Vehicles cross a wooden plank cable suspension bridge over the Indus river in Gilgit.(Reuters file)
Vehicles cross a wooden plank cable suspension bridge over the Indus river in Gilgit.(Reuters file)

Massive violence erupts in PoJK over road being built by China

PoJK was already in chaos since the Imran Khan-led government made it the fifth province of Pakistan.
ANI, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2021 02:59 PM IST

Massive protests and violence erupted in Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK) over the Chinese move to build a 33-kilometer road on Friday.

Talking to the media, Amjad Ayub Mirza, an exiled activist from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) informed that China is building a 33-kilometer road from Yarkand to PoJK to move its artillery and military personnel in the region.

"China is now building a road from Yarkand of 33 km wide enough to bring its artillery, military and personnel. Things are gearing up in a precarious way, but PoJK people have risen up to the occasion. There will be more protests in PoJK, and I think Pakistan has lost in PoJK totally," said Mirza in the interview to the media.

A general strike has been going on since January 13, and Friday's strike is a continuation of the protest against the People Liberation Army's (PLA) move to build the road in PoJK.

"This is the second time in the month when we are witnessing a general strike. This time the strike in PoJK is widespread, last time the strike was limited to the Poonch division but now it has gone out of control. The whole of PoJK was under general strike on January 13th and the focal point became Azad Pattan Bridge, which is the entry point between Pakistan and PoJK, that was blocked. Police opened fire, tear gas and lathi-charged and there were clashes after which police had to retreat back to Pakistan," said Mirza.

"This is a big thing. The police check-post was set alight and yesterday even after the general strike the inertia is still there, and yesterday on the LoC at Mandhor, there were protests spreading like a wildfire across 750 miles Line of Control (LoC). People are fed up with food shortages, there is no flour, no electricity, no clean drinking water, and big cities are full of filth because the system has collapsed," added Mirza.

PoJK was already in chaos since the Imran Khan-led government made it the fifth province of Pakistan. People are protesting the decision and every day a procession or stir against the decision is witnessed in the region.

"Now what is happening that not a single day passes without a protest, sometimes more than one protest in different parts of PoJK. Every single day people are protesting in Gilgit Baltistan, PoJK, and Pakistani media does not report it. International media is not allowed in those areas," informed Mirza.

Mirza lamented the fact that the elected government of PoJK is sitting in Islamabad and merry-making while the public in the region is holding a crusade against Chinese incursions in the area.

"The whole of PoJK government elected after November 15th is sitting in Islamabad, enjoying buffets and parties, having a fun time because it's very cold in Gilgit. The government of Farooq Haider is called 'miscreants' by its people. PoJK has gone out of the hands of Pakistan, it has lost it. There is no sentiment for Pakistan in PoJK," he said.

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