PoK continues to be terrorist launching pad, say exiled leaders

Geneva/New Delhi; Exiled leaders from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and Gilgit-Baltistan have blamed Pakistan for sheltering terrorists and using its soil as a launching pad for terrorists.

"On the one side, Pakistan says it is fighting a war against terrorism, but on other side, LeT terrorists are roaming freely and extremists are rallying every day, the Jaish-e-Mohammad is operating, and the Jihad Council, the outfit which has claimed (responsibility for) the Pathankot attack, these are all benefitted by the state," Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, Secretary General of United Kashmir People`s National Party (UKPNP) told ANI.

"There are certain Talibani leaders who have the backing of the Pakistan government. So, this is not the right way to fight against terrorism that you adopt the policy of pick and choose, he added."In our region (PoK), the terrorist infrastructure is still intact and we always say that this region has been used as a launching pad for terrorist activities. I firmly believe that terrorists will not make Kashmir free," he further said.

Kashmiri and others were speaking at an event of "Human Rights and Terrorism" on the sidelines of the ongoing 31st Session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva."In Gilgit Baltistan all black laws are being enforced, the anti-terrorist courts and military courts are acting against the political activists and leaders," Chairman of Gilgit Baltistan Thinkers Forum, Col. (Retired) Wajahat Hasan Mirza said.

The leader, who is now living in living in exile, also pointed out that establishing military courts in disputed territory of PoK and Gilgit-Baltistan is a clear violation of UNCIP resolutions on Kashmir.The activists further voiced their dissent for the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) and blamed Pakistan for using the law against secular, civil society activists and nationalist political workers who have been struggling for their fundamental human rights.

"Recently, a case has been registered under anti terrorist act against a nine-year-old, Zoaib Ullah, in Giglit-Baltistan. We urge upon the international community to put pressure on Pakistan to stop political victimisation and immediate release all the political prisoners facing sedition charges," Nasir Aziz Khan, spokesperson of United Kashmir People`s National Party said. 

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