its first government was established on Oct 24, 1947 with Sardar Mohammed Ibrahim as president. On Nov 3, 1947, Azad Kashmir sought unsuccessfully to join the United Nations as a member state.

    In March 1949, after the dust had settled along the ceasefire line, Azad Kashmir signed a power-sharing arrangement with the Government of Pakistan ceding all authority related to defence, foreign affairs, refugees and the plebiscite to Pakistan.

    Pakistan created a Ministry for Kashmir Affairs to look after its newest asset. However, as events would show, the ministry was soon preoccupied with influencing political direction in Azad Kashmir. Not surprisingly, the ministry’s directives were not always well received by Azad Kashmiris. At times, they were met with stiff resistance.

    In 1955, Pakistan declared martial law in some parts of Azad Kashmir to suppress street violence triggered by the Kashmir Act. In 1957, Pakistan resorted to police action to quell a public meeting that was seeking direct action to create a united and liberated Kashmir. In 1961, President Ayub Khan carried out indirect elections in Azad Kashmir through a Basic Democracies Ordinance which legally only applied to Pakistan, further straining ties with the Azad Kashmiris.

    Subsequently, faced with Islamabad’s dominance in their day-to-day affairs, several Azad Kashmiri leaders started a movement for liberating Indian-held Kashmir not for Pakistan but for creating a separate Kashmiri state. This further aggravated ties with Pakistan. While all this was happening, Jammu and Kashmir was inducted into the Indian union.

    In 1965, the Pakistani army launched a covert war inside Indian Kashmir seeking to instigate a popular rebellion. This arrow too missed its target. Instead, it enraged India which launched a strong counter-offensive along the international border with West Pakistan.

    Under the weight of the Indian elephant, the Pakistani military hastily called of its operations in Kashmir. The war ended in an UN-brokered ceasefire along the international border with minimal changes in the Kashmiri line. After the war, Pakistan lost its urge to light a fire across the Line of Control (LoC). Matters changed in 1979 when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan and the Pakistani military, with US and Saudi assistance, began training legions of Mujahideen to evict the godless communists.

    After a bruised and battered Red Army pulled out of Kabul in 1989, Indian Jammu and Kashmir found itself in the grip of a large-scale revolt. Whether this was a purely indigenous movement or a corollary to events in Kabul continues to enrich scholarly volumes.

    Regardless of the cause, the uprising in the vale provided the Kashmir hawks in Pakistan’s security elite yet another opportunity to press on with their objective. They reactivated their bases in Azad Kashmir and once again decided to fire arrows into Indian Jammu and Kashmir. Soon, ‘freedom fighters,’ armed and trained allegedly by the Pakistan Army, were rolling across in droves across the LoC.

    Azad Kashmir was again in the cross-hairs of armed conflict. Against this backdrop, Pakistan under Gen Ziaul Haq decided to legally separate the geographically much larger Northern Areas of Gilgit and Baltistan from Azad Kashmir. This caused almost as much consternation in the latter as it did in India. The separation of the Northern Areas by Pakistan eliminated all doubts about the sovereignty of Azad Kashmir. With the reactivation of conflict across the Line-of-Control, the quality of life of the Azad Kashmiris was trammelled. Those who did not want to take part in the proxy war became pariahs.

    Most of the cross-border infiltration was halted in the wake of 9/11 and the US invasion of Afghanistan. The attack on the Indian parliament in December 2001 was designed to reinvigorate the Kashmir issue but all it did was bring India and Pakistan to the brink of full-scale war in 2002. For a while the Musharraf regime sought to differentiate the struggle for freedom in Kashmir from political acts of terror but its spin failed to gain traction with the world community. Cross-border terrorism was quiet for several years.

    The attacks on Mumbai by a group linked to militant activities in Kashmir in November 2008 were an attempt to reignite the conflict but succeeded only in drawing widespread opprobrium. During the past 62 years, the people of Azad Kashmir have been unable to arise out of poverty in large measure because they are caught in the crossfire between India and Pakistan. The land which their elders knew as a mountain paradise has been turned into a living hell.

