Kerala- Thiruvananthapuram: Ex-minster of Kerala and Marxist Communist Party of India MLA K.T Jaleel, who recently visited Kashmir, on Friday sparked a row by referring to Pakistan-occupied Kashmir as "Azad Kashmir", adding that the people of the valley have forgotten how to laugh due to strong deployment of security forces in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Jaleel said that Pakistan does not have major administrative control over the occupied part of Kashmir (PoK) which Pakistan refers to as 'Azad Kashmir'. The Kerala legislator in his social media post said, "the part of Kashmir that is with Pakistan was known as 'Azad Kashmir'.
There was no direct involvement from the Pakistani government in this matter. Only the military assistance and currency were under Pakistan's hands. Jaleel said, "Azad Kashmir had a military of their own. During the administration of Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq, the military took on a common role. In the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the Pakistani government holds very little significant administrative authority.
Jaleel said the heavy deployment of forces has altered the essence of Kashmir. He said Kashmiris are longing for normalcy in the valley. The Kerala MLA claimed he found anger among Kashmiris against the Centre for bifurcating the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Wherever you look, you see only Army with rifles. It seems like Kashmiris have forgotten to smile. For decades the colour of Kashmir is army green. All politicians are under house arrest. No political activities for months. In its second term, the Modi government has divided Kashmir into three parts and the anger can be read on people's faces.