AWP denounces crackdown on peaceful protesters in AJK

Party stands in solidarity with AJK people, calls on federal and State authorities to release detained activists, respect their rights including the right to self-determination

Press Release

The Awami Workers Party (AWP) vehemently condemns the recent crackdown on peaceful protesters in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. It expresses unwavering solidarity with the Kashmiri people in their struggle for basic rights.

The AWP leadership is deeply concerned about the deployment of paramilitary forces in AJK and the subsequent use of repressive tactics, the arbitrary arrest of hundreds of political activists including JKAWP organiser Shah Nawaz Sher Advocate. Such actions only serve to incite further unrest among the populace.

The AWP President Akhtar Hussain, General Secretary Dr Bakhshal Thalho and Jammu Kashmir Awami Workers Party Chairman Nisar Shah and Gilgit-BaltistanAwami Workers Party chairman Baba Jan in a joint statement denounced the brutal use of force by law enforcement agencies against demonstrators in Muzaffarabad, Dadial and Mirpur on Friday and Saturday, which resulted in injuries and heightened tensions in various other districts.

It is distressing to see the suppression of legitimate demands, particularly those related to the unjust taxation on electricity bills, power loadshedding, and the subsidy on wheat. Federal and state authorities have failed to meet local needs despite substantial generation of electricity from power houses in AJK.  

The AWP calls on the Islamabad and State government to respect the fundamental right to peaceful protest, immediately withdraw paramilitary forces from the region, release all political detainees, including Shah Nawaz Sher and drop false charges levied against them.

Furthermore, the AWP stands in solidarity with the Jammu Kashmir Joint Awami Action Committee that has been leading a rights movement against the ‘unjust’ taxes levied on electricity bills and observed a shutter-down strike for the same reason in August last year.

The party leadership supports their rightful demands for equitable access to electricity at production cost, end to prolonged power load-shedding, construction of local grid station, provision of flour at subsidised rates as well as other socio-economic rights.

The AWP leadership reiterates its principled stand that the rights and aspirations of the people of AJK including the right to self-determination and ownership of their resources must be respected and upheld at all costs.