ISLAMABAD: Kashmir Solidarity Day was observed across the country to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for winning the right to self-determination per the United Nations (UN) resolutions.
The day dawned with special prayers in mosques as people prayed for the progress and prosperity of Pakistan, eternal peace for the souls of the martyrs of Kashmir struggle and liberation of Muslim territories from oppression, including Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
A one-minute silence was observed across Pakistan, including Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) on Monday at 10:00 am to show solidarity with the people of IOK.
The main event of the day was held at the President House as a reflection of the national unity to express solidarity with the Kashmiri brethren. Besides, the leadership of the Hurriyat Conference, prominent political and social figures, as well as intellectuals addressed the ceremony. The event highlighted the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people and Indian atrocities against innocent Kashmiri people.
Big rallies, demonstrations, declamation contests and walks were the main features of the day in all the major cities and towns of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) where big congregations and processions were taken out to draw the attention of the world towards the plight of Kashmiris.
Special cultural programmes and festivals were held to promote Kashmiri culture and traditions while photographic exhibitions were also arranged that depicted the atrocities committed by the Indian occupation forces against the Kashmiris.
On the occasion, Muslim Institute organised a walk from Kalsoom Plaza to China Chowk to express solidarity with the Kashmiri brethren and to enlighten the international community about their plight. Various Kashmiri leaders, former ambassadors and people from different walks of life participated in the walk. Youth Forum for Kashmir (YFK) organised a workshop, titled “Developing Effective Leadership Skill” to discuss different angles of Kashmir freedom struggle.
Hundreds of people gathered to form human chains at Kohala Bridge, Mangla Bridge and other points linking Pakistan and AJK to show solidarity with the Kashmiri people. Lok Virsa, in collaboration with the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Federal Directorate of Education, organised a Kashmir Cultural Festival to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir. Radio Pakistan aired special programmes all day to throw light on the freedom movement in IOK.
Special programmes highlighting the struggle of women in the Kashmir liberation movement were also aired. Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) telecast documentary films, dramas, songs and current affairs programmes to inform the world about the Indian atrocities committed against innocent Kashmiris in IOK.
In their separate messages on Kashmir Solidarity Day, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the dream of peace and prosperity in the region would remain elusive without the early resolution of the Kashmir dispute.
They called upon the international community to urge India to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) to put an immediate end to gross human rights violations in occupied Kashmir. Furthermore, a Foreign Office said that Pakistan stood by the Kashmiri people in their fight for self-determination as enshrined in the UN Security Council resolutions.
In his message, Hurriyat leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq expressed his gratitude to the people and the government of Pakistan for their unflinching support for the Kashmiri freedom struggle.