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    Police in PoK's Poonch open fire on peaceful protesters, many injured

     



    Poonch, July 22: A number of protestors sustained injuries in the Poonch area of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) after security forces fired indiscriminately at them. The incident took place on Thursday in which at least 65 locals have been arrested so far and some 30 of them have been booked under terror law, according to sources.


    Massive protests have been taking place across PoK over high inflation and denial of basic human rights by the Pakistani authorities. In the PaaGali area of Poonch, the locals were holding protests on Thursday on the main highway when the Pakistani security forces and local police started firing indiscriminately to disperse them.


    Many of them have been seriously injured and the number of dead has not been disclosed yet by the authorities. "This is an act of state terrorism as the police have opened straight fire on us. We strongly condemn this. Is raising a voice for our basic rights a crime? I request the local youth to gather in large numbers and give a befitting reply to the state atrocities," one of the locals said.


    The residents of the PaaGali area have decided to continue the agitation against state atrocities. The people in PoK are denied basic rights and they have been facing numerous challenges like high inflation, poor education and health facilities.


    Whenever they raise their voice for their fundamental rights, the security agencies use brutal force to muzzle dissent. Last week, dozens of angry residents in several parts of PoK blocked roads over Islamabad's harsh policies that are reportedly hurting the economic interest of locals.


    PoK's four million residents have never been allowed to speak a word and address their political and socio-economic grievances. Its high unemployment rate, poor infrastructure, and lack of resources force its citizens to migrate to large cities of Pakistan where they are only allowed menial jobs as labourers, cleaners at hotels, drivers, etc.


    Pakistan is unable even to provide the bare minimum necessary to keep people alive in its colonized state, reported Asian Lite International. The difference in allocation of funds as well as development projects in Kashmir - PoK and Kashmir amply describes the tale of two Kashmirs.


    At the beginning of this fiscal year, India presented a USD 13.33 billion budget for the Jammu and Kashmir Union Territory. New Delhi allocates nearly five times more funds to J&K than Islamabad allocates for PoK. While India is implementing several new projects in Jammu and Kashmir to meet the demands of the post-Covid economy, PoK on the other hand has suffered many budgetary cuts with the government favouring corrupt politicians as well as China making inroads into the territory and using the land to fulfill its ambitions.–(ANI)

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