Kotli: In a sweeping wave of anti-government demonstrations, Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) has become the epicentre of discontent as enraged citizens are protesting against the exorbitant electricity bills they are receiving.

The region is now abuzz with calls for a total boycott of bill payments, echoing the frustration of the local population.

Hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of PoK, united in their condemnation of what they perceive as highly inflated electricity bills that are putting undue financial strain on their households.

Their collective stand revolves around one resolute pledge: they will not pay these bills until their grievances are addressed.

According to the residents, this protest isn't merely about the electricity bills; it's about justice and the rightful ownership of the power they generate.

They argued that their hydropower projects are the lifeblood of Pakistan's electricity supply, and yet they are made to pay extra for it, which they vehemently decry as unjust.

A senior political leader Taukeer urged the local people to stand united in not paying the 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.

The protesters are resolute in their demands, seeking tangible actions.

Their call includes a comprehensive audit of the electricity billing system and immediate relief from the onerous bills.

To 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.