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Pakistan observes Black Day, shows unwavering support for Kashmiris

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October 28, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan observed October 27 as Black Day to condemn India’s illegal and prolonged occupation in Jammu and Kashmir where unarmed people were facing the worst-ever human rights violations, especially in the post August 05 situation.

The day dawned with special prayers at mosques for early freedom of Kashmiris struggling for the last 73 years to get their legitimate right to self-determination in accordance with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions.

A number of activities including rallies and seminars were held across the country to express unwavering support and complete solidarity with the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K).

President Dr Arif Alvi, in his message, while reaffirming Pakistan’s unflinching support to the people of IOJ&K in their just struggle, said that this support and solidarity will continue until the Kashmiris achieve their legitimate right to self-determination.

“I would like to assure my Kashmiri brothers and sisters, that we honour their sacrifices and salute their indomitable spirit as we observe this Black Day,” he said. Prime Minister Imran Khan Tuesday reiterated his commitment to Kashmiris facing the Indian oppression and atrocities that he will continue to fight for Kashmiris until they are given the right to self-determination in accordance with UN resolutions.

In his special video message, he said that 73 years ago, on October 27, India occupied Kashmir and took away their right to decide about their own future. And this painful story kept on going.

On August 05, 2019, he noted, a new story of oppression began in Kashmir and India laid siege to 8 million Kashmiris by 900,000 troops, their rights were violated, political leadership was imprisoned, thousands of youth were arrested and put in jails in India and Kashmiris were kept in a kind of open jail.

The prime minister said that it was unfortunate for Kashmiris that they were neither citizens of India nor were they allowed to exercise their right to self-determination granted by the UN Security Council.

He emphasised, “I assure you that until the Kashmiris get the right to self-determination, I will continue to fight for them, for which I will continue to raise my voice at the international and national level and also talk to the heads of states, and remind them by talking about how much oppression is being inflicted upon the Kashmiri people.”

Imran Khan continued that state terrorism is clear in Occupied Kashmir, mass graves are being discovered there, extrajudicial killings taking place and media are being silenced but the way state terrorism is being carried out by India will be explained to the world.

The prime minister said that even today he wants to tell India that Pakistan wanted peace. “When I got power, I said the same thing that if you take one step towards us, we will take two steps towards you.”

“Even today, I believe that the most important thing for the people of the Sub-Continent is peace, which brings prosperity,” he said, reiterating that “we are ready (for talks) but for that you have to end the military siege of Kashmir and give the right to self-determination under the UN Security Council resolutions so that they can decide their own future.”

Kashmir Committee Chairman Shaharyar Afridi said Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s expansionist policies were leading the South Asia region to instability. Under “Chanakya doctrine” the Indian regime was pushing its expansionist agenda to materialise the evil plan of Greater India,” he said.

Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Ali Amin Gandapur exhorted the international community to take practical steps for peaceful resolution of IOJ&K. Minister for Information and Broadcasting Senator Shibli Faraz said Pakistan would continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris till they got their right to self-determination.

Interior Minister Brig (R) Ijaz Ahmed Shah said Pakistan will continue to highlight human rights violation and atrocities on innocent Kashmiris by Indian occupation forces in the IOJ&K. Azad Jammu Kashmir President Sardar Masood Khan urged the international community to intervene and stop India from destruction, genocide of Kashmiris and evicting them from their land and homes in IOJ&K.

Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar expressed solidarity with the Kashmiris and lodged their protest against the atrocities of Hindu supremacist Modi regime by wearing black armbands in connection with the day.

Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan Alyani vowed to stand with the Kashmiri brethren in their struggle for right to self determination and termed October 27 as the darkest day in the history of Kashmir.

Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman underlined the need for educating students of higher educational institutions on Kashmir in view of the new emerging global situation. The print and electronic media published articles and aired special programmes to highlight the plight of Kashmiris in the occupied valley.

Besides, many events were held online due to the increasing number of COVID cases in the country. Black banners, Panaflex, hoardings and streamers were displayed at prominent roads and places to mark the day in an appropriate manner.

