Kashmir Solidarity Day observed

Kashmir Solidarity Day observed
Source: File Photo

Islamabad (Web Desk/Agencies): The Kashmir Solidarity Day was observed across the world on Monday with the active participation of Pakistanis and Kashmiris in different events, rallies and walks that aimed at shaking the conscience of the World on the brutalities of New Delhi in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The Pakistanis and Kashmiris on Solidarity Day also expressed unwavering support to the people of IIOJK for their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant resolutions of the United Nations.

Members of the federal cabinet along with foreign delegates, civil society, and students held a solidarity march in the federal capital to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day and warned the international community of expedited Indian efforts to alter the demography and genocide of Kashmiris in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The Kashmir Solidarity Day 2024 rally was led by Minister for National Heritage and Culture that started from the Foreign Office flanked by Foreign Secretary, Muhammad Syrus Sajjad Qazi, staff and officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Minister for Religious Affairs Aneeq Ahmed, Minister for Information and Broadcasting, Murtaza Solangi and Minister for Privitization, Fawad Hassan Fawad, students of Pakistan Sweet Homes and a large number of members of the civil society participated in the rally.

The participants of the rally held placards and banners with slogans reading Freedom for Kashmir, Kashmir is Pakistan, Kashmir–the Largest Jail on Earth, Indian Apartheid of Kashmiris Unacceptable, whereas the students of Pakistan Sweet Homes hoisted flags of Pakistan and Kashmir to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people.

The rally culminated at D-Chowk near Parliament House where the government representatives also attended the rally a one-minute silence was observed and sirens were blown on the occasion.

All the Pakistani missions abroad also organized seminars and photo exhibitions to draw the world’s attention towards the worst form of subjugation and human rights violations, committed by India in the IIOJK.

Posters highlighting the plight of besieged Kashmiris were displayed across the country including airports, railways stations and national highways. The Solidarity Day also remained a top trend on social media as thousands of users of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram paid tributes to the Kashmiris’ struggle.

The national media, both electronic and print, have aired special programs and printed special supplements to highlight the significance of Kashmir Solidarity Day and the decades-long struggle of Kashmiri people against the illegal Indian occupation.

President Dr Arif Alvi in his message on the occasion said that the right to self-determination is a cardinal principle of international law but regrettably, the Kashmiri people have not been able to exercise this inalienable right.

“The UN General Assembly annually adopts a resolution expressing unequivocal support for the realization of the right to self-determination for people under foreign occupation,” the president said.

He said the people of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) had been struggling to realise their right to self-determination for the last seventy-six years.

“Today, IIOJK is one of the most militarized zones in the world. Kashmiris are living in an environment of fear and intimidation,” President Secretariat Press Wing, in a press release, quoted the president as saying.

The president reiterated that on the Kashmir Solidarity Day, the government and people of Pakistan renewed their unflinching support for their just and legitimate struggle.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar in his message has said that India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019 in IIOJK were a blatant violation of international law including the UN Charter, 4th Geneva Convention and the relevant UN Security Council resolutions.

“India has since been engaged in efforts to further entrench these illegal measures through a series of steps aimed at altering the demographic structure and political landscape of IIOJK,” the prime minister said.

He said that the ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ was annually observed on the February 5 to express Pakistan’s unwavering support for the Kashmiri people’s just struggle for the realization of their right to self-determination.

It was also an occasion to pay rich tribute to the sacrifices made by their Kashmiri brothers and sisters during the last seventy-six years, he added.

The armed Forces of Pakistan, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC) and services chiefs also paid rich tribute to people of Kashmir for their resolve and valiant struggle, consistently braving grave human rights violations and inhumane lockdown in IIOJK under Indian occupation forces.

“Kashmir remains a long pending unresolved issue on the UN agenda since 1948,” said a message released by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on the Kashmir Solidarity Day.

The armed forces, CJCSC and the services chiefs maintained the issue had to be resolved as per the aspirations of the people of Kashmir and in accordance with the UN Resolutions, providing for their right to self-determination.

It was noted that decades of atrocities by Indian occupation forces had failed to diminish the spirit of the Kashmiri people and their legitimate freedom struggle.

