–Provinces, autonomous regions present a united front to condemn Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir
ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI: Rallies were held across the country on Wednesday on account of Youm-e-Istehsal to condemn the Indian government’s illegal action of abrogating the constitutional rights of Kashmiris and keeping them under a military siege for the past one year.
Political leaders presented a united front to express support for Kashmiris who have been suffering at the hands of occupation forces but have refused to give up their right to self-determination.
One-minute silence was observed at 10:00 am across the country. Television channels and radio stations played national anthems of Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Traffic also came to a halt for one minute.
The main rally in Islamabad was led by President Dr. Arif Alvi, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz also led rallies in the federal capital.
The participants of the walk wore black bands around their arms and carried flags of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir. They chanted slogans against the Indian brutalities in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).
Meanwhile, posters and billboards were displayed at the main roads of Islamabad and all provincial capitals to highlight the plight of Kashmiri people and expose the atrocities being committed by the occupation forces in IOK.
AZAD JAMMU AND KASHMIR:
Declaring August 5 as the darkest day in the history of Kashmir, Azad Jammu and Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan said that this day may also prove to be the beginning of the fall of India and its expansionism.
“The organised campaign launched by 56 groups of Kashmiri expatriates in five continents of the world against India’s action of August 5 in Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK) will certainly frustrate India’s heinous and sordid designs,” he said.
He said this while addressing two separate international webinars through video-link from Muzaffarabad on the occasion of Yaum-e-Istehsal. These webinars were organised by World Kashmir Awareness Forum Ghulam Nabi Fai Secretary-General and Kashmir Solidarity Forum Chairman Javed Rathore.
The president stressed on the Kashmiri expatriates and their Kashmir lobbying groups to mount pressure on India to end the lockdown of occupied Kashmir, lift uncalled for restrictions on media, and release all political detainees along with the juvenile Kashmiri prisoners languishing in the Indian prisons since August 5 last year.
Solidarity rallies were brought out in all three divisions, wherein speakers condemned the Indian government’s actions.
The main rally was led by Governor Raja Jalal Hussain, who stated that the people of GB stand with the Kashmiris and would continue to support them until the dispute is resolved in accordance with the United Nations (UN) resolutions.
Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, while leading a rally in Peshawar, urged the international community and the UN to take notice of the atrocities being committed by the Indian forces in the Muslim-majority disputed region.
Speaking to the media, he said that the people of occupied Kashmir were facing the worst state terrorism for the last seven decades and the fascist Indian government had broken all records of atrocities to deprive them of their longstanding right to self-determination.
He said that the revocation of the semi-autonomous status of the region last year had started a new chapter of cruelty and oppression against the people of Kashmir. He highlighted that the valley had been under a complete lockdown for a year.
The chief executive said it was a matter of great concern that state-sponsored human rights abuses against innocent Kashmiris continue under the nose of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and human rights organisations. He demanded the UN and the international community to come forward to end the year-long military siege and lockdown in Kashmir.
Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, Chief Minister Usman Buzdar led a rally in Lahore to mark the completion of one year of military siege in Kashmir.
Addressing the participants of the rally, the governor said that Pakistan will continue to support the Kashmiris in their struggle for their right to self-determination. He said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a fascist leader who is trying to change the demography of IOK.
Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that Pakistanis stand with their oppressed brothers and sisters in occupied Kashmir and will not leave them alone in their struggle for freedom.
Programmes, seminars, and rallies were held to mark Youm-e-Istehsal across Balochistan, including the provincial capital. The biggest rally was taken out from Quetta Metropolitan Office under the supervision of Senator Manzoor Kakar along with Balochistan Minister for Revenue Mir Saleem Khan Khosa and ended at Balochistan Assembly after marching through different routes.
The participants of the rally carried banners and placards inscribed with slogans in support of innocent Kashmiris facing cruelties by the Indian Army in the valley.
Separately, in their messages on Youm-e-Istehsal, Governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai and Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan urged the world community to raise their voice for human and political rights of oppressed Kashmiris. They said that the fascist policies of Narendra Modi could not deter Kashmiris from their struggle for freedom.
In Sindh, a solidarity rally led by Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah was taken out at sea view in Karachi on Wednesday.
In his address, CM Murad said that a year ago on this day the identity of occupied Kashmir was attacked and India snatched the identity of the people of Kashmir and put down its flag.
He said that 365 days, the longest ever curfew in the world, could not make the Kashmir people bow down.
Image: Zubair Mehfooz