KASHMIR: Pakistani police assault peaceful demonstrators


Urgent Appeal Case: UA-48-2002
ISSUES: Freedom of assembly, Freedom of expression, Land rights, Poverty & adequate standard of living,

KASHMIR: Basic human rights denied; freedom of expression, freedom of peaceful assembly; arbitrary arrest and detention


On September 30, 2002, police clashed with protestors peacefully demonstrating against the Mangla Dam extension in Mirpur, a city in the Pakistani controlled area of Kashmir. The police attacked the demonstrators with batons and tear gas, arresting 13 people and injuring others. Mr. Najeeb Asfar, a member of the Association of British Kashmiris, reported that following the incident, most of Mirpur City was put under curfew.

The demonstration was arranged to protest the displacement of 90,000-100,000 people in the Mirpur District by the building of the dam. An anti-dam extension committee had previously rejected the government’s compensation plan proposal for the people affected on grounds that the compensation was insufficient. The protest was to coincide with Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf’s visit to the area to lay the foundation stone for the dam extension. This was a peaceful protest and protesters were un-armed civilians.

AHRC stresses that such brutality should to go unaddressed. Such use of violence should come to an end immediately. People in Kashmir have a legitimate right to peaceful protest. Denial of such right is a violation of basic human right of Kashmiri people and contravene Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and other human rights covenants.

Therefore, in light of this event, we urge you to write a letter to General Musharraf regarding the police’s actions and the displacement of so many Kashmiri people.


The first military dictator of Pakistan, Gen. Ayyub Khan forcibly constructed this dam on the disputed territory of Jammu Kashmir in 1960-67 and some 10 thousand families out of those who were evicted and displaced are still displaced after the lapse of 40 years. Now, some 90,000-100,000 people are going to be evicted and displaced again this time whose rehabilitation is not being thought of and arranged before upraising and extension work is taken up. Moreover, the said dam is being constructed on the disputed territory, which is quite un-constitutional, illegal and immoral. Hence the demands of Jammu Kashmir National Awami Party (JKNAP), Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation (JKNSF), Anti-dam extension committee and All Parties National Alliance (APNA) are

1. Pakistan doesn¡¯t have any right to encroach upon the disputed territory of Jammu Kashmir. Hence it should not go for upraising/extending Mangla Dam, which would be unconstitutional, illegal and immoral on the part of Pakistan.

2. However, if it is inevitable from human point of view, then Pakistan should fulfill the following conditions as prerequisite:

i) It should give reasonable royalties (for using water and generating electricity out of this source) to the POK Govt. (a puppet one, of course).

ii) Provide electricity to the people of POK at cheap rates as is being given to the people of tribal areas.

iii) Start upraising and extension of the dam after constructing reasonable colonies with roads, hospitals, schools and other civic facilities for the displaced persons in the vicinity of the displaced persons in the vicinity of the dam.

But the military junta of Pakistan have absolutely ignored all appeals and requests and announced inauguration of the said project unilaterally on 30th Sep, 2002. Consequently, JKNAP and JKNSF alongwith Anti Dam Committee announced a protest march on 30th Sep. 2002.

The local police provoked clashes by use of tear-gas to stop the peaceful marchers. Mirpur City was under curfew that day, the police used tear gas to disperse the crowd. The Para Military was called in. Injured people were being taken into the local hospital. Raja Ali Zaman, Secretary General of JKNAP who was leading the anti dam extension movement in Pakistani occupied Kashmir was injured and also arrested amongst 13 other people. There has been a large scaled protest in all the towns of POK against the forcible upraising of Mangla dam. The detainees of 30th Sep. are still behind bars.

The anti extension movement within Kashmir is rapidly growing and so far all Kashmiri political parties have endorsed their opposition to the extension and support the anti extension campaign. All Kashmiri groups except the top leadership of the ruling Muslim Conference in POK had announced protests activities to show their opposition to the extension. It seems that clashes between the anti extension forces and the Pakistani Army and local Kashmiri authorities were going to become inevitable.


Please write to Gen. Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, to stop the upraising of Mangla Dam and release the detainees of 30th September. Also send copy of your letter to Kofi Annan, secretary-general of the United Nations and high commissioner for human right. A sample letter follows.

To support this case, please click here: SEND APPEAL LETTER



Re: Violence and Tension in Pakistani Occupied Kashmir (POK) due to upraising of Mangla Dam.

I am writing to express my deep concern about the recent escalating violence and arrests in POK due to upraising of Mangla Dam which will displace thousands of people. This project will displace thousands of innocent and poor people. It is also illegal, as the State of Jammu Kashmir is a disputed territory, whose future will be determined through a plebiscite according to UN Security Council resolutions.

We call upon you to take all necessary measures to step back from the proposed extension of Mangla Dam and release all the detainees, who were arrested under maintenance of public order law-MPO on 30th of September 2002 in Mirpur city of POK.and to let calmer reason to prevail over the emotions that are now running at a feverish pitch; for if Pakistan goes to extend Mangla Dam, there will be no winner, only potentially thousands of innocent people who will lose their homes.

We also call upon you to bring to an end such violence use of force on peaceful demonstrators, take effective and genuine disciplinary an criminal action against the police officers who have given orders for such attack on civilians and the officers who have taken part in this violent action, apologize to the victims of this violent action and reassure that such action will not be repeated and bear the medical costs incurred by the victims due to beatings by the police.

I trust that you will prompt action to resolve the present tense and violent situation.

Thank you for your kind attention to this important issue that affects the lives of literally thousands of innocent people.

Sincerely yours,


General Pervez Musharraf

President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Prime Minister House, Islamabad,


Fax: +92 051 920-1893/1835 or 4632

E-mail: CE@pak.gov.pk

Salutation: Dear Gen. Musharraf


Mr. Kofi Annan


United Nations Room S-3800

New York NY 10017


Fax: +1 212 963 4879/2155

E-mail: ecu@un.org