Pakistani missions abroad also organised events and engaged Pakistani Diaspora, local parliamentarians, think-tanks and other relevant people to highlight the significance of the day and remind the international community of its obligation to use its influence over India to resolve this decades long conflict.

The Senate passed a resolution expressing full solidarity with the popular indigenous uprising of the heroic people of IOJ&K, terming October 27 as a Black Day in the history of the Kashmiri people.

The Indian Chargé d’Affaires was summoned to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to register Pakistan’s strong protest on the occasion of Kashmir Black Day in condemnation of the continued human rights violations being perpetrated by the Indian occupation forces against the innocent Kashmiri people in IOJ&K. A five-minute symbolic blackout was observed in the evening on the Constitution Avenue to draw the world’s attention on Kashmir Black Day.

The National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) and Pakistan National Council of the Arts (PNCA) organised day-long cultural activities to observe the day. Video documentaries aired photographs were displayed by eminent artists, reflecting the Indian brutality in IOJ&K.

Tableaus and speeches were performed by the students of various educational institutions to pay tribute to the freedom fighters and martyrs.

The Pakistani-Kashmiri community also observed Kashmir Black Day in the United Arab Emirates. A large number of Pakistani-Kashmiri community congregated on the premises of the Pakistan Embassy Abu Dhabi to express solidarity with their Kashmiri brethren and condemn the human rights violations continuously being committed by India.

Appropriating Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stance on Kashmir, Pakistan Embassy’s Chargé d’Affaires Imtiaz Feroz Gondal said that the current leadership has enough courage to raise the Indian human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir at all international forums including the United Nations.

He said Kashmir Black Day is observed to remind the nation and also the world about illegal occupation of Kashmir and highlight the plight of the Kashmiris in IOJ&K. Moreover, Pakistan’s Defence Attaché Air Commodore Ali Asher read out the message of President Dr Arif Alvi while First Secretary and Head of Chancery Sibtain Afzaal read out the message of Prime Minister Imran Khan about renewal of Pakistan’s resolve to continue the support for Kashmiris.

Another public gathering was held on the Pakistan Consulate Dubai premises. The event was attended by representatives of the Pakistani-Kashmiri community in Dubai. To observe the Kashmir Black Day, a seminar was held in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday.

The event, chaired by the High Commissioner of Pakistan Babar Amin, was attended by a member of parliament of New South Wales representing different political parties, members of Australian Parliament and senators, besides a large number of Australians especially the members of Australia-Pakistani, Australian-Arab and Australian-Turkish communities.

Speakers at the seminar highlighted the illegality of the Indian occupation of Kashmir and the catastrophic human rights situation in IOJ&K. Dr Ali Sarfraz, President Kashmir Council Australia, briefed the audience on the deteriorating situation of human rights in Kashmir at the hands of Indian occupation forces.

Muhammad Ashraf, Consul General of Pakistan in Sydney, briefed the audience on the historical background of the Kashmir issue and highlighted the plight of Kashmiri people under curfews, lockdown and communication blockade. He said that the people of Kashmir appealed to the conscience of the civilised world and called upon the international community to play its role in ensuring their right to self-determination and safeguarding them from the grave human rights abuses.

Shouquett Mosalmane, Member of NSW Parliament from Labour Party, said that the right to self-determination was an inalienable right of Kashmiris as enshrined in the UN charter.

Philipp Ruddock, the current mayor of Hornsby and former Australian Minister from the Liberal Party, stated that members of Kashmiri and Pakistani community should keep on sensitising the Australians on Kashmir to increase their awareness on the issue.

Lee Rhiannon, the former senator from Australian Greens Party, spoke at length against the human rights abuses in IOJ&K. She emphasised that Australian government should take up the issue of human rights with the Indian government as it had been raising the issue of human rights abuses in other parts of the world.

Paul Lynch, the member of NSW Parliament and Shadow Attorney General in the Labor Shadow Cabinet, regretted the conduct of the Indian Government with the Amnesty International, after the AI published reports highlighting the human rights situation in Kashmir. The Amnesty International had to shut down its operations under duress by the Indian government.