Date :15-May-2024

THE general strike in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir is becoming a serious issue that the Pakistani authorities are not able to handle. True, the Pakistan Government has granted an immediate allocation of Rs. 23 billion to the region to sort out its problems. Yet, that aid does not seem to be good enough for the common people to feel assured of the governmental goodwill. Signs are available that the people there are no longer in a mood to listen to the Pakistani appeals for calm. It is likely that the current total strike across the region will result into a stronger-than-ever demand for liberation of that part of Kashmir from Pakistan’s control. This was expected to happen -- for long. For, the region under Pakistan’s illegal and immoral control has been asking for independence and showing a clear tilt towards India. In India, too, a vigorous thought is being promoted if India can take back the region -- through whatever means and channels -- so much so that even some top functionaries of the Government have stated time and again that the region under Pakistan’s illegal control belongs to India and that some day the region will be snatched back. If this is the mood in India, Pakistan’s power machine appears almost certain that in some more time, the country may have to lose Occupied Kashmir -- to India.
This scare is growing in Pakistan’s power elite -- making them lose their sense of balance. The tone and tenor of their treatment to common people in the occupied Kashmir indicates a great frustration on the part of Pakistan’s power elite. The current strike is in protest of shockingly high prices of everything, very highly increased power bills -- plus other materials and services. The life of common man in occupied-Kashmir, thus, has become unbearable in every sense. A serious discontentment is reigning in the region as the demand for liberation from Pakistani control. Pakistan’s own economic condition has gone down so much that experts wonder if Islamabad would really be able to give the occupied Kashmir its due. The real issue, however, is not Pakistan’s ability to pump in so much money into the region. The real issue is if the common people in the region are willing to continue to live under Pakistani occupation. And it is this point that comes up in national discourse in India time and again. Most Indians feel that it is their moral duty to make PoK become and integral part of India as early as possible. Occasionally, Pakistan accuses India of fanning trouble in occupied Kashmir.
India’s stance is clear: When essentials of life are not available to people, they protest, ask for better life, and agitate when the administration fails to deliver, there is no need for anybody to fan trouble in any region. The trouble in occupied Kashmir is due to terrible shortages and horrible absence of good governance. In such a situation, India does not have to do anything specially to fan trouble in occupied Kashmir. The region is sufficiently on the boil for many years and the current situation is the result of all the trouble brewing for long. Pakistan’s real problem is that it does not know how to govern itself. Its ruling class always belonged to filthy rich people (in most cases) who do not know how to help people understand reality without losing cool. Over time, the Pakistani economy, too, has been dwindling dangerously. In such conditions, it is not expected that the Pakistani authorities will pay special attention to occupied Kashmir and accommodate the people’s needs in an efficient manner. The people from PoK have seen the dramatic and positive change in Kashmir on the other side of the border. They also crave for similar life. That is the root of the trouble there.