    Of the four million people who inhabit the region, nine of 10 live in extremely impoverished conditions in rural areas. Population growth is excessive, at 2.4 per cent per year, and the average house holds no fewer than seven people. Sadly, Azad Kashmir’s future is as murky today as it was in 1947. And the objective for its creation, the liberation of the vale of Kashmir, seems increasingly remote.
     
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  8. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Kashmir News - Press freedom deteriorates in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir

    Muzaffarabad, December 22: From being continuously "watched and monitored" by Pakistans government to restricting the freedom of expression, journalists in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir frequently face harassment at the hands of the military, the intelligence agencies and the jihadists alike.

     
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  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Kashmir militants 'regrouping' in Pakistan


    Militants in Pakistani-administered Kashmir have regrouped on the Pakistani side of the divided territory, local politicians have told the BBC.
    From 1988, militants aided by Pakistan's security forces waged a guerrilla war in the disputed region.
    But their activities were curtailed during the rule of President Pervez Musharraf from 2001 to 2008.
    Officials say that in recent weeks "Jihadi activities" have recommenced across the Line of Control (LoC).
    The LoC is the de facto border which separates Indian-administered Kashmir from Pakistani-administered Kashmir.
    'Scared'
    Correspondents say that renewed militant activity is bound to be of concern to India, especially when Delhi and Islamabad almost came to war when militants - accused by India of being Pakistani-based - attacked the Indian parliament in December 2001.
    "Jihadi activities have been restarted during the last few weeks," Arif Shahid, secretary general of the All Parties National Alliance (APNA) told the BBC.
    "Most of the activities are concentrated in the Neelum Valley along the LoC."

    Mr Shahid - who has personally visited the region with other APNA leaders - said that militants were based there in large numbers and have set up camps in the area.
    "The men are not locals - they have long hair and beards. Most do not speak the local language," he said.
    Local citizens in the Neelum Valley told the BBC much the same thing.
    "We are scared," a resident said.
    "The armed men are moving around the area and are trying to cross the border.
    "We can make out from their appearances and languages they are not from any part of Kashmir."
    Mr Shahid said that he believed that the militants were planning to sabotage ongoing Pakistan-India peace negotiations.
    "They have set up camps in the region and many are crossing the border," he said.
    "This is the start of another proxy war."
    His comments are supported by Shaukat Maqbool Bhat, head of the anti-Indian Jammu Kashmir National Liberation Front (JKNLF).
    "The fighters are there and they are regularly crossing into India," Mr Bhat told the BBC.
    "The local people are very scared - they believe the [militant] crossings are going to restart artillery exchanges between the Pakistani and Indian armies."
     
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  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Shoot-on-sight order in Gilgit after heavy firing


    GILGIT: A shoot-on-sight order was issued after two rival groups resorted to heavy aerial firing soon after Iftar near Yadgar Chowk here on Wednesday, police said.

    Two people were gunned down in the same area on Tuesday. Sources said that paramilitary troops and police came to the area only after the shootout subsided.

    More than 70,000 bullets were fired. Three houses were burnt, but there were no casualties.

    Gilgit’s assistant commissioner told Dawn that the situation eased after the administration called in Punjab Rangers and Northern Area scouts.

    Police sources said that no arrest had been made nor did they register any case.

    Incidents of firing were also reported from Nagaral, Kashrote, Majini Muhallah and some other parts of the region.

