UKPNP chairman urges UN to take note of human rights violations in PoK, Gilgit-Baltistan
Geneva [Switzerland], September 22 (ANI): United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) president, Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, urged the United Nations to take note of violations that have been taking place in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit Baltistan and ask Pakistan to uphold and guarantee all our fundamental human rights, encompassing civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, including the right to development.
Speaking at the General debate under agenda Item:3 Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, he said, "I on behalf of our organisation request the United Nations to take note of these violations taking place in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan and ask Pakistan to uphold and guarantee all our fundamental human rights, encompassing civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights, including the right to development."
"However, the people of Pakistani Administered Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan have been completely marginalised. Islamabad has imposed an alien culture on both peripheries. Depriving locals of their history, natural resources, traditions, customs, language and culture through its institution’s and instrument of educational curriculum, are serious violations of various international laws," he added.
"Recently the people of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan staged massive protests in the length and breadth of both regions. But Pakistani media has totally blackout those massive people on roads demanded ownership of their natural resources, revival of their statehood, availability of subsidised food essentials, exceeding electricity bills and illegal taxes levied," Shaukat Ali Kashmiri said.
"The state of Pakistan has ratified that covenant on 17th of April- 2008, its letter and spirit are missing to be implemented in various regions of Pakistan and particularly in PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan. Right to development is fundamental to improving the living standards of the people and lifting them from poverty, to mitigate climate change effects at the grassroots level. But, the people in both regions under its administration are facing colonial and discriminatory policies imposed by Pakistan through such laws that are contrary to its commitment under international laws," Kashmiri said.
Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of PoK, united in their condemnation of what they perceive as highly inflated electricity bills that are putting undue financial strain on their households. Their collective stand revolves around one resolute pledge: they will not pay these bills until their grievances are addressed.
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