Islamabad [Pakistan]: Highlighting the suppression of people’s rights in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh and Gilgit-Baltistan, a number of activists from different groups called for drawing the attention of the international community and pressurising the Pakistani government to act in a better manner.
The webinar, organised by the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) commemorated the 9th Death Anniversary of Arif Shahid Shaheed, who was murdered, allegedly by Pakistani state authorities in 2013.
More than 30 people belonging to various activist groups participated in the conference and condemned the act while noting that no action had been taken against the perpetrators who committed the act. The UKPNK affirmed to continue its peaceful protest to seek justice for Arif Shahid.
Arif Shahid was the chairman of All Party’s National Alliance, an umbrella group of more than 13 political parties from PoK.
“It is unfortunate that it has become a crime to talk about your rights and rule of law in Pakistan,” Nasir Aziz Khan, the host of the event said while introducing the panellists. He highlighted that not even an FIR was filed, even though it has been nine years since Shahid’s death.
Recollecting his time with Shahid, Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, Chairman, UKPNP highlighted the role of Shahid and other activists in bringing out the plight of the people of PoK and other areas of Pakistan to the world community.
“There must hardly be any resolution in United Nations and other forums where we have not recalled the name of Arif Shahid,” Kashmiri said, adding, “The world community should pressurize Pakistan to act against the murderers of Arif Shahid, whether they belong to the power corridors of this country or anyone else.”
A number of Kashmiri panellists highlighted the atrocities and political suppression of Pakistan in PoK, including the exploitation of resources, political murders, and suppression of rights groups.
“It is the responsibility of the government that if a murder happens, the culprits are found out, FIR is filed and the case taken to conclusion,” Jamil Maqsood, Central secretary Foreign Affairs committee of UKPNP said.
“But this happens in those countries where there is a rule of law, the constitution is not violated and where the government is not itself involved in such crimes, be it in Sindh, Balochistan or KPK (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) or Gilgit or Kashmir, who do you ask for justice here?” Maqsood added.
“The Dark day of October 22 1947, when the neighbouring country by launching an aggression, took over 10 districts of our State needs to be remembered,” Ravinder Pandita, Chairman and founder of Sher Sharda Committee said.
“My effort is to unite like-minded people of united Kashmir, in this regard I have launched a campaign for a cross LoC heritage and religious tourism,” he added.
He further highlighted the destruction of Kashmiri heritage and culture in PoK and said that “preservation of heritage and culture is the need of the hour.”
A number of other panellists, from different parts of Jammu and Kashmir as well as from Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa put out their views, calling for highlighting the issues at international forums, as well as paying tributes to Arif Shahid. (ANI)