“The night is, indeed, the darkest before dawn, the heroic struggle for Azadi is destined to succeed, InshaAllah,” the ISPR said.

Later, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar while addressing the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly on the occasion said India was committing terrorism in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan was closely watching its state terrorism against the innocent Kashmiris.

The prime minister said for last many years, India was presenting fake narrative and trying to weaken the struggle of local Kashmiris by wrongly labeling them as terrorists.

He said there was a clear difference of terrorism and the people’s struggle for independence. “On this day, I want to make it clear that we believe in peace in the region and we are showing maximum patience and tolerance and peace,” he said.

The prime minister said Pakistan did not want any conflict in the region, however he made it clear that the country was fully capable of strongly retaliating any attack from the neighborly country.

In this regard, he said India had for many times checked our capacity. “If it (India) has any desire to check Pakistan’s capacity again, then we are ready to show our strength.”

Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK) President Barrister Sultan Mehmood Chaudhry and Prime Minister Chaudhry Anwarul Haq said the day serves as a powerful recognition of an age-old and unbreakable social, cultural, and religious bond between Pakistanis and Kashmiris.

In their separate messages issued on the eve of Kashmir Solidarity Day, they expressed their solidarity with the people of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) and said that the government and people of AJK stand shoulder to shoulder with their brethren in their struggle for the right to self-determination.

Kashmir Day, they said, would be celebrated in AJK with a renewed commitment to strengthen the ongoing freedom struggle.

They assured the Kashmiri people on the other side of the line of control (LoC) that the people of Pakistan and AJK would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them till they achieved their cherished goal of freedom from India’s occupation.

In his message on the occasion, Caretaker Minister for Information, Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs Murtaza Solangi said Jammu and Kashmir is one of the longest-standing issues on the agenda of the UN Security Council.

He said the ultimate goal of Pakistan is to resolve the Kashmir issue according to the wishes of the Kashmiri people and the relevant UN resolutions.

Balochistan Caretaker Chief Minister Mir Ali Mardan Khan Domki said that the Balochistan government and people are expressing solidarity with Kashmiris in their struggle for the right to self-determination.

He said that the people of Balochistan like in other parts of the country are observing Kashmir Day to show their support and express solidarity with the people living in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

Punjab Governor Muhammad Baligh-ur-Rehman said that international community had to pay special attention towards solution of long standing Kashmir and Palestine issues.

In his message on Kashmir day, he said that innocent and unarmed Kashmiris through their sacrifices had kept the torch of freedom burning.

Caretaker Minster for Interior and Commerce Dr Gohar Ijaz said that a sustainable solution to the Kashmir issue was possible only by implementing the United Nations resolutions and providing the Kashmiris their right to an impartial and independent referendum.

The minister, in his message in connection with Kashmir Solidarity Day, said the brave people of Kashmir had been struggling for their right to self-determination for the last 76 years.

Meanwhile Convener, All Parties Hurriyet Conference (APHC) Mahmood Ahmad Sagar addressing a rally at D-Chawk thanked the government and the entire Pakistani nation, its all political parties, non-governmental organizations and children of Pakistan Sweet Home for supporting Kashmiris on February 5.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Human Rights and Women Empowerment Mushaal Hussein Mullick in her video message on the occasion, thanked the entire Pakistani nation, people of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and people all over the world for expressing solidarity with the oppressed people of IIOJK who were running their legitimate, political and peaceful indigenous and just struggle for the right to self-determination and liberation as per the UN resolution for the past many decades.

“Today people are talking about apartheid in Gaza because their footage is going viral but it should be remembered that there has been a more serious escalation in human rights abuses in IIOJK against innocent Kashmiris. Hundreds of thousands of people have rendered their lives for the cause of freedom,” she added.

Mullick said the Indian occupant forces were using pellet guns, white phosphorous, and rape as war weapons against women, TARA, POTA, UPA, and Armed Forces Special Act-type laws were imposed in IIOJK that gave immunity to the Indian RSS forces.

She urged the world that they were running out of time as India had scaled up its settling of non-Kashmiri residents in the occupied valley to the demography of Kashmir and had issued five million domiciles to non-state residents so far.