The region is now buzzing with calls for a complete boycott of bill payments, reflecting the frustration of the local people.
Hundreds of protestors have taken to the streets of PoK, united in their condemnation of what they see as outrageously inflated electricity bills that are placing an unjust financial burden on their households.
Their collective stance revolves around one unwavering commitment: they will not settle these bills until their grievances are properly addressed.
According to residents, this protest goes beyond mere electricity bills; it is about justice and asserting their rightful ownership of the power they generate.
They argue that their hydropower projects are the backbone of Pakistan‘s electricity supply, yet they are being charged extra for it, a practice they vehemently denounce as unfair.
A prominent political leader, Taukeer, has urged the local populace to stand together in refusing to pay their electricity bills. “We are not doing anything wrong. We are not stealing anything, in fact, we are taking some of our share back from those who have plundered our electricity. We are taking some share from those who have taken our 5000 MW of electricity and which will further grow to 10,000 MW by next year. But all this will become possible only when all of us will come together,” Taukeer said.
Union minister and Ex-Army chief VK Singh predicts PoK’s integration with India, while region grapples with water and power shortages
The protestors are steadfast in their demands, seeking concrete actions. Their demands encompass a thorough audit of the electricity billing system and immediate relief from the burdensome bills.
For them, this movement transcends electricity bills; it symbolizes a broader struggle for their rights and dignity.
“We are not superhuman or have any special capabilities. We cannot just go and grab the electricity for you. We are asking for our rights and we are able to do it because we know that you all are standing behind us in support. You should know that the district of Kotli received total bills of 139 crores last month. Only 19 crores of those were paid and 120 crores were not. We have to ensure that even these 19 crores worth of bills are not paid next time.” Taukeer added.
As the protests continue to gain momentum, the people of PoK stand firm in their determination to secure their rightful share of the electricity generated within their region.
The region has been under illegal occupation of Pakistan for around 77 years and during all these years, the natives of this region have been subjected to second-class citizenship.
(With inputs from agencies)