Pakistan never ceases to amaze. This was evident in their recently concluded elections. Polling results were delayed by days to select candidates shortlisted by the Rawalpindi clique of generals.
The security personnel deployed in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) blocked a march by Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) activists towards the Line of Control (LoC) in a bid to cross over to unite Kashmir on Sunday.
The JKLF members termed LoC as a forcefully drawn line that divided Kashmir and said that they would cross it and unite Kashmir.
As per the reports, the JKLF activists were stopped near Jiskool on the Muzaffarabad-Srinagar highway. The plan was to reach Chakothi, three km away from LoC.
The JKLF activists were marching towards the LoC from last three days. On Saturday, the activists walked 20km to reach Garhi Dupatta and on Sunday afternoon, reached Chinari, which is 50 km away from Muzaffarabad.
The police personnel had blocked the highway with electric poles, barbed wire fences, mud piles and containers. A heavy police personnel had been deployed between Chinari and Chakothi to stop the activists.
JKLF spokesman Mohammed Rafiq Dar said that their “Azadi March” was a peaceful programme to focus the world’s attention towards the Kashmir issue, and they did not want a clash with local law enforcement officials or to indulge in any violence as this “would help India”. However, he said that they were adamant on continuing their march.
In a statement to Dawn, Dar said that the protesters, currently staging a sit-in, will wait until Monday for the removal of the containers.
“If they don’t, we will continue to stage a sit-in here and announce our next plan after that,” he said.
Top officials including Divisional Commissioner Chaudhry Imtiaz, Deputy Inspector General Police Sardar Ilyas Khan, and Jhelum Valley Deputy Commissioner Imran Shaheen were present on the other side of the barricade. The officials invited leaders of the march for talks.
“We have already humbly informed the organisers that there is a serious threat of Indian shelling. The Indians would not only target the marchers but also the entire civilian population in this area, something they have never hesitated from in the past,” Imtiaz told Dawn over telephone.
Imtiaz ruled out letting the marchers proceed beyond Jiskool, saying that they would come in the range of Indian artillery.
Security personnel had been also deployed on the nearby mountains, expecting clash with the activists who are adamant to marching to the LoC.
Pakistan Prime Minister, Imran Khan had earlier said that crossing LoC won’t be an appropriate step in view of the tough action by India against those crossing the Loc Illegally.