Pak Publicity Blitz On Kashmir Day
5 February 2003
New Delhi: An advertisement in leading Pakistani dailies recently seeking the assistance of “event management firms” to stage a Kashmir Convention to commemorate Kashmir Solidarity Day today raised diplomatic eyebrows. The “reputable event management firms” whose applications were sought would have to perform a wide range of activities, from designing, printing and delivering 3,000 invitation cards, to preparing video CDs to “highlight the atrocities being perpetrated by the Indian armed forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir”. The applicants would also have to deposit Rs 200,000 along with their financial bids for the project. While the international focus on Kashmir has always been limited to the so-called “atrocities” perpetrated by the Indian forces in Jammu and Kashmir, never does attention shift to the actual situation in PoK. People in this region are among the poorest in Pakistan, with minimal access to basic amenities such as healthcare, primary education or even drinking water. Industry is almost non- existent, with subsistence agriculture and livestock farming the mainstay of the region’s economy. PoK residents cannot vote in Pakistan’s general elections or air their grievances in the Pakistani Supreme Court.