June 2003 News

Freedom Storm Brews In PoK

6 June 2003
The Times of India

New Delhi: The peace process initiated by India has given a fresh momentum to the movement of the people in PoK to free themselves from the yoke of Pakistan's military dictatorship, intelligence sources here indicated. They said this movement is being spearheaded jointly by the All-Parties National Alliance (APNA), the Gilgit-Baltistan National Alliance (GBNA) and other political groups. These organisations have also raised their voice against cross-border terrorism being aided and abetted by the military regime in Pakistan. APNA, GBNA, the Jammu and Kashmir National Awami Party (JKNAP) and several Kashmir-based political organisations have welcomed the latest Indo-Pak peace initiative of Prime Minister Vajpayee and hoped that it would lead to the resolution of the Kashmir issue. At the same time, the Kashmiri leaders have demanded that 'the core party in the dispute, the people of Jammu and Kashmir, should have full representation in the process through genuine representatives'. APNA had organised a 'black day' on April 28 for it was on this day they said that 'Karachi Agreement' was signed between Pakistan and that of the so-called 'Azad' Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) government in 1949. Following this agreement, Gilgit-Baltistan, the so-called Northern Areas, which are geographically and historically part of Jammu and Kashmir, were given to Pakistan by the puppet rulers of AJK. The sources said that the participation of the general public in various civilian protest programmes has increased since then. Early this month, the JKNAP had organised an international convention which was attended by APNA leaders from PoK. 'Speakers at the convention expressed their dissatisfaction with the political, economic, constitutional and legal system introduced by Pakistan in the PoK and the Northern Areas,' the intelligence sources added. The sources quoted the speakers at the convention as saying that there was no 'sign of democracy, no economic and social justice, no constitution and no rule of law whatsoever throughout Pakistan and in its extensions, wherever they are, be it 'Azad Kashmir' or the Northern Areas. Everything is subservient to the needs of the armed forces, especially a tiny minority in the forces. This minority in the armed forces is a law unto itself.' Sources say the speakers demanded that Pakistan's armed forces be brought under a democratically-elected defence minister like other democratic countries.


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