UKPNP spokesperson meets Canadian MP to discuss human rights situation in PoK

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The spokesperson for United Kashmir People’s National Party (UKPNP), Sardar Nasir Aziz Khan on Sunday met George Chahal, a Canadian Member of Parliament and briefed him about the human rights situation, growing extremism and terrorism in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Khan extended the good wishes and appreciation message of exiled Chairman of UKPNP Sardar Shaukat Ali Kashmiri to Chahal on his participation in UKPNP Calgary Conference.

Khan briefed Chahal regarding the human rights situation in Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan on growing terrorism, extremism and free-roaming of banned outfits in PoK. Nasir Aziz Khan further said that unemployment, inflation, lack of infrastructure, discrimination towards Kashmiri nationalists, strict restrictions on freedom of expression, press and publications, and freedom of association in Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan are the main concerns.

“Sardar Nasir Aziz Khan Central Spokesperson UKPNP met Honourable #GeorgeChahal Member Parliament #Canada and brief regarding human rights situation, growing extremism and terrorism in Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan both leaders agreed to work jointly in future endeavours,” he tweeted.

Khan thanked Chahal for his humbleness and allowed another meeting despite his very busy schedule.

He also raised the issue of Ali Shamriaz, a student leader of UKPNP who was booked under fabricated charges in Muzaffarabad. Khan asked the Canadian MP to use his good offices for the safety and immediate release of Shamriaz. Nasir Aziz Khan also expressed concerns regarding the ongoing situation in Gilgit Baltistan where people are protesting against the shortage of essential food, like wheat, flour and other items.

Earlier in December, Human rights activist and chairman of UKPNP, Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, raised concerns over the deprivation of basic rights of the people in Gilgit Baltistan.

Taking a dig at Pakistan, the rights activist said Gilgit Baltistan is part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan’s policy is aimed at depriving the people of their fundamental rights and propagation against Indian involvement.

“Gilgit Baltistan is part of the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and people are deprived of basic rights. It’s Pakistani policy and fashioned to deprive people and propagation against Indian involvement. Pakistani is a country that always uses religious sentiments,” Shaukat Ali Kashmiri wrote on Twitter.

Notably, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics is planning to hold the first-ever digital Census in Pakistan and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan in March 2023.

The Census form does not include an option for the citizens of Kashmir to note their hereditary State citizenship status in the Census form.

The exclusion of the State identity of the people of Kashmir as an option from the Census 2023 can be seen as a way to marginalize or suppress the numbers and interests of State Citizens. It may also lead to feelings of alienation and resentment among the people of PoK, Gilgit Baltistan.

Additionally, it could make it difficult to accurately measure the size and demographic makeup of the population of Kashmir origin and heritage living in Pakistan, which could have implications for government policies and equitable resource allocation for Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.

UKPNP asking the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to amend the online 2023 Census form with immediate effect.

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