Human Rights violation in Azad Kashmir are not new, but the people have been very patient until two months ago when electricity bills reached sky high. Many poor people committed suicide against inflation, but the government paid no heed. Instead, the government increased the number of ministers from 16 to 26, while the number should have been reduced since a small area of 4000 square miles doesn’t need such a large army of ministers, who like most public institutions, don’t pay power bills. The government covers this loss from ordinary people. This is one of the main causes of protest.
Previously, many people complained that Pakistan produced over 6000-megawatt electricity from Azad Kashmir at the cost of 2.44 rupees per unit and was sold back for 52 rupees. The requirement of Azad Kashmir is only 400 megawatts, which is not given regularly. Whereas, when people were forced out from their homes to build the Mirpur Dam in 1963, they were promised free electricity. Another agreement was made in 2001 at the time of raising up of the Mirpur Dam, but not implemented. People were cheated. They still remained silent until it became impossible to pay the increased bills.
The people began to organize into a spontaneous Action Committee all over Azad Kashmir. Not a single item of public property was damaged by protesters anywhere in Azad Kashmir over the past two months.
However, the Azad Kashmir premier who promised to recover bills from state institutions, did nothing about it and ordered the police to remove dharna (peaceful sit in protest), which didn’t block the road or disturbed the daily life, but just placed banners on roadsides. The government action has turned the peaceful protest into violent and subsequently put the regime in the Dock. No idea how it is going to get out of it since sanity is not on the sight!
Ideally, the police have to maintain law and order, but the law is confused with the orders of the rulers. An order is not necessarily a law, but the former colonial type of Police function has unfortunately not improved. The police in the imperialistic world has lost the sense of its formation and purpose of existence outlined by the founder Hazrat Umar Farooq, the second successor to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). forces for too long. The Azad Kashmir police have some of the brightest young officers, but the inspector general police is landed from Pakistan, who is accountable to the government of Pakistan.
The rulers of Kashmir have to realize that people are no longer ignorant. They know their rights and will stand for them.