Is Pakistan Losing Its Grip On PoK? Posters Emerge Demanding Merger With India Amid Protests – News18

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From left to right: Posters with the Indian flag posted at a protest venue in Rawalakot. Minor girls receive treatment after being lobbed with tear gas shells and protesters destroy a military vehicle. (Image: SOURCED)

Protesters in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir’s Rawalakot have been attacked after posters emerged there demanding merger with India.

A people’s rights movement has surged in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir as citizens there have revolted against what they call brutality in the hands of Pakistan police and Pakistan administration.

Officials familiar with the developments told CNN-News18 that the recent protests and the violent suppression of those demonstrations indicate that Pakistan could be losing its grip on the territory it has illegally occupied for decades.

Several instances of locals in Muzaffarabad and Rawalakot clashing with the law enforcement authorities have been reported. Aforementioned people also told CNN-News18 that posters have emerged in Rawalakot demanding merger with India.

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Police officials were met with protests by angered residents of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir following tear gas shelling on protesters. A group of peaceful protesters were hit by tear gas shells in Dadyal.

“Pak stands to lose grip on PoJK, edging closer to becoming part of India. (There are) major protests in PoJK and a military intelligence vehicle was also destroyed (by protesters),” one of the aforementioned officials said.

The officials said that the protests were spurred by the deaths of two minor girls. The two girls died after being baton-charged and exposed to tear gas.

Ten districts have protested against alleged human rights violations. “Pakistan’s hollow solidarity with Kashmiris (has been) unveiled,” the official said.

They said that the assistant commissioner of PoJK was beaten up by the resident after he issued the order to lob tear gas shells at peaceful protesters.

The first set of protests were taken out by the Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee who announced a series of “shutter-down and wheel-jam” strikes because the Pakistani government did not comply with an agreement reached between the two in February.

The committee has been protesting against the ‘unjust’ taxes that have been imposed on electricity bills and held a shutter-down strike over the taxes in August 2023 and have also demanded that electricity should be provided to consumers as per the production cost of hydel power in PoJK.

However, these protests have now spread further and protesters have raised human rights violation issues and police brutality in the hands of Pakistan police as issues affecting them.

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