Gilgit-Baltistan: The root cause of the problems of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is the territory's occupation by Pakistan and therefore the demand should be simple and focused - freedom from Pakistan - writes Amjad Ayub Mirza, a human rights activist from Mirpur in PoK who currently lives in exile in the UK.

According to Mirza, the mode of relations between Pakistan and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is not of equality but of subjugation.

Several waves of protests have surfaced in the past only because Pakistan cannot and will not deliver.

Several political and social organisations in Nakyal in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir on January 30, held an All Parties Conference. It was held in the backdrop of massive cuts in subsidies that Pakistan-occupied Kashmir has enjoyed for the past 75 years.

At the end of the one-day conference, a joint declaration was issued. Demands have been made to add the Gojri and Pahari languages and tribal identity to any future census that may be carried out in the region. The declaration rejected irregularities in the state-subject rule of Maharaja Hari Singh of 1927, according to Mirza.

The Nakyal declaration made a demand for the empowerment of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir's legislative assembly. A demand to reverse the perks and privileges of the assembly members and government employees above 18 grade and spend the money on the welfare of the public was also added.

The conference agreed that the current quota for wheat in Nakyal is delivered according to an old list that was created during the 1980s. However, the population since the 1980s has quadrupled and the scarcity of flour is attributed to the lack of a new population list.

Another avenue discussed at the conference was the conditions of the health sector and the demand for improvement in the conditions of hospitals and the banning of substandard and fake medicine was added to the declaration.

Another issue discussed at the conference was drugs. Steps were taken to curb the drug addiction issue.

The issue of deforestation of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir since Pakistan occupied the territory on October 22, 1947, was also discussed and demand for planting trees on a massive scale were made.

The conference asked the government to set the minimum wage to 11.66 grams of gold, considering the rising inflation in the region.

The problem is that the declaration issued at the Nakyal conference is making the above-mentioned demands from a government that itself is bogged down in negotiation with the International Monetary Fund in Islamabad, writes Mirza.

Mirza wrote that Pakistan cannot deliver. Therefore, these demands will frustrate any protest movement unless it informs itself that the real cause of the economic atrocities they face is the occupation by Pakistan and not the mismanagement of a certain sector of economic or political life.