Pakistan Occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (PoGB) have been victims of the worst kind of theft of their entire history. Never before were they denied the right to choose their way of life, never before were they thieved of their natural resources, rivers and forests. Since October 22, 1947 when Pakistan army along with the tribal of northwestern Pakistan attack our land, our right to freely express our religious, political and cultural views have been ruthlessly curtailed.
In PoGB the Anti-Terrorism Act commonly referred to as ATA was introduced under Schedule four according to which any individual who disapproved of the two-nation theory of Muhammed Ali Jinnah, who was responsible to partition India into Bharat and Pakistan is booked immediately.
In PoJK, a similar law was imposed in 1974 under the guise of an interim constitution commonly referred to as Act 74. According to this law the people of this occupied territory have been denied the right to dissent.
Large swaths of forests in PoJK have been cut down by the Pakistan military in collaboration with the local timber mafia and transporters robing us of Rs 51.84 billion each year.1
According to one estimate forest wood worth 480 billion has been stolen by Pakistan so far.2
Flower worth Rs 3 billion are looted by Pakistan annually.3
This does not include the herbs and roots of plants that Pakistan steels form us for medicinal purposes. According to research scholar Dr Shabbir Chaudhary Pakistani corporations earn approximately Rs one billion rupees from herbs and roots of plants that are looted by Pakistan.
Bellies of our mountains from Neelum to Muzaffarabad and Hunza have been brutally cut open to plunder precious stones and minerals by Pakistan army. From minor minerals such as gravel and sand to major minerals like marble, coal, gypsum, graphite and Bauxite to metallic minerals like iron ore lead, zinc, silver and copper to non-metallic minerals like soap stone and limonite, to precious stones such as ruby, diamond, emerald and garnet are being stolen without impunity.
Our women are kidnapped by the army personal on a daily basis to quench the thirst of the local military commanders of Pakistan army stationed at ‘sensitive’ locations.
Heroes like Arif Shahid, Syed Haider shah Rizvi and Dr Ghulam Abbas are poisoned and shot on their door steps for raising their voice against human right abuses that we incur in the aforementioned occupied territories.
Yet, India is portrayed as an evil and enemy of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The truth is that if it was not for Indian soldiers who bravely fought, pushed back and eventually defeated the Pakistani invading armies in 1947, the fate that we are enduring in PoJK and PoGB today, would have become the doom of the people from Srinagar, Rajauri, Baramulla and Uri to Leh and Kargil.
The UN resolutions based on the reports of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan (UNCIP) declared Pakistan and not India as an aggressor in the first war between India and Pakistan. The resolution demands that Pakistan withdraw its men in uniform and all aliens from our territories. Pakistan has not only defied to act on the contrary she has systematically increased its military presence ever since and now has up to 12 army brigades stationed in PoJK. Pakistan never let go of an opportunity to continue adding to its security forces in our lands.
Most recently Pakistan federal government sanctioned a further deployment of Punjab police and Rangers in the guise of providing assistance during the general elections due on July 25. An extra force comprising of 40 platoons of Pakistan army’s para military wing the FC and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have also been order to move into PoJK to provide security at the polling stations.
The list of atrocities, human rights abuses and lack of freedom of speech and the theft of our resources committed by Pakistan is too long to be included in this short piece. Still Pakistan has the face to point a finger toward India and cry thief.
‘Cry Thief’ has been the corner stone of Pakistan’s foreign policy. However, my people are becoming aware of the development projects, the freedom of speech and respect for human rights that the people of the union territories of both Jammu Kashmir and Laddakh enjoy since the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35 A of the Indian constitution.
The more my people become aware of the actuality of our reality, the forcefully the cry thief policy of Pakistan is set in motion.
The people of PoJK and PoGB have seen through hollowness of the false narrative of twonation theory and no more buy the anti-India propaganda that Pakistani foreign minister and Prime minister so carelessly spew out.
Dr Amjad Ayub Mirza is an author and a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoJK. He currently lives in exile in the UK.
Sources: 1 Figures obtained from Dr Shabir Chaudhary (2013); 2 Ibid; 3 Ibid.