Imran Khan appointed extremist element in POJK bodies, activists staged protest

Brussels, Belgium: United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP)’s Central Secretary and Director for Committee on Foreign Affairs (Brussels and Eastern Europe) recently wrote to Chair Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, David McAllister and President of European Commission Ursula von der Leyen regarding appointments of extremist elements in the PoJK Government.

With the letter to the EU, UKPNP has opposed Pakistan’s government and military for deploying undemocratic tools to undermine local governance in PoJK.

The letter also cited the specific case of an associate of a Pakistan Army General bagging an important post in PoJK administration after flouting local rules. Irfan Ashraf was appointed as Director-General Kashmir Cultural Academy despite being seen openly threatening the public with weapons and accompanied by Talibani terrorists during elections in POJK, said Just Earth News.

Ashraf, a leader of the Abdullah Gul led Tehreek Naujwanan Pakistan (Pakistan Youth Movement), is the son of former DG of ISI, Hamid Gulwho is also closely associated with the Taliban.

UKPNP in the letter also mentioned other extremist appointments in PoJK by the Imran government. The group mentioned about Mazhar Saeed who was given a ticket for elections of the local legislature of PoJK by the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) party.

Notably, Saeed earlier has been associated with the Tahreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the banned organisation in Pakistan which has claimed multiple terror attacks in the country including the Peshawar Army School attack in 2014 that killed over a hundred children.

Imran Khan’s party gave a ticket to Saeed to contest the seat reserved for Ulema and Mashaikh.
With regard to the human rights abuses and rising corruption in the region, UKPNP underlined the issue to European lawmakers stressing that local youth are deprived of job opportunities, women are deprived of primary health care and young girls are vulnerable at the hands of the Pakistani military in the region.

Apart from the UKPNP, Jammu and Kashmir Awami workers party (JKAWP) is also actively highlighting the issue as recently it organized a public meeting of people affected by the hydropower project in Patan Sher Khan. The participants strongly condemned Pakistan’s hypocritical policy in PoJK and complained that many mega hydel power projects are being constructed there without any consultation with the PoJK government.

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