Protest Against Conditional Election in AJK

Written By : Quayyum Raja

A large number of Azad Kashmiris are protesting today against conditional Election in the so called Azad or free Kashmir. The condition is that any Kashmiri who doesn’t sign a declaration on oath that Jammu Kashmir will become a part of Pakistan can’t participate in general elections. People protesting against it term this condition as a road map to a permanent partition of Jammu Kashmir between India and Pakistan. India occupies a much larger area of Jammu Kashmir and a small portion is occupied by China.

The main purpose of the Azad Kashmir government was to get itself recognized by International Community so that it can campaign for the independence of the remaining part of the homeland occupied by India. India had removed the special status of Jammu Kashmir two years ago, while Pakistan did it following the Karachi Agreement back in 1949. The people of Azad Kashmir trusted Pakistan as a bigger brother but the successive Pakistani regimes abused the trust and minimized the status of Azad Kashmir, let alone recognizing it to stand up to India.

The people of Azad Kashmir didn’t want Pakistan establishment to bring itself down to India’s level but their patience seems to have run out. The people are extremely concerned of PTI regime’s tendency to make the Jammu Kashmir Ceasefire Line as an International Border. The people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir love each other but the latter are extremely apprehensive and no longer trust the government’s official policy on Kashmir.

A vast majority of Kashmiris now argue that PAKISTAN’s Kashmir policy is supporting India more than India’s own Kashmir policy. Pakistani premier Imran Khan announced a separate referendum in AJK a couple of days back, while the United Nations resolution on Jammu Kashmir future requires the referendum of the whole of Jammu Kashmir at once.

The protest is largely carried out by the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front and Jammu Kashmir Workers Oarty in almost all major cities of Azad Kashmir such as Muzaffarabad, Mir Pur, Kotli, , Khuiratta, Bagh and Rawlakot.