    Gilgit has seen a spree of target killings over the past four days. Four people were killed in two days.
     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    CM warns of clamping curfew in Gilgit


    Friday, August 27, 2010
    GILGIT: Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Syed Mehdi Shah has warned that curfew could be clamped in Gilgit while calling in Army if it is needed to maintain law and order situation.
    Addressing an emergency and crowded press conference here on Thursday, Shah said, “There is no other option but to deal the situation with iron hands to ensure durable peace in the area.”
    He said if the situation required sending anybody to Adiyala Jail, the government would also take the same action to save lives and property of the masses. He warned the government would be compelled to review the agreement reached with the former detainees of the Adiyala Jail if not implemented in letter and spirit.
    The GB chief minister said some of the police officials are involved in sectarianism in the area and stern action is being taken against them. He said those police officials who have been discharging duties on one place for the past five months would be transferred to other areas.
    He said majority of the people in Gilgit are peace loving and only a handful of people are challenging the writ of the government, adding that stern action is being taken against those violating the government’s writ.
    The chief minister said that situation in Gilgit could not be improved in just a day, urging all sections of society including, elected representatives, ulema and civil society to come forward and play their due role.
    He said the government would compensate those whose houses were set ablaze the other day, adding that the relatives of the victims of the target killing would also be compensated officially. Shah also urged the media to air credible reports, as people and the government faced immense problems due to incredible reports. He also lauded actions of the police officials, who helped people in swift evacuation from their houses.
    The chief minister said that seventeen miscreants were arrested by the law enforcement agencies as the action against them was already underway. Meanwhile, talking to INP, President Gilgit Union of Journalists (GUJ) Imtiaz Ali Taj said there is neither security issue or target killing incidents due to sectarian violence in Gilgit nor army has taken the control of the city.
    He declined media reports, saying that these reports misguided the countrymen and people of Gilgit Baltistan residing in other cities of country and also abroad. He clarified that clashes were erupted between two groups some days ago when a person was killed while acquiring petrol from a local petrol pump. It wasn’t sectarian clash, he categorically denied. “The killing of four persons was result of differences between the two groups and it had nothing to do with target killing or sectarian violence,” Imtiaz Taj said.
     
  12. Daredevil

    Daredevil On Vacation! Administrator

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    Unlike in Indian Kashmir, there is no press freedom in Pak-occupied Kashmir. You don't see any negative news coming out of the PoK as all the news are vetted by the ISI agents. There is so much oppression by PA that there are any protests at all. Compare that to Indian kashmir. Situation is diametrically opposite.
     
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Ya its true.2 days back i posted that article let me find it.

    Talibanization of the heart « Pak Tea House
     
  14. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Gilgit-Baltistan: The moment Of Truth For Pakistan


    A few weeks ago, India successfully persuaded the World Bank to refuse a loan to Pakistan, which was going to help construct the Diamer dam in Gilgit-Baltistan. India objected on the grounds of this region being part of the Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir and hence lying outside Pakistani jurisdiction. While the decision of the World Bank has brought relief for the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, the occasion also invites one to review the events of the past sixty years, which reveal the chronological incidents of Pakistani oppression and disregard towards local needs and demands.

    Pakistan was created by partitioning India in 1947. At the time, this new country was introduced as the citadel of Islam and a welfare state for the Muslims of India, and its rulers promised to work for the betterment and protection of her citizens. Like others, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan pinned their hopes on their Pakistani rulers. Those hopes proved short-lived when Pakistan adopted the policy of exploiting the land and resources of Gilgit-Baltistan without benefiting the natives. The acute deprivation in sectors like education, health, drinking water and sanitation are some examples of unfair Pakistani policies.

