By: Lt Col JS Sodhi (Retd), Editor, GSDN
As Pakistan Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (POJK) suffers from gross under-development and impoverishment, the Government of Pakistan splurged millions of dollars in observing Kashmir Solidarity Day (KSD) on February 05, 2024 regularly since 1991 when it was observed for the first time on the proposal by Qazi Hussain Ahmad of the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan in 1990.
Nawaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan gave its approval after he came to power with the of support of the Jamaat in 1990 and since 1991, KSD is being observed regularly in Pakistan on 05 February each year.
Though the Government of Pakistan leaves no stone unturned in spending millions of dollars to celebrate KSD to showcase it as an important event, the crude fact remains that POJK has remained underdeveloped since Pakistan illegally captured it from India in 1948. The residents of POJK are in abject poverty and basics like water and electricity comes for only few hours a day. There are no good restaurants and movie halls in POJK and the residents of POJK are devoid of a good quality life.
On the other hand, the residents of the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir are enjoying and living a good quality of life with movie halls fully functional in the entire Jammu & Kashmir and restaurants open till wee hours of the morning. With a record over 20 million tourists visiting the Kashmir Valley in 2023, the residents of Jammu & Kashmir are reaping rich dividends after the abrogation of Article 370 and 35A On August 05, 2019.
Hence it is but obvious that the residents of POJK are unhappy when they see the good quality of life across the Line of Control (LOC) in Jammu & Kashmir and curse the day Pakistan illegally occupied their territories. No wonder that on 05 February each year thousands of residents of POJK observe Peoples Right Day (PRD) to protest against the illegal occupation of Pakistan of POJK and ask for merger with India. However, the Pakistan Army using ruthless measures, silences these peaceful residents observing the PRD and in the round-up to 05 February each year, thousands of residents of POJK are either jailed or put under house arrest to prevent them from taking part in PRD.
The day isn’t far when the PRD movement in POJK will become so large that Pakistan will find it hard to supress this movement, eventually leading to POJK becoming part of India again