ISLAMABAD: Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) and the world over will observe Black Day today (Sunday) to mark the illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir by India on October 27, 1947.
It was on this day when the Indian troops invaded Jammu and Kashmir and occupied it in a blatant violation of the Partition Plan of the subcontinent and against the Kashmiris' aspirations. Unlike the previous years, this year the eventful day has achieved greater significance in the wake of unilateral, immoral and unconstitutional measures taken by India on August 05, revoking the special status of Occupied Kashmir, putting at risk the regional peace and giving way to tension with Pakistan through its mindless actions. Since then, the occupied territory has been under complete blockade and communications blackout, totally cut off from the outside world.
The oppressed Kashmiris are deprived of their fundamental rights and have been facing acute food and medicines shortage. So much so, they are unable even to offer prayers at mosques and children cannot go to school. Every locality, street and market is manned by massive presence of the security forces. The Kashmir issue remains on the UN Council agenda for decades, for want of settlement. Though, in recent years, East Timor and Southern Sudan won freedom, the people of Kashmir are yet to exercise their right to self-determination. On its part, Pakistan has been highlighting India's illegal annexation of Kashmir at the world fora, sensitizing the international community that this unilateral action of India can jeopardize the regional peace.
Prime Minister Imran Khan emphatically contested the case of Kashmir at the recent United Nations General Assembly session, urging the world to act immediately and press India to lift curfew in Occupied Kashmir and provide Kashmiris the pledged right to self-determination. The international community disapproved India's action of August 5 and expressed serious concern over the restrictions imposed in Occupied Kashmir. Similarly, the UN Security Council met in closed doors and discussed Kashmir issue and the OIC Contact Group has twice held its meetings on the issue. Iran, China, Turkey and Malaysia have also expressed concern over the dire human rights situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan's civil and military leadership have categorically reiterated that the country will stand by the Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle for right to self-determination.
To mark the Black Day, various activities, including seminars and rallies will be taken out in different parts of the country. Instructions have also been given to the Pakistani missions abroad to organize events and engage with Pakistani diaspora, local parliamentarians, think-tanks and other relevant people to highlight the significance of the day. Under the instructions of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the nation observes Kashmir Day every Friday to express solidarity with oppressed Kashmiris. Pakistan's civil and military leadership have categorically reiterated that the country will stand by the Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle for right to self-determination. To mark Kashmiris' Black Day, various activities, including seminars and rallies will be taken out in different parts of the country.
Meanwhile, Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs Ali Amin Gandapur told a media conference in Islamabad that people from across the world would come out on Sunday (today) and hold demonstrations to mark the Kashmiris' Black Day. The minister said several programmes including rallies and seminars are planned throughout the country to express solidarity with the people of Occupied Kashmir and push for just settlement of the issue of Kashmir under the UN resolutions. He noted a message would be sent through these demonstrations to draw the world attention towards the festering Kashmir dispute for its early resolution, pointing out that 8 million people had been incarcerated in Occupied Kashmir since August 5 and there was complete blockade. Gandapur said Kashmir issue has been internationalized and Indian PM Modi's ideology exposed as a result of effective diplomacy of Pakistan. He said the world had endorsed Pakistan's stance on Kashmir issue.
To a question, the minister, who has been an arch rival of JUI-Fazl chief Fazlur Rehman believed that the JUI-Fazl chief would harm the Kashmir cause by holding long march at this critical juncture. He said Fazl did nothing for the Kashmir cause when he was Chairman Kashmir Committee and now he is trying to push Kashmir issue on the back burner.
Meanwhile, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference led by Syed Ali Geelani has asked the people of Occupied Kashmir to march towards the Lal Chowk, Srinagar today and hold a sit-in to show to the world that the resistance of the Kashmiri people did not need the telecom means for survival. In a statement, the Hurriyat maintained that the Kashmiris were committed to resisting India’s illegal occupation that had bulldozed their basic and fundamental rights. The statement said the people of occupied territory would remain vigilant, steadfast and well-disciplined to take their sacred mission to its logical conclusion. It said the Kashmiris would never surrender to the military might and the pressure of India. The statement emphasised that the Kashmir movement was a legitimate struggle recognized by the United Nations. The statement pointed out that the APHC would announce the future programme for the people of Kashmir in next couple of days. The APHC also added that a complete shutdown will be observed tomorrow that will mark the black day though a complete shutdown exists in the occupied territory for the last 83 days.
Millions of people living in Kashmir Valley and Muslim majority areas of Jammu region continued to suffer immensely due to strict military siege that remained enforced on the 83rd straight day, Saturday.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Chairman Jammu and Kashmir People’s Movement, Mir Shahid Saleem said continued lock down has broken the backbone of IOK’s economy. The leaders of All Parties Hurriyat Conference Azad Jammu and Kashmir during a meeting in Muzaffarabad on Saturday condemned unprovoked shelling of Indian troops on the civilian population along the Line of Control. The participants said the Indian actions posed a big threat to the regional peace and appealed to the international community to take cognizance of Indian aggression on the LoC.