    It is an irony that even with an abundance of natural resources, half of the population of Gilgit-Baltistan still lives below the poverty line and thousands of educated youth remain jobless. The revenues from trade and transit also largely benefit outsiders. Pakistan uses the Karakoram Highway to connect to China and promote her strategic and military needs but the locals remain deprived of compensation. Pakistani corporations receive preference to benefit from minerals and gem-mines while the rivers and glaciers of Gilgit-Baltistan continue to sustain Pakistan's agricultural needs. One wonders if the natives of this region really deserve such cruel treatment after rendering their resources and services to sustain the economy and security of Pakistan. After occupying the region in 1948, Pakistan abolished Gilgit-Baltistan's judicial and political institutions, which had evolved over thousands of years to cater to local needs. In return, inhumane governing systems such as the Frontier Crimes Regulation was imposed upon locals to deny them political autonomy and justice. To date, the natives of Gilgit-Baltistan remain deprived of religious freedom and cultural identity. Those who question Pakistan's oppressive policies have no choice but to part with their loved ones and lose their lives. Despite strong opposition from the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan uses their land to advance militancy and terrorism. Pakistani agents employ religion and race to divide the locals. Coerced conversions have led to changes in religious demography and increased social polarization. Such provocations have invited mayhem and culminated in the slaughter of thousands of local Shias and Sufis at the hands of Pakistani terrorists and security forces. Strange and sad it may seem, but Pakistan commits these crimes in the name of 'nation building' and 'social integration'.

    Pakistan's attitude to take and take and give nothing in return continues as her demands multiply. As the country faces acute power shortages, the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are once again expected to take on an involuntary burden by allowing the construction of dams on their land. Pakistan's decision to construct dams in places like Diamer and Bunji has increased threat perception among locals, who see their homeland converted into a giant lake. Pakistan has refused to acknowledge that the Diamer dam will destroy villages and settlements. It will throw people off their ancestral land while submerging the graveyards of their forefathers and damaging cultural heritage. The farmlands, forest and pastures which are the backbone of the local economy will be inundated. Wildlife and their habitats will be lost, causing grave environmental catastrophe. The glaciers, which support the farming needs of hundreds of thousands of natives, will experience melting at breakneck speed. Through the Diamer dam, Pakistan is demonstrating its will and capacity to annihilate Gilgit-Baltistan.

    Given the severity of the situation, natives continued their protest against dam construction. They laid down their lives to stop the project. Many received martyrdom at the hands of Pakistani security forces, while hundreds of others were tortured and detained for protesting.

    Their struggle didn't go unheard. The entire population of Gilgit-Baltistan felt the pain and stood behind the people of Diamer. Rights defenders and nationalist forces disseminated information around the world. It was in this context that India came to the rescue of locals and persuaded the World Bank to refuse financial assistance. This timely decision helped abort the project and save the homes and farmland of thousands of families.

    To set the record straight, Pakistan has proven from its policies and strategies that it is not interested in the protection, development and wellbeing of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan, but only in exploiting their resources. It is willing to eliminate an entire race of people who have lived in Gilgit-Baltistan for thousands of years and called it their homeland. On the other hand, India has projected itself as the country that came to defend and rescue the people of Diamer.
    This is the moment of truth for Pakistan.

    Senge H Sering is an independent security analyst based in the USA. He originally hails from Gilgit-Baltistan.
     
  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Gilgit-Baltistan: Pakistani Forces Implicated in Killings in Gilgit




    The Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement has condemned all military activity carried out by the Pakistani army in the region in the wake of the recent floods. Their chairperson has expressed his concern that the civil population of Gilgit-Baltistan will suffer as a result.



    Below is a press release by the Gilgit-Baltistan United Movement (GBUM):



    During a press conference in Skardo on August 31, 2010, Manzoor Parwana, the Chairperson of Gilgit Baltistan United Movement expressed concern over unabated targeted killing of innocent natives of Gilgit-Baltistan. He blamed Pakistani security forces and intelligence agency personnel for their direct involvement in promoting instability in the region, which is part of the former Princely State of Jammu & Kashmir and remains under Pakistan’s occupation since 1947.

    He said, “The death of four innocent residents of Gilgit city in the last week of August and destruction to six houses shows failure of so-called "province-like" administrative body in controlling the mayhem and providing security to the natives. Pakistani security agencies use such incidents as a tool to divert attention from degrading economy, the constitutional impasse as well as the destruction from the recent flashfloods. However, rampant joblessness and back-breaking expensive commodities will eventually force the people to come on the streets and rebel against the occupying forces.”

