Renaming POK as POJK a non-issue for Geelani’s Huriyat

Rejects both names, debate on this issue

Srinagar: As the speculations galore that Narendra Modi-led NDA government at New Delhi is renaming “Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (PoK) as Pakistan-Occupied Jammu-Kashmir”, the Huriyat Conference (G) led by Syed Ali Geelani termed the development a ‘non-issue’- maintaining that the amalgam rejects both the names.

“It is a non- issue for us. We don’t accept the terminology wherein the word occupied is used, whether it is ‘Kashmir’ or ‘Jammu Kashmir’ expected to be used for other side of the divided line, said Huriyat Conference (G) chief spokesman Ayaz Akbar.

Akbar told Kashmir News Service (KNS) that if the amalgam raises concern about the renaming issue then it would be tantamount that it was endorsing the earlier name. “For us and for the people of this nation, it is Azad Kashmir and not the Pakistan occupied Kashmir.”

Substantiating his claims, the Huriyat (G) spokesman stated that the other side of Kashmir is being termed as ‘Azad’ because Pakistan has always supported Kashmir cause and has represented Kashmir case at various international forums. “Pakistan itself terms Kashmir as a dispute and stresses for its resolution in accordance to the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir.”

Akbar remarked that the word Jammu being inducted into the terminology is aimed to erode Kashmir’s history and credible background. “The history of this region is described with the word Kashmir and that Jammu is a district included later in state’s name.”

Pertinently, Huriyat (M) chief Mirwaiz Umar Farooq while delivering sermon on Friday at Kashmir’s grand mosque stated that Modi government’s proposed move to rename Pakistan Administered Kashmir as “Pakistan Occupied Jammu Kashmir (PoJK)” in its nomenclature is “fraught with dangerous consequences.”

The reports were carried earlier by various dailies that centre’s decision to rename the PoK comes in great anticipation for signaling a strategic shift in its own approach to Jammu & Kashmir. This will further have an A-list priority along with the rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits on the government’s List of tasks.