Correspondent | Mohammed Iqbal, Kangan
The Correspondent records the story narrated by Riyaz Ahmed Bhatt , resident of Kangan, Jammu & Kashmir India and reveals the truth across Ceasefire line( LOC) in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.
History of Kashmir Valley
Pakistan occupied Kashmir historically belongs to the erstwhile princely state of Jammu & Kashmir. Maharaja of Jammu & Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh signed the Instrument of Accession, hereby forming Jammu & Kashmir, a part of Indian union. Pakistan occupied Kashmir is legitimately an inherent part of India. Pakistan occupied Kashmir is illegally under Pakistan occupation since Oct 1947 when Pakistan Army orchestrated tribal invasion over the territory after the accession, the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir followed the democratic path as per Article 370 of Indian constitution while the area under Pakistan’s occupation was bifurcated into two : Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Northern Areas which consisted of Gilgit Baltistan.
There has always been disconnect between the people of Pakistan and Pakistan occupied Kashmir, there is always a sense of dissatisfaction among the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. There is no constitution of its own, meaning there is no fundamental guarantee of civil rights, democratic representation or separation of powers. The hidden agenda of Pakistan lies in a fact that it always wanted to show a false picture to the people of Kashmir and set up the local youth to pick up arms against the Government of India. They have created a sense of dissatisfaction among the local youth by means of negative propaganda initiated by authorities in Pakistan. They wanted to start an unrest among the locals taking advantage of the situation and amalgamate Kashmir to Pakistan.
Anecdote by Riyaz Ahmad
I, Riyaz Ahmad Bhatt went to Pakistan occupied Kashmir in the year 2018. The people looked down upon us in every conceivable way in Pakistan occupied Kashmir till date, civil administration is not interested in issues of the locals and my relatives are in the state of distress. The continued subjugation by Pakistan over the decades has led to an acute sense of alienation among the people. What I perceived about Pakistan occupied Kashmir and as narrated by the selfish brokers, was completely untrue. I had thought Pakistan occupied Kashmir as a place where I could live my rest of the life in peace as compared to present day Kashmir.
As per my relatives the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir who once upon a time ruled the Gigit Baltistan region are now reduced to a minority. People of Pakistan in Pakistan occupied Kashmir enjoy better job avenues. They were given lucrative job offers and other incentives to settle in Pakistan occupied Kashmir, so as to change the existing demography of the Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir feel that the Pakistani state should have done lot more for their living condition. In that sense they (locals) feel their stories as well as their issues not heard and addressed. However, the faith of the locals in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, on Indian system have directed their grievances towards the Indian state which they feel that it could stand as great help to conflict resolution.
Life of Mohajirs (Migrants) is very insecure as they face constant threat from Pakistani terrorists, the ISI and the Pakistani Army. Such is the plight of many Kashmiris living in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir that they are neither considered refugees nor fully settled citizens and their agony has been increasing with each passing day. They have neither homes nor land which they can call their own despite the fact that they are citizens of the state. People of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir do not have any special relaxation in education or jobs unlike people of Indian administered Kashmir. Most of the men in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir are forced to take up terrorism against India. If we refuse, then the notorious intelligence agency, the ISI torture us. Pakistan does not spend a penny for so-called Pakistan Occupied Kashmir’s growth. It just uses all the earning from this place for Pakistan’s mainland growth. Whereas, India is spending billions of dollars in Kashmir for its growth. Pakistan is using Pakistan Occupied Kashmir as a shield to run the terrorist training camps and use it as an access point. People from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir cannot hold any top official post in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir as that is reserved for people of Pakistani origin. There are plenty of such facts which prove that Pakistan is just misusing Kashmiris.
After I returned from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, I can assure my folks that Kashmir (administered by India) is and will always be our paradise and Indian Government has done a lot for Kashmir. I have realized that my Kashmir can provide me infinite avenues where I can grow and live a peaceful life along with my family, as compared to the life in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.