Islamabad, February 06 (KMS): People across the country and in Azad Kashmir as well as in several locales around the globe observed Kashmir Solidarity Day on Tuesday renewing the pledge for continued support to their brethren in Held Kashmir against the Indian atrocities.
February 5 had been declared as a public holiday whereby the government and the entire nation reaffirmed support to stay with Kashmiris in the hour of trial and their fight against the Indian oppression. The Day is being marked in Pakistan since 1990 to pay homage to the Kashmiri martyrs and highlight the plight of Kashmiris for their birth right to self-determination, promised to them by the international community under the resolutions of United Nations Security Council.
The day dawned with special prayers at mosques and houses across the country after Fajr prayers for the early liberation of Jammu and Kashmir from Indian subjugation. A minute silence was observed throughout the country at 10:00 a.m.
People took out rallies, attended seminars and reaffirmed support with their subjugated countrymen. A human chain was also formed on all the five bridges, including Mangla, Kohala, Dhalkot, Azad Pattan, and Holar besides at Bararkot, the entering points which connect Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) with Pakistan. Thousands of people belonging to AJK and Pakistan gathered at these bridges participated to form the human chain.
A large number of people belonging to all walks of life reached Mangla Bridge in a big procession. While addressing, the speakers called upon the world community to ensure a peaceful solution of Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UN resolutions. They said the sacrifices being offered by the valiant Kashmiri people would not go waste. The speakers demanded that India should immediately stop human rights violations in the occupied Kashmir
President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan and AJK Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majid have issued special messages in connection with the Kashmir Day to express solidarity with the people of occupied Kashmir.
President Asif Ali Zardari, while expressing solidarity with the Kashmiri people, said Pakistan remained firmly committed to finding a just and peaceful solution of the Kashmir dispute.
In a message on the Kashmir Solidarity Day, the president reiterated with the Kashmiri brethren, Pakistan’s political, moral and diplomatic support towards their just cause for the right of self-determination, as enshrined in the UN Charter and the relevant UN resolutions.
President Zardari also paid tributes to the valiant struggle of the Kashmiri brethren and said they had been rendering huge sacrifices in the quest for realising their inalienable right to choose their destiny by themselves.
He said the Kashmiris had remained resolute and steadfast in the face of oppression spanning over six decades. “Today, we stand in solidarity with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters.”
The president said: “Pakistan believes that the use of force, coercion and violation of basic human rights can never succeed in suppressing an indigenous struggle for a just cause. Their perseverance will bear fruit.”
Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf said that Pakistan would stand by the Kashmiris till the realisation of their demands for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute. “On behalf of the government and the people of Pakistan, I reaffirm Pakistan’s firm commitment to a just and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir and the protection of their fundamental rights,” the prime minister said in his message on the Kashmir Solidarity Day.
The prime minister said the Kashmir dispute had been on the agenda of the United Nations for more than six decades as an unfulfilled obligation. He said the Government of Pakistan would continue to extend its unwavering political, moral and diplomatic support to the just cause of the Kashmiri people to safeguard their right of self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite in line with the UN Charter and UNSC resolutions and for the protection of their fundamental rights.
Like other parts of the country, the Kashmir Solitary Day was also observed in the metropolis on Tuesday.
Several programmes, including rallies, seminars and conventions were held under the banners of several social, political and religious parties to express solidarity with Kashmiri people and support their freedom movement in Karachi. In this connection, the main rally was taken out by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Karachi from Jail Chowrangi to Mazar-e-Quaid. A large number of JI workers raised party flags and banners inscribed with slogans, “We support struggle of Kashmiris for freedom, Salute the courage of Syed Ali Gilani and Kashmiri Mujahideen. Unjustified invasion of Indian Army in Kashmir is not acceptable.” Participants chanted slogans in favour of Kashmiri people and against the Indian Army. Addressing the rally, JI Sindh leader Mairaj-ul-Huda Siddiqui said the day of Kashmir’s independence was very near and Srinagar would soon be a part of Pakistan. Criticising the role of United Nations Organization (UNO), he said the Kashmir issue was put behind the burner due to an international conspiracy. Despite passage of 65 years, the UN resolution on Kashmir is being violated and no action is taken. “We do not accept such type of UN which does not see the barbarism in Kashmir, Syria, Burma and other Muslim world”, he said. Meanwhile Muttahida Qaumi Movement also organised a gathering of Kashmiri people at Nine Zero in connection with Kashmir Day. Deputy Convener of the Co-ordination Committee of the MQM Dr Farooq Sattar said that the progress and development of South Asia hinges on the immediate solution of the Kashmir dispute. He said that the continuation of the status quo was the biggest hurdle in the solution of the Kashmir dispute. He said that India is the largest democracy in the world but its democracy was blemished by the Kashmir dispute. He appealed to the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the people of India to open the locks on Kashmir for solving the dispute. Dr Sattar gave three points for the solution of the Kashmir dispute from the MQM. He said that the dispute should be resolved according to the wishes and aspirations of the people of Kashmir as no solution without the participation of the people of Kashmir would be acceptable to anyone. He said that the Kashmiri people should be involved in all the dialogues relating to Kashmir. He said that the MQM would always stand with the people of Kashmir for getting their legitimate rights. A rally in this regard was taken out by Khyber Pakhtunkwa Chapter of All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference in Peshawar. The rally started from Cinema Road and culminated at Chowk Yadgar after passing through different bazaars. The rally was led by former President All Jammu & Kashmir Muslim Conference KP Muhammad Hassan Khan, Senior Vice President Muslim Youth Wing Muhammad Saeed Butt Advocate and other Kashmiri leaders. A large number of people attended the rally amid torrential rain and at the culminating point it turned into a big procession.
To commemorate the Kashmir Day, a large number of students performed cultural music and stage plays at Rawalpindi Arts Council (RAC). Over 500 students from 13 schools of Rawalpindi gathered to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir. Attired in traditional Kashmiri embroidered outfits and accessories, they livened up the atmosphere with their performances. A singing and skit completion also brought forth the colours of Kashmir.
Meanwhile, a day-long festival was organised at Lok Virsa in Islamabad to mark the day. A group of Kashmiri artists set up cultural stalls and musicians added a cheerful aura to the event. However the programme was a bit delayed due to the downpour.
Speaking on the occasion, Federal Minister for National Heritage and Integration Samina Khalid Ghurki, said, “Pakistan will continue to support the cause of Kashmir. We have been celebrating Kashmir Day at national level since 1990 and are continuously trying to highlight the Kashmir issue to the international community.” She added culture is an important tool which can effectively focus contribution of Kashmiris.
Kashmiri singers such as Subhan Rather, Rukhsana Murtaza, Haleema Bibi, Gulzar Shireen and Bano Rehmat enthralled the audience with Kashmiri folk tunes. A santoor player Ghulam Muhammad Dar played soulful music for the crowd.
At the food stalls, some enjoyed traditional delights such as rista, roghan josh, tabaq mas, aloo gosht and goshtaba, and pink Kashmiri tea.