The impact of Pakistan’s economic downfall is far-reaching and devastating. The situation for people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), who were already grappling with a multi-faceted crisis, has worsened quickly.
They are struggling to procure even essential food items and commodities let alone live a life of dignity or opulence. Residents, who accuse the local as well as federal governments of corruption and smuggling said they were bearing the brunt of economic disaster in the country.
PoK people’s sufferings don’t end here. While their platter doesn’t have sufficient food, 17 to 18 hours of load shedding has impacted even the little prospects of their employment. While the businesses have come to a grinding halt due to the inadequate power supply, students and professionals are made to suffer in darkness for hours.
The region of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is responsible for meeting a large part of Pakistan’s power needs but it is not getting minimum power for itself. It’s been over seven and a half decades that people in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have been accorded novercal treatment by successive Pakistani governments. And whenever any crisis has descended on Pakistan. The plights in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir automatically increase several times.
Naseer Ahmed, a local resident of Muzaffarabad, PoK said, “For the last two days, I have been coming here to get some wheat flour. Earlier, the government of Pakistan made an announcement that the poor will get free wheat flour. Forget about the free wheat flour, I came here to get subsidized flour and didn’t receive any.”
“A private vehicle with no number plate and loaded with flour was here for hours, but the flour was not distributed amongst the common people. They either smuggled it or distributed it among their friends,” he added.
Another local resident from Muzaffarabad, PoK said, “Our rivers, our natural resources are directly or indirectly controlled by WAPDA (Water and Power Development Authority), whether it is Mangala Dam, Neelum Jhelum hydropower project or other smaller projects which are established in different parts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. The electricity that is produced by these projects is diverted to the National Grid station. (ANI)