Former Jammu and Kashmir People’s National Party (JKPNP) spokesman Habib-ur-Rehman denounced the proposed Kohala Hydro Power Project at Kohala in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (POK) and said that this hydroelectric project is an attempt by China and Pakistan to seize the resources from this part of Kashmir and end its present status.
“There is a plan to disarm Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Pakistan-occupied Jammu Kashmir) by seizing the resources of this part of the state as well as to seize it completely and end its present status,” said Habib-ur-Rehman.
He explained that the construction of Mangla Dam in the 1960s, then the Neelum Jhelum Power Project (NJPP) and now the Kohala Hydro Power Project have not involved public opinion and the so-called government of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (POK) had no role in it. “It is the process by which the resources of this part of the state are being plundered. Apparently it is being announced that it will provide employment to the people while in fact the people are being deprived of their resources. Large water dams in the world are considered harmful to the environment, not only humans but also birds will be badly affected, people will face immense difficulties,” said Habib-ur-Rehman.
Habib-ur-Rehman further added that this dam is primarily owned by the people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) and according to the state laws, no person, company or corporation which does not fall under the category of State Subject Roll can invest in Jammu and Kashmir.
Talking about the AJK (POK) government, Habib-ur-Rehman said that the government and the members of the assembly were taking concessions to give a thumbs up to all such agreements with the so-called Azad Jammu and Kashmir government. The Pakistani rulers, Azad Jammu and Kashmir’s Prime Minister are witnesses the loot of resources. “Surprisingly, they are becoming witnesses to the alienation of their land.”
The former spokesperson of JKPNP reminded that the ruling class of Pakistan has ruined the Baloch people by plundering the resources of Balochistan. The looting of Sindh’s resources continues, and so there is an urgent need to learn a lesson from history. Instead of the AJK (POK) government having complete control over the resources of the so-called “Azad Jammu and Kashmir”, the AJK (POK) government is wasting their time in flattery and welcome. “They are giving their lands to others for small posts.”
Habib-ur-Rehman warned that as several mega projects are being implemented, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) is being economically paralyzed. “The Pakistani state will seize all the resources through these projects and the people will be deprived of their lands and resources and will fall prey to extreme poverty and helplessness. The people will further fall victim to the worst individual and collective slavery.” The construction of Mangla Dam and Neelam Jhelum Power Project (NJPP) have not changed the lives of the people. The so-called “Azad Kashmir” is as dark as it was before these projects, said the former spokesperson.
Habib-ur-Rehman explained that once this hydroelectric project is complete, it will take the form of military barracks. “The AJK (POK) government will not interfere in their management, production and revenue. All such projects should be handed over to the AJK (POK) government immediately. Pakistan’s involvement is an occupier’s role which is not acceptable in any way.” He appealed to all the political parties to take a stand against this new strategy of occupation.