Glasgow [UK], June 5 (ANI): A political activist from Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) has condemned the vandalising of ancient Buddhist rock carvings in Chilas and demanded that a ‘quit GB and PoK movement’ needs to be launched to save the culture and history of Pakistan occupied territories of an erstwhile princely State of Jammu and Kashmir.
Recently radicals and fanatics in Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) had vandalised the Buddhist rock carvings. They wrote slogans on the rock-art and also painted a flag of Pakistan alongside.
Amjad Ayub Mirza, a rights activist based in Glasgow, said: “This is part of a great design that we call memory site. Memory site is to remove every single aspect of the culture and history of the occupied people by the oppressive.””So, what is happening is, it’s not the first incident where rock gardens have been painted over and vandalised and inscriptions have been vandalised and it is written ‘Dil Dil Pakistan’ and Pakistan flag has been painted over rock carvings. This has been going for some time and the reason for this is that the Pakistani occupying force wants to destroy every evidence of history that connects us with greater India, our similarities, our culture, and history. I strongly condemn this act of violence, cultural violence,” he added.
The activist has also dubbed that vandalism was allegedly in retaliation to the protests that locals have been organising over the construction of the Pak-China Diamer Basha Dam project.
This Rs 442 billion project is a joint venture by the Pakistani government with a Chinese state-run firm.
In order to complete this dream project that was hanging for the past 40 years, Pakistan introduced the Land Reforms Act and began acquiring the lands of the local residents, who in return started protesting against it.
Dr Mirza said: “As we know, people are protesting against the construction of Diamer Bhasha Dam. So, this is also an indication of how the Pakistani Government is going to tackle the protests that are taking place against Diamer Basha Dam. So, what they are trying to do is to threaten us that if we continue with these protests, this is how the Pakistan government intends to retaliate by further imposing their cultural-religious hegemony over our indigenous culture.”Following reports that Buddhist rock carvings belonging to 800 AD have been vandalised in Gilgit-Baltistan, India expressed strong concern over the matter and asked Islamabad to vacate illegally-occupied Indian Territory.
Dr Mirza said: “It is very encouraging to learn that the Indian government has asked the Pakistani government to withdraw its troops. We have been demanding the withdrawal of Pakistani troops from occupied GB and PoK for a very long time, but nobody has paid any heed to our demands.””We think it’s high time that we should start ‘quit GB and quit PoK movement’ and make a formal demand to the United Nations to wake up and implement the resolution that demands the withdrawal of Pakistani troops from territories that belong to India, but occupied by Pakistan,” he added. (ANI)