New Delhi (NVI): Several Baloch activists have condemned the arrest of journalist Tanveer Ahmed who was arrested and tortured by Pakistani agencies and security forces on Friday after he removed Pakistan’s flag from a popular public place in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK).
They have also demanded the release of JKLF member Safeer Kashmiri in PoK, saying that they are facing similar problems and brutalities at the hands of Pakistan in Balochistan.
Dr Allah Nizar Baloch, a Baloch medical professional has expressed solidarity with the people of PoK who are being suppressed and humiliated by Pakistani forces for raising their voices in the region.
“I strongly condemn the arrest of Tanveer Ahmed and Safeer Kashmiri in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (PoK). We support and appreciate their struggle because we are facing similar problems and brutalities by Pakistan in Balochistan,” he tweeted.
I strongly condemn the arrest of Tanveer Ahmed and Safeer Kashmiri in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (PoK). We support and appreciate their struggle because we are facing similar problems and brutalities by Pakistan in Balochistan.#FreePoK
— Dr Allah Nizar Baloch (@AllahNizarNizar) August 26, 2020
In a video that has gone viral on social media, Tanveer can be seen bringing down a Pakistani flag at Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Chowk in Dadyal area in PoK.
Tanveer Ahmed removing Pakistani flag in Dadyal, Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (PoK).
— Al iskandar (@TheSkandar) August 21, 2020
According to media reports, Tanveer Ahmed was on a hunger strike for a few days demanding the removal of Pakistani flags in Dadyal. When the local administration failed to do so, he went on to remove the flags himself.
The activist had also claimed that he is being followed by the secret agencies. He was later mishandled and threatened by the security agencies. In a video, the security forces and policemen were seen dragging the journalist to a police vehicle.
A journalist from PoK Tanveer Ahmed @sahaafi was arrested today after he took down the flag of Pakistan from Maqbool Bhat Shaheed Chowk,Dadyal.
This is how much free is“Azaad Kashmir”where you are only Azad if you are pro Pakistan.
If you want Independence,this is what u face pic.twitter.com/9K6de8UbuQ
— Qaisar Javed (@iamQaisarJaved) August 21, 2020
Following his arrest, people in Dadyal came out on streets in large numbers and demanded his immediate release.
In another protest in PoK’s Muzaffarabad, local residents held a torch rally against the illegal construction of dams by Chinese firms on Neelum-Jhelum River on Monday.
Over a thousand people from Muzaffarabad city and other parts of PoK attended the rally, shouting slogans against the illegal construction of dams. The protesters highlighted environmental impacts caused by the dams constructed by Pakistan and China.
The people in PoK, just like those in Balochistan have been demanding a free state, following years of brutality and torture at the hands of Pakistan military and authorities.
Both Balochistan and PoK suffer mass plundering by Pakistan and China now as they have been trying to exploit the natural resources in these areas through any means.
In 2015, Beijing announced the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is part of its intercontinental Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), with an aim to expand its influence in Pakistan and across Central and South Asia. CPEC includes plans to create road, rail and oil pipeline links to improve connectivity between China and the Middle East via Pakistan.
Pakistan has also been grappling with a severe economic crisis, so it is seeing CPEC as a golden opportunity to revive its economy by providing China access to Middle East.
Pakistan’s growing hunger to exploit natural resources in the garb of development and China’s growing footprint in Balochistan and PoK has irked the locals who have been demanding freedom from Pakistan’s occupancy for years now.