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Sunday May 26, 2024

Kashmir Solidarity Day being observed today

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that India is mistaken if it believes it could crush the iron will of the Kashmiri people

By Our Correspondent
February 05, 2023
Activists of PTI gather during a demonstration to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day, in Islamabad on February 5, 2020. — AFP
Activists of PTI gather during a demonstration to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day, in Islamabad on February 5, 2020. — AFP

MIRPUR/ISLAMABAD: The Kashmir Solidarity day is being observed in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Pakistan and rest of the world today to reiterate full solidarity with the Kashmiris living across the Line of Control (LoC) in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir (IIOJ&K) in their just and principled struggle for freedom.

President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif have expressed solidarity with Kashmiri people, urging the international community to take practical steps to hold India accountable for its gross and widespread human rights violations in occupied valley.

The AJK people and the government, besides all social, political and human rights organisations across the liberated territory, are observing the Kashmir Solidarity Day as a landmark to bring the Kashmir freedom struggle to its logical end. This year too, the Kashmir Solidarity Day is being observed to remind the people of the August 5, 2019 sinister act of abrogating the special status of the internationally-acknowledged disputed IIOJ&K by the hardliner Modi-led extremist Indian government.

In a message, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that India is mistaken if it believes it could crush the iron will of the Kashmiri people.

“No amount of state terrorism, unleashed by Indian occupation forces, can break the will of Kashmiris or undermine their legitimate struggle,” the prime minister said, urging India to honour its commitments made to Pakistan, the UN and, above all, to the Kashmiri people.

“On behalf of the entire Pakistani nation, I want to assure our Kashmiri brothers and sisters that we stand shoulder to shoulder with them.

“We will continue to lend moral, diplomatic and political support to their just cause, until they attain freedom from Indian oppression,” PM Office Media Wing in a press release quoted the prime minister as saying.

Shehbaz reiterated that Pakistan would also continue to raise its voice at all international platforms and highlight India’s barbaric actions in the IIOJ&K.

Every year, the prime minister said, on the 5th of February, the people of Pakistan reaffirm their solidarity with their Kashmiri brothers and sisters.

“On this Kashmir Solidarity Day, we renew our commitment of our unflinching support to them in their just struggle for inalienable right to self-determination,” he added.

The prime minister said the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was one of the oldest, unresolved items on the agenda of the United Nations.

He further said the human rights situation in the IIOJ&K remained a source of grave concern to Pakistan and the rest of the world.

“India has brazenly targeted Kashmiri men, women and children through curfews, blackouts, arbitrary detention, imprisonment, and denial of basic rights,” he said, adding, the popular Kashmiri political leadership had been illegally detained or deliberately victimised through fictitious cases. The prime minister said the media had been silenced through coercion and religious scholars have been arrested. Draconian laws had been enacted that denied the fundamental freedoms of the Kashmiri people. He said India had also intensified its campaign to bring about demographic changes in IIOJ&K so as to convert the Kashmiris into a minority in their own land. “These actions are in violation of UNSC resolutions and international law, including the 4th Geneva Convention,” he added.

In his message, President Dr Arif Alvi said that Pakistan consistently maintained that a lasting solution to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute was possible only in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people. “Pakistan also urges the international community and organisations to take practical steps to hold India accountable for its gross and widespread human rights violations in IIOJ&K,” the president said.

“We observe this day to draw the attention of the international community towards the relevant UN Security Council Resolutions which provide that the final disposition of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute would be made in accordance with the will of the people, expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations,” he stressed.

Today, the president said, Pakistan called upon India to allow unfettered access to the UN and OIC observers, international media and human rights organisations to the IIOJ&K to obtain first-hand information about the situation there, and investigate and report the human rights violations. The president reiterated that Pakistan would continue to extend its unstinted moral, diplomatic and political support for this just cause. “Today, we observe Kashmir Solidarity Day to express Pakistan’s unflinching support for the legitimate and just struggle of the Kashmiri people for the realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination,” President Secretariat Press Wing in a press release quoted the president as saying.