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Cop Lynched, Hundreds Injured As Violent Protests In PoK Spiral Out Of Pakistan’s Control

Violent protests in PoK show no sign of ending. Source: PTI Azad Kashmir

Pakistan’s ruling party the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) PML (N) is desperately calling for calm as protests in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) have continued since Friday in PoK’s capital Muzaffarabad. This has led to a complete shutdown in the city with Pakistani authorities having imposed Section 144.

Police violence, which has been captured in several videos posted on social media, has seen the protests, led by the Awami Action Committee (AAC) escalate. According to Pakistani media reports, a cop has been lynched, and over 100 protesters have been badly injured in clashes with the police.

Meanwhile, the protests have escalated and travelled to other parts of PoK such as Samahni, Sehansa, Mirpur, Rawalakot, Khuiratta, Tattapani, and Hattian Bala.

The anger on social media is palpable in Pakistan as images of the police brutality, which has included lathi-charges and tear gassing of civilians, continue to be posted on X. One user Noman Khan directly targeted the “puppet” Prime Minister of PoK Chaudhry Anwarul Haq who he claimed was missing in action as the violence continued.

“Kashmir is bleeding, there’s bloodshed everywhere, people are on road but the puppet Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir is hiding in Islamabad, ordering police to confiscate the mobile phones of journalists who ask him questions. People are dying & he’s enjoying. Any shame?”

Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e Insaaf (PTI) said on X, that it offered to play the role of mediator but no repsonse was given.


The government has been shaken by the problem. On Sunday, PoK Prime Minister Chaudhry Anwarul Haq termed the death of the policeman who was lynched by protesters during the ongoing protests as “tragic” and attributed the violence to “extremists.”

Appealing to the AAC to come forward to talk, he was quoted as saying in a Pakistani news portal that “the government held negotiations with the Awami Action Committee (AAC) and we reached an agreement, which we are determined to implement.”

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“We are ready to talk with the Awami Action Committee at any level and the demands related to the government of Pakistan will be raised before the federation.”

Haq also promised that measures could be looked into to adjust the development budget of Pakistan to address the key demands of protesters who are complaining against high flour and electricity.

Haq’s stance has been echoed by PML-N PoK President Shah Ghulam Qadir who said in a video message on Saturday that he had contacted Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and apprised him of the situation. Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has called an emergency meeting to discuss the situation at the President’s House on Monday.


Meanwhile, leaders of the Awami Action Committee have vowed to continue with their struggle. The AAC is an alliance of around 23 religious, nationalist and political groups, which was formed in 2014 with the single objective of lowering wheat prices.

Protests have been carried out by the group in PoK and Gilgit Baltistan (G-B) before as they claim that money from CPEC projects has not come to their regions and neither have promised economic zones been set up. Social media videos, which are yet to be independently verified, show protesters purportedly from PoK chanting “azadi from Pakistan.”

“We are like a gateway for the project and more than 450 kilometres of our land is used for CPEC,” a leader of the AAC said, adding that G-B had not benefited from this.

(Inputs from Reuters and other agencies)