Exiled political activists from Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) gathered outside the European Parliament here to protest against Pakistan-sponsored atrocities and plundering of resources in the region.
The activists raised slogans against Islamabad blaming it for the construction of the Neelum-Jhelum Hydro Power Project and Diamer Bhasha Dam that has not only severely affected the flora and fauna of the region, but have left the common people reeling under abject poverty.
“We are here in Brussels in front of the European Parliament demonstrating against the plundering of the natural resources of Kashmiri people (in Pakistan). We are here to protest against the state brutality and for the people who are suffering because of the policies of the Pakistani government. We are actually protesting against their policies, their nefarious designs,” said Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, Chairman of the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP).
Another UKPNP activist, named Jamil Maqsood, said, “The fundamental purpose of this demonstration was to highlight the human rights violations in the Pakistan administered Kashmir and occupied Gilgit-Baltistan because Pakistan is constructing Neelum Jhelum hydropower project and Diamer Bhasha dam in Gilgit Baltistan and in both these areas, people have been asked to leave their properties and leave their land without paying them any alternative land and without paying them any compensation”.
He added, “In Muzaffarabad, they (Pakistani government) have diverted Neelum river which is at the brink of extinction. It is completely destroyed and approximately hundreds of thousands of people in Neelum, Muzaffarabad and other lower riparian areas are deprived of the basic necessity of water.”
Activists from Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Mohajirs also joined the protest to raise the issue of human rights violations as Islamabad has employed similar repressive patterns in their provinces.
Pakistan has been according to a second-class citizen treatment to the people of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, and Sindh. This diabolic pattern of suppressing its own people has witnessed a significant escalation since the advent of the multi-billion dollar China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).