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Kashmir Solidarity Day: Kashmir’s decision lies with Kashmiris

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February 6, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Reiterating Pakistan’s unwavering political, diplomatic and moral support for the people of Kashmir in their just struggle for the right of self-determination, President Dr Arif Alvi on Tuesday demanded India to immediately release all political prisoners in occupied Jammu and Kashmir, lift ban on international observers and allow the freedom of speech.

The Kashmir Solidarity Day was observed on Tuesday in Pakistan, Indian-Held Kashmir (IHK) and elsewhere to express wholehearted support to the just struggle of Kashmiri people for their inalienable right to self-determination under the UN Council resolutions.

Kashmir is one of the issues on which the entire nation remains united and with one voice, political parties, religious circles and civil society, again called for just settlement of the issue that continues to be the oldest one on the UN agenda. Various events were also organised in the federal capital and Rawalpindi to mark the day.

The day was marked with a number of events in almost all the major cities and towns, including seminars, conferences, walks and formation of human chains to express complete solidarity with the people of Kashmir.

Moreover, one-minute silence was observed at 10.00 am to pay homage to the martyrs of the liberation struggle of Indian-occupied Kashmir. In his message, Prime Minister Imran Khan made it clear that the Indian Army was not fighting insurgents but an entire people in the Indian Held Kashmir and all freedom-loving people in the world must stand with Kashmiris.

He wrote, “The brutality of Indian security forces in Occupied Kashmir has rallied all Kashmiris together in their demand for freedom from Indian Occupation”. The prime minister wrote, “The Indian Army is not fighting insurgents but an entire people in IHK. All freedom loving ppl in the world must stand with Kashmiris”.

Addressing a special session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly here on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day, he urged India to also halt the use of firearms, including the pellet guns against the innocent Kashmiri people in the occupied valley.

He said the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir belonged to Kashmiris and they had all the right to decide about the future of Kashmir -- a right also recognised through the UN Security Council Resolutions.

The president also called for withdrawal of aggressive black laws and urged India to allow the leadership from Indian Held Jammu and Kashmir to travel abroad so that they could be able to freely present their case and point of view before the international community.

He demanded the Indian government to give access to the international human rights organizations to the occupied valley and open up the communication links for international and social media networks.

The special session of AJK Legislative Assembly was also addressed by AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider, Speaker Shah Ghulam Qadir and leaders of various political parties in the Azad Kashmir Assembly.

For the first time, Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan Hafiz Hafeez-ur-Rehman and members of GB cabinet also attended the special session of the AJK Assembly on special invitation. The president said the people and all political parties in Pakistan were united on the issue of Kashmir and firmly stood behind their Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle for their right of self-determination, which was also recognised by the international community through the UN Resolutions.

President Dr Arif Alvi said the people and government of Pakistan have been observing the Kashmir Solidarity Day for the last 20 years to express their support for the Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle.

The president said that India could not succeed in suppressing the innocent people of Kashmir through the unprecedented human rights violations and atrocities being committed and unleashed by its occupied forces in the occupied valley.

The president referred to the hand of friendship extended by Prime Minister Imran Khan to India after he came to power in a bid to resolve the outstanding disputes through dialogue, but regretted the Indian negative attitude in this respect.

He agreed with the view of some speakers in the special session of AJK Assembly that a politically and economically stable Pakistan was also in the favour of Kashmiri, as a strong lawyer was important to fight the case of Kashmir.

The president, while addressing a seminar titled “Kashmir Matters” organised by South Asian Strategic Stability Institute University (SASSI) in collaboration with Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan at the Aiwan-e-Sadr in connection with Kashmir Solidarity Day, eulogised the matchless indigenous freedom movement and the unprecedented sacrifices of the Kashmiris

He said if India did not have anything to hide in IHK, then it should allow Kashmiris their right to self determination as promised by it under UN resolutions and ensure basic human rights of expression and speech.

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Hussain Chaudhry, Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Khan Gandapur, Minister for Defence Pervaiz Khattak, advisors, parliamentarians, Kashmiri leaders, and a large number of members of diplomatic corps attended the event.

The president also recollected the words of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who had regarded Kashmir as ‘jugular vein’ of Pakistan. In his address Ali Amin Khan Gandapur said the unresolved Kashmir dispute had only left behind a trail of miseries and torture for the Kashmiri people.

Pervaiz Khattak, in his address, said, “Free world must stand with the oppressed Kashmiris in their just struggle for self-determination,” the minster stressed upon the world community. Meanwhile, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry Tuesday said that with one army soldier deployed for 10 Kashmiris, the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK) had turned into one of the most heavily militarised regions in the world. He said increased deployment and militarisation served nothing but created hate, adding that even the local Kashmiri leadership like Mehbooba Mufti and Umer Abdullah, who were not supporting the point of view of Pakistan and Kashmiris, had now admitted that the movement could not be suppressed.

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