    He reminded that even though the chief minister of Gilgit-Baltistan has requested Islamabad to transfer control of the para-military to Gilgit; however, this will still not solve the chronic political problems. He said, “The only viable solution is immediate and complete withdrawal of Pakistani security forces and illegal settlers from the region. As target killing was introduced only after Pakistan stationed her troops in Gilgit-Baltistan in 1947; the issue will also resolve with Pakistan’s withdrawal.”

    He condemned the security forces for harassing the natives and subjecting them to body searches at numerous military check posts established in the city. He said, “While the security forces disrupt normal pace of life in Gilgit-Baltistan, they provide ample opportunities to the terrorists to orchestrate target killing and escape without any resistance.”

    He said that the patrons of these terrorists, found among the ranks of Pakistani bureaucrats and military officials, play the well-rehearsed colonial game of divide and rule to weaken the natives in their demands for self determination. He opined that the so-called empowerment package has enabled such Pakistani officials to tighten their grip over the land and resources of Gilgit-Baltistan. He appealed to the natives to unify to regain control over local natural resources rather than relying on Pakistani handouts.



    Manzoor Hussain Parwana

    Chairperson, Gilgit Baltistan United Movement (GBUM)

    Skardo, Gilgit-Baltistan

    August 31, 2010
     
  16. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Pakistan: European Parliament debates Humanitarian Situation




    During the current plenary session held in Strasbourg on 7 September 2010, the European Parliament has found the time to discuss the humanitarian situation after the floods in Pakistan and assess the European response to the disaster.



    Below is an article published by UNPO:



    Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response (ECHO), opened the debate with a statement on behalf of the commission and her impressions after a recent visit to the country.

    She praised the quick response from the Commission, Parliament and member states in sending aid and triggering the appropriate response mechanisms. As she explained the two main disaster areas, the plight of the internally displaced people who have had to leave provisional camps and the destruction of agricultural land and sources of income for people downstream, still pose a great challenge for immediate relief and long-term recovery efforts.



    Members of the European Parliament were happy to learn about the Commission’s response and applauded the efforts by Commissioner Georgieva. Many pointed out the need for a long-term engagement with Pakistan to help recovery through trade links and investment.



    Several MEPs also urged the Commission to ensure that aid will be delivered to groups in society who are likely to be left behind when they need help the most. Véronique de Keyser (S&D) asked that special attention be given to the situation of women while Corina Cretų (S&D) and Sajjad Karim (ECR) advocated for better oversight on how assistance is used in order to win the support of the Pakistani population. Elija-Riitta Korhola (EPP) and Jürgen Creutzmann (ALDE) mentioned in particular the needs of ethnic minorities and the difficulties in administering aid in regions where corruption is common.

    Similar points have already been raised in a joint statement by UNPO members Balochistan, Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan.



    Members of the Development Committee will continue to focus on the situation in Pakistan during their next meeting in Brussels on 4-5 October 2010 and the discussion will hopefully respond to the points raised my MEP during yesterday’s debate.
     
  17. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Speed up relief in quake-hit Kashmir: Pakistan daily


    2010-10-10 17:50:00

    Islamabad, Oct 10 (IANS) Pakistan needs to step up relief and rehabilitation in its Kashmir region where a devastating earthquake killed thousands in 2005, a leading newspaper said Sunday.

    The Urdu daily Nawa-i-Waqt made the appeal in an editorial following protests in Pakistani Kashmir by people angry over the government's failure to provide them new homes.


    A protest strike took place in Muzaffarabad, capital of the Pakistani Kashmir, while demonstrators massed outside the national assembly here to demand speedy rehabilitation.

    The daily said that while a lot had been done for the victims, much more remained to be done.

    'Five years after the earthquake, the situation of the homeless and the dispossessed is like that the earthquake came yesterday,' it said.

    The editorial said that after the quake, dozens of religious and other groups came forward to help the affected.

    But 'it was obvious they could not provide shelter for all the homeless or help all the dispossessed. This was the responsibility of the government.

