Kashmir Solidarity Day was observed on February 5 across Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir with the pledge to seek a resolution of the Kashmir issue according to the United Nations resolutions and aspirations of the people. A one-minute silence was observed across the country at 10am on Sunday as the people of Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) observed ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’ to show solidarity with the people of India-held Kashmir (IHK). Pakistanis and Kashmiris have been observing Kashmir Day every year on Feb 5 without any discontinuity since 1990.
The hallmark of the day was forming of human chains by Pakistani and Kashmiri representatives and people from different walks of life on Kohala and Mangla bridges, entry points of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). The day dawned with special prayers for the martyrs of Kashmir and victory of the freedom struggle. During the day, mass rallies, seminars, walks, conventions, meetings and speech contests were held. People took to the streets in the cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Sargodha, Multan, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Dera Ismail Khan, Sialkot, Chiniot, Vehari, Sadiqabad, Nawabshah, Dera Bugti and Muzaffarabad and voiced their support for Kashmiris.
Expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir, President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have urged the UN General Assembly and international community to play their role in redressing the plight of hapless Kashmiris. In their separate messages issued on the Kashmir Solidarity Day, the two laid stress on a just and peaceful resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute on the basis of the United Nations Security Council resolutions. The president said the international community should also draw a distinction between struggle for freedom and terrorism.
“The right to self-determination is a revered principle of international law. But even after more than 67 years, this fundamental right is being denied to the people of Jammu and Kashmir despite the fact that this right was promised to them by United Nations in its numerous Resolutions,” his message reads. Even in the face of adversity, he said, the people of Jammu and Kashmir have continued their struggle. PM Nawaz said only a just resolution of the Kashmir issue could bring lasting peace in South Asia. “I am certain that no sham elections conducted under the occupation of 700,000 Indian security forces can replace a free and impartial plebiscite,” he said. Nawaz Sharif assured the Kashmiri people that the people of Pakistan will never abandon their unflinching support for them. “I am sure that in not too distant a future the Kashmiris will achieve their cherished goal.”
The prime minister reaffirmed the steadfast support of the people and government of Pakistan extended to the Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their struggle to achieve their inherent right to decide their future through self-determination. He said the committed people of Kashmir had consistently been denied their fundamental right despite the pledge given by the United Nations. “The intensity of human right abuses perpetrated against the Kashmiris has elicited international condemnation,” he added. He said it was widely known that the innocent people of Jammu and Kashmir were undergoing worst form of human rights violations at the hands of more than 700,000 Indian security forces. “I salute the Kashmiris for not letting these atrocities deter them from aspiring for their legitimate right to self-determination enshrined in the UN Charter,” he added.