UK: Kashmiris protest outside Pakistani consulate in solidarity with ongoing PoJK unrest

Bradford [UK], May 14 : As dissent grew in the Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), the members of the United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP) staged a protest outside the Pakistani consulate in Bradford City of the UK.
During their demonstration outside the consulate, several party leaders and people from the Kashmiri diaspora expressed their support for the ongoing struggle of the people of Pakistan-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) and Pakistan-Occupied Gilgit Baltistan (PoGB), a statement by the UKPNP reported.
The leaders of the UKPNP expressed their support for the charter of demands put up by the Joint Awami Action Committee (JAAC) and condemned the deployment of the Punjab Constabulary and the Frontier Corps from Punjab Province.
Previously, a manifestation of dissent unfolded in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK), as a wheel-jam and shutter-down strike paralysed the city. This protest was catalysed by a call from a people’s action committee, denouncing a recent police crackdown, according to a report by Pakistan’s prominent news outlet Dawn.
Reportedly, clashes erupted between law enforcement and demonstrators across various neighborhoods, persisting until late into Friday evening. The tumultuous scenes were marked by stone-pelting and intense teargas shelling, amplifying tensions in the region.
The strike was prompted by the arrests of numerous leaders and activists from the Jammu and Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee in overnight police raids across Muzaffarabad and Mirpur divisions. This pre-emptive action galvanised the committee to mobilise support for their cause, the report stated.
Scheduled for May 11, the long march towards Muzaffarabad was announced by the committee last month, emphasising widespread participation from across the state. At the heart of this movement lies a fervent objection to what is perceived as unjust taxation on electricity bills. Last year, a similar shutter-down strike was orchestrated, echoing the demand for fair electricity pricing aligned with the production costs of hydel power in PoJK.
Despite prior negotiations and a subsequent government notification in February, grievances persisted, culminating in the decision to stage a long march in protest against unmet commitments.
Responding, to the invocation of the JAAC for a long march, Pakistani military rangers were deployed in Pakistan on Sunday to control violent protests that erupted in the region, The News International reported.
The decision was taken on the call of the Awami Action Committee (AAC) as protests against the high electricity bills and taxes entered their third day on Sunday. The development comes after clashes between the police and protestors erupted in Mirpur during demonstrations that killed a policeman and injured over 70.
Meanwhile, mobile services have also been affected in many areas after mobile phone and internet services were suspended in different parts of PoJK, including Bhimber, Mirpur, and Bagh Towns, The News International reported.
Moreover, the central leadership of the AAC has distanced itself from the violent incidents that occurred during the protests. One of the AAC members, Sajid Jagwal, said their movement is peaceful. He said that they had been sitting for two days and that no incident had taken place. (Agencies)