Protesters gathered in front of the District Press club in Kotli (Spot visual)
Protesters gathered in front of the District Press club in Kotli (Spot visual)

Pakistan's crackdown on political activists in PoK draws strong condemnation

ANI | Updated: Nov 29, 2018 18:09 IST

Kotli [PoK] / Brussels [Belgium], Nov 29 (ANI): A large number of activists gathered in front of the District Press club in Kotli, here to protest and condemn the blatant abuse of power by the local police.
The protest erupted in the wake of the arrest of human rights activist and chairman of publicity board of United Kashmir People's National Party (UKPNP) Imtiaz Butt.
Condemning the police action, all the leaders expressed solidarity with Butt.
The human rights activist who was released later and stated that he was harassed in the custody.
On November 24, as many as 200 policemen barged into Butt's house, extensively searched his place and subsequently arrested him citing his involvement with Tehreek-e-Labbaik, a far-right Islamist political party in Pakistan which on more than one occasion has incited violence and anarchy in the country.
While squarely condemning the police action, Sajid Hussain, the Information Secretary of United Kashmir People's National Party- Europe Zone, said "They proceeded to systematically intimidate, harass and threaten Mr. Butt and his whole family members. The police entered in the peaceful political activist Imtiaz Butt residence and conducted the illegal raid under the pressure of Pakistani Secret intelligence agencies. During the raid, the police team made vulgar, insulting remarks and derogatory comments about the leader of UKPNP, Imtiaz Butt and his whole family".
Hussain also asked Pakistan to stop its policy of harassment and bullying to systematically intimidate political activists and leaders.
"UKPNP is going to take up all the human rights violations and role of Pakistani Secret intelligence agencies behind these raids, arrest, and victimization including systematic intimidation, harassment, into all international institutions like European Union, United Nations and other human rights organizations," he added.
It is to be noted that unscrupulous PoK police released Imtiaz after failing to present any concrete evidence against him.
However, UKPNP has urged Islamabad authorities to expeditiously bring the culprits to justice. He also vowed that his party would hold demonstrations outside Pakistan embassies across the world.
It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan has been exposed time and again for its increasingly active role in human rights violations across the illegally occupied region of PoK and Gilgit Baltistan.
It has ramped up its atrocities ever the objective and reasonable political voices have started questioning its rule in the region. (ANI)