What lay underneath ashes for centuries has finally emerged-the truth behind PoK. Pakistan's high claims about the residential status of the Kashmiris staying in PoK has come under the scanner after videos of atrocities have emerged.
The recent protests in PoK where people have gathered in large numbers protesting against the Pakistani administration and demanding freedom. The videos may be exclusive to CNN-IBN, but the reality is universal. The very fact that PoK was enforced on the people of Kashmir and what they are doing with the people is not hidden anymore.
However, once divided, will the unrest in this region give rise to another territorial war? is something that needs speculation.
Formation of the PoK
Better known as Azad Jammu and Kashmir, its history dates back to the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. The BRitish had left behind their suzerainty over princely states, that were allowed to choose any of the countries as their home or stay independent.
This is where the territorial war began. The Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir wanted his state to remain independent, but was ridden by war cries from Poonch, Muzaffrabad and Mirpur. The region was proclaimed a provisional Azad Jammu and Kashmir in Rawalpindi on 3 Oct 1947.
Then came the Pashtun tribals and unable to bear their military exigency, the Maharaja sought help from India, which refused saying that it was not a part of the country. Following this, the Maharaja signed an Instrument of Accession by handing over defence, external affairs and communications to the Government of India in return for military aid and a promised referendum.
Thus followed the territorial battle between India and Pakistan. That is when they settled with the present PoK line of control.
Ironically, the Azad Kashmir is a self-governing state, but under Pakistan control and abides by the country's constitution. However, it is not formally a part of the country. However, Pakistan controls their flag, their currency and also their postage stamps.
Even the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Council, which governs the tax affairs and the budget has 6 representatives from Pakistan.
What the Azad Kashmiris want now?
Simmering through centuries is the sense of being outcaste in Pakistan. The people here have suffered discrimination as compard to other regions in Pakistan. Be it healthcare, education or even basic facilities, this region has been deprived of every facility that the other parts of the country enjoy.
In 2006, a report by the NGO Human Rights Watch said: "While Jammu and Kashmir state had known considerable tourist traffic prior to the beginning of the insurgency there, the areas of Kashmir on the other side of the LoC had seen little external interest or presence after the end of the British colonial era in 1947 - a situation used by Pakistan to exercise absolute control over the territory."
From political murders to muzzled press and hold on political pluralism, the 'Azad' in Kashmir is a farse and the people unhappy.
The protests are just a reflection. And hence, the beginning of a new war of territories...forget what Nawaz Sharif said at the United Nations.