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Pakistan hints at taking away freedom of PoK, plans to rename it

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Muzaffarabad: Pakistan had illegally acquired a certain portion of Kashmir and named it the ‘Azad Kashmir’. However, Pakistan is now preparing to withdraw the so-called ‘Azadi’ of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). The Pakistani government is now referring to the PoK as just Kashmir, omitting the word ‘Azad’ (free) in all its official documentation.

Earlier, reports had surfaced of Pakistan preparing to remove the posts of the President and the Prime Minister of PoK. Only recently, PoK’s Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider had claimed that he could be the last functioning Prime Minister of the region. Therefore, Pakistan has indicated taking a significant decision on Kashmir soon. India scrapped the Article 370 and withdrew the special status awarded to Kashmir, converting it into a union territory. Agitated with the development, Pakistan tried various tactics against India. Nevertheless, as none of these moves worked, the Pakistan government and military are facing flak.

PoK, taking away freedom, Raja Farooq Haider, Pakistan occupied Kashmir, war, Pakistan, Citizenship Amendment Bill

Given the scenario, the Pakistan government would have to demonstrate to its people that it has taken some steps on the Kashmir issue. Pakistan is thus preparing for the same and the taking away of Pakistan occupied Kashmir’s so-called ‘Azadi’ appears to be a part of the strategy. The President and Prime Minister of PoK are only decorative posts, and the Pakistan government runs the entire administration. The Pakistani government also does not take any decisions on PoK without consulting its military. In the current scenario, any decision from Pakistan on PoK may not make much difference. Yet the Pakistani government and the army appear to be taking the decision to present it to the people.

As Pakistan is taking steps in that direction, its Railway Minister Sheikh Rashid issued a threat for war to India referring to the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) by the Indian government. However, the Pakistani media is making fun of their own politician’s statements. The Pakistani journalists and analysts taunted him saying that a person who cannot operate the railways in Pakistan properly, should not make such irresponsible statements. At the same time, the media are asking, ‘What happened to Imran Khan’s movement of taking to the streets for one hour every Friday, for Kashmir?’

To face all the questions, the Pakistani government and military are trying to drop the word ‘Azad’ from its assigned name, ‘Azad Kashmir’. Prime Minister Imran Khan is trying to display that his government is capable of taking some bold decisions like the Indian government as well. The step would also satisfy the ego of the Pakistan military by letting them believe that they have taken some action against India. The Indian parliament’s proposal to revoke Article 370, has triggered an outcry in Pakistan. Also, the move sparked debates in Pakistan that India would attack PoK and annex it. Moreover, the government was being questioned that ‘If India attacked, does the Pakistani military have the capacity to fight back?’

The Pakistani analysts have warned that the possibility of an Indian attack on PoK still looms large. What’s more the analysts assert that the only way to regain Kashmir after India scraped Article 370 would be with war.

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