    'Going by the angry response of the people of Muzaffarabad and other areas, it seems the government has not done much,' it said.

    The earthquake, which had its epicentre near Muzaffarabad, measured 7.6 on the Richter scale.

    It devastated much of northern Pakistan and both Indian and Pakistan-administered Kashmir. The death toll in Pakistan was around 75,000 while 3.5 million people left homeless.
     
  18. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The ‘Great Game’ in Gilgit Baltistan


    The latest allegation by India about the presence of Chinese troops in Gilgit-Baltistan has sparked a new debate in the region.

    Some accuse India of attempting to malign Pakistan and say that it is time-tested friend China through ‘baseless’ propaganda; while others construe it as the beginning of a new “Great Game.”

    The term “great game” is not new to the region of Gilgit-Baltistan, as the mountain-locked area has suffered a history of invasions.

    The British captured Gilgit-Baltistan during the 19th century and ruled over it for years, in order to keep a check on the increasing Russian influence in the region.

    Although they succeeded in their efforts, it was the local population that had to pay the price of destruction and slavery.

    Notwithstanding the question of the Chinese army’s presence in Gilgit-Baltistan, speculations that the northern part of Pakistan is going to be the next battlefield of the Great Game are gaining strength.

    The recent flood that devastated the infrastructure of Gilgit and the rest of its valleys were followed by an influx of relief aid flown in by the US. This has raised many eyebrows, reinforcing the conspiracy associated with American interests in G-B: to contain China’s “advancement” inside Pakistan (The Karakoram highway may be an example of it).

    And for that matter, who else could be a better aide for America than India?

    Although it was officially declared that US aircrafts and the Pakistan army’s C-130s carried winter stocks for flood victims in G-B, it didn’t put an end to speculations looking for a nexus between the two events – the presence of China’s army and the rush of C-17 aircraft.

    The onslaught of US aircrafts, especially in Skardu in the past month, has sparked suspicions that America has hidden motives in the region, with regard to China.

    If the new Great Game theory takes form in reality, the three important players-China, India and the US -will fight their wars in land best suited to it: Gilgit-Baltistan.

    Let’s hope that the speculations are mere assumptions that have basis in reality.
     
  19. Tshering22

    Tshering22 Sikkimese Saber Senior Member

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    What's the meaning of this? So USA is also becoming a part of this battle? Gilgit- "Baltistan" is supposed to be an integral and inseparable part of India. And except for our pathetic, corrupt and coward Government, EVERY other damn nation is present there whether it is Pakistan, China or USA.

    How many countries will we have to fight before getting what's ours, back?
     
  20. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Gilgit Baltistan: Rights violations expose Pakistan's intentions



    SKARDU: Harassment of common citizens and disregard to sanctity of house privacy during search operations in the Gilgit city by security forces has made it clear that Pakistani rulers are voluntarily leaving Gilgit-Balatistan and Islamabad does not need the region anymore. Because had the rulers needed the region they would not have let loose such type of terror in the region and the rulers would not have forgotten that the region was part of the Kashmir dispute and its status to be resolved under the UN resolutions.These views were expressed by Chairman Gilgit-Balatistan United Movement (GBUM) Mmanzoor Hussain Parwana in a press statement issued here. He said terrorists were coming areas from where arms and ammunition were brought to the region and the terror elements were being patronized by those who are at the helms of affairs in Gilgit-Balatistan. In Gilgit-Baltistan neither produces arms and ammunition not any terrorists. Its people are considered the most civilized and peaceful in the whole world. The soil of the region is abode of peace but unfortunately outsider elements are destroying its tranquillity by pitting the local people against each other to gain their own interests.Mr Parwana said that Mr Raziuddin Rizvi, the member of GB Legislative Assembly and Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee, has termed the situation in Gilgit-Baltistan even worse than the held Kashmir. This shows which direction Pakistani rulers are leading the region to. He said the situation in Giglit-Baltistan cannot be compared with that in Balochistan as the latter is an integral part of Pakistan while Gilgit-Baltistan was neither its constitutional nor legal part of Pakistan but is under its administrative control on temporary basis. Therefore, Pakistani rulers should be careful and give an impression to the world through its acts that the people of Gilgit-Baltistan are happy under the temporary control of Islamabad.He said if human rights violations continued in Gilgit-Baltistan, a perception would develop that Pakistan's signing of international treaties on human rights was just a deceit. He said that allegations against the security forces were not based on any hearsay, prejudice and hatred but had been proved. It is also a fact that security forces have failed to maintain peace in the region and even FC and Rangers have been involved in torturing citizens. If security forces who have been deployed to protect the life and property of the masses start harassing the very masses what would be the reaction of the people? Of course, they would demand their withdrawal, Mr Parwana added.
     
