Anti-Pakistan protest in London over human rights violations in PoK

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

London [United Kingdom], April 11 (ANI): Exiled Kashmiris held a demonstration outside the Pakistan High Commission in London to oppose Islamabad's move to make Gilgit Baltistan the country's fifth province. Held under the aegis of Jammu Kashmir National Independence Alliance (JKNIA), the protesters also raised the issue of gross human rights violations in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK). They also said that they were forwarding a memorandum to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif of Pakistan which states, "Pakistan's attempt to annex Gilgit-Baltistan into Pakistan is a clear violation of international laws and UNCIP resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan has no right to alter the geographical status of the region." A committee headed by the Pakistan Prime Minister's Adviser on Foreign Affairs, Sartaz Aziz, had proposed giving the status of a province to Gilgit Baltistan, which is part of princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. Pakistan would make a constitutional amendment to change the status of the region, through which the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) passes. The protesters also raised objections over the construction of various development projects associated with the CPEC and the posting of a large number of personnel of Pakistani and Chinese military and secret agencies in Gilgit Baltistan. They said it will have adverse effect on the local culture, peace, stability and environment in the region. Shouting slogans against Pakistan, the protesters criticized Islamabad's attempts to promote religious intolerance and hatred that will further divide the people of Jammu and Kashmir and generate extremism, violence and terrorism. "Deeply concerned about Pakistan's policy to use religion as a weapon and terrorism as a foreign policy tool and the region as a launching pad for terrorism and training camps to suppress the secular, democratic and progressive voices of the entire region," the memorandum submitted to Pakistan's High Commission in London states. The protesters also called for the release of political prisoners like Baba Jan from jails in Pakistan. They alleged that Pakistan was settling its citizens in Gilgit-Baltistan and so-called Azad Kashmir to change the demography of these areas. (ANI)