  21. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Gilgit-Baltistan: Chairman Draws Attention to Human Rights Violations


    BNF Chairman Abdul Hamid Khan addressed the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, drawing attention to violations of free speech and expressions.

    Below is an article published by Weekly Baang Karachi:



    The Chairman of the Balawaristan National Front (BNF) Abdul Hamid Khan has drawn the attention of the international community towards what he said rampant violation of freedom of speech and expression in Gilgit-Baltistan. He said under the 'colonial' rule of Pakistan, people in general and nationalists in particular in the disputed region, which is recognized as such under UNCIP resolution of 13 August 1948, even cannot dream of freedom of expression and speech.



    Mr Khan was addressing the UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) at Geneva. Mr Khan lamented that fundamentalist religious groups and pro-Pakistani parties were given full freedom in expressing their views and continuing their movements in the region. The BNF chief said more than 200 activists and leaders including him were facing sedition charges for trying to express their views in the public peacefully.



    "Many people have been sent behind bars when they only tried to express themselves. Many have been tortured, kidnapped and killed by declaring them as anti state elements," he alleged.



    A monthly magazine, the Balawaristan Times, and a book called The Last Colony of 21st Century were banned. The civilian government of Pakistan in 1999 ordered a security agency to invade Gilgit-Baltistan and the Jammu and Kashmir when he wrote a letter to the UN Security Council permanent members against the intrigue. "This is an irony that on the one hand the authorities have allowed the national media to freely function and flourish and on the other any attempt to even launch indigenous media in Gilgit-Baltistan is discouraged."



    Numerous instances of victimization and banning of weekly and monthly magazines have been reported by Pakistan based media and complaints were lodged in the UN human rights commission in Geneva. He said that the monthly Kargil Editor in Chief Manzoor Parwana and Editor Shezad Agha were arrested and the magazine was banned. He said that Parwana and Shehzad Agha were also framed in sedition cases when they reported the stories about the Kargil war. Mr Khan said that Kargil International was printing stories of those killed in Kargil war of 1999 and was vocal about the way government of Pakistan portrayed local soldiers of NLI as Mujahideen. He said a book written by him under the title of The Last Colony of 21st Century (Urdu and English) was banned and sedition charges filed against him.



    There are a number of cases registered against political and human rights activists who largely refused to subscribe to the pro-Pakistan school of thought. He said local media persons working for print and electronic media were continuously being harassed by law enforcement agencies for expressing dissent against the government policies in Gilgit-Baltistan. During the last year the house of Gilgit Press Club president Khurshid Ahmad was bombed thrice to intimidate him when he asserted that the local journalists would not print the controversial material of different militant organizations.



    In October 2005, the bureau chief of Karakorum Publishing Network Manzar Shigri was detained by Pakistani rangers when he insisted to take a snap of an injured person outside DHQ hospital Gilgit. The local newspapers are denied their right of advertisements, whenever they criticized government policies. The regime continues with its policy of banning local trade unions. In 2004 the local administration banned the Northern Areas Lecturers Association in education department. In addition, the government banned unions and associations in government departments, such as NAPWD, Northern Areas Transport Corporation and Post Office.
     

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