Observing a ‘Black Day’ story of Kashmir

DAILY TIMES

OP-ED

Observing a ‘Black Day’ story of Kashmir

Iftikhar Ahmad

NOVEMBER 2, 2019

Pakistan marked October 27, 2019 as Black Day to Condemn illegal Indian occupation of Kashmir. In the province of Punjab one Million Signatures campaign was inaugurated to highlight Indian atrocities in Kashmir. Representatives of youth held demonstrations against Indian state terrorism, continued violence and usurpation of human rights and killing of unarmed Kashmiris struggling for their right of self-determination. The Kashmir issue should be resolved as per the resolution of the United Nations. Peace and security and respect for humanity could not be restored in the region until resolution of the Kashmir issue. It is imperative to inform international institutions about Indian brutalities against Kashmiris. Silence of the world community at un-ending curfew in occupied Kashmir is regrettable. It is a shame for India that 100,000 people have been martyred in Kashmir and 11,000 Kashmir’s women have been raped, whereas the number of widows has increased to 22,000 in Indian occupied Kashmir. In spite of Indian tyranny and brutality Narendra Modi has failed to subjugate Kashmiris and weaken their will to continue the struggle for freedom.

Warning the Modi government against escalation on the line of control, PML(N) leader Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan’s armed forces were fully capable and ready to give a befitting response. He said that Indian Prime Minister Modi had set the worst example of atrocities by clamping down a curfew in Kashmir and then prolonging it for months. Modi has failed to depress the spirit of Kashmiris freedom fighters in spite of heights of human rights violations.

Kashmir Black Day is to express solidarity with Kashmiris. The message for brutal Indian authorities is that violation of human rights and denying the right of self-determination to the people of occupied Kashmir was not acceptable. Modi government wants to hold Pakistan responsible for unrest in Kashmir to divert attention or the world community from the bloodbath continuing in the valley. Kashmir is a moral and political issue. Pakistan is always ready to provide Kashmiris the moral and political support on every forum for the just Kashmir cause of freedom from India.

While talking to a delegation of all parties Hurriyet conference that called on him, Prime Minister Imran Khan reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to continue diplomatic, moral and political support to their Kashmiris breathers. The Prime Minister said hearts of Pakistan people beat in unison with their Kashmir’s breathers. The Hurriyet leaders thanked the Prime Minister for strongly and effectively fighting the case of Kashmir before the world community.

Pakistanis and Kashmiris around the world and on both sides of the lime of control (LOC) are observing a ‘Black Day’ to mark 72 years since India forcibly and illegally took over the disputed territory. On August 5, India had stripped occupied Kashmir of the special autonomy it had for seven decades. By repealing article 370 of the constitution, people from the rest of India can now have the right to acquire property in the disputed valley and settle there permanently. Kashmiris see the move as an attempt to dilute the demographics of Muslim-Majority Kashmir with Hindu settlers.

Pakistan can provide moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmir cause more effectively from a position of strength which means setting its own house in order. As leader of the opposition Shehbaz Sharif has said, a strong economy is key to liberating Kashmir from Indian occupation

Pakistan had strongly condemned the move and vowed to “exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps” taken by the Modi government. Foreign diplomats joined observance of “Black Day”. Strong support was voiced by O.I.C for Kashmiris at New York event. Pakistan Missions abroad effectively presented the story of Kashmir and that how the Kashmiris have suffered at the hand of Indian occupation forces for over 72 years. New Delhi rulers have deployed 900,000 troops to subjugate Kashmiris voice.

The largely-attended event was organized by Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, the outgoing Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) Whose dedication to the Kashmir cause was praised by guest speakers, With Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary-General of Washington based world Kashmir Awareness, calling her the “Voice of Kashmiri People”. Quoting Arundhati Rai, a prominent Indian writer, Fai Stated that democracy in India was long dead as the Kashmir region became one of the most militarized zones in the world. He also cited Gautam Navlakha, an Indian human rights activist, who repeatedly called the Kashmir struggle an indigenous movement and that India should stop blaming Pakistan.

O.I.C officials and top Saudi Arabian diplomat voiced strong support for the Kashmiri people in their struggle for their UN- pledged right to self-determination at a special event held in New York to mark the 72nd anniversary of India’s massive invasion and occupation of Kashmir, known as “Black Day”. Ambassador Lodhi underscored the need for a peaceful resolution of Jammu and Kashmir dispute through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite in accordance with relevant U.N Security Council resolutions and aspirations of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “The kingdom of Saudi Arabia has always stood by Pakistan on Kashmir and we have always advocated self-determination for the Kashmiri people, as the Saudi Arabian people unanimously support their cause”, said Ambassador Abdullah Y. Al-Moualimi, Permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations. Professor Akmal Saidor, Chairperson of the O.I.C independent permanent human rights commission focused on the worsening rights situation in occupied Kashmir. He expressed the concern that indigenous Muslim population was being turned into a minority, through Indian deliberate designs within their homeland.

Pakistan can provide moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmir cause more effectively from a position of strength which means setting its own house in order. As leader of the opposition Shehbaz Sharif has said, a strong economy is key to liberating Kashmir from Indian occupation. Pakistan needs internal unity and uniform national outlook. There is need to rethink policies and strategies that requires positive attitudes, respect and regard for opposition political parties and their leaders. Dire need is for reconciliation and cooperation for promoting national and public interests. All tensions have to be removed for a way forward to peace and prosperity. Could we expect change in attitudes and behaviours? Leaders need to lead for sake of humanity and stability. Ultimately, policy of self-reliance can help and enable Pakistan to achieve its cherished goals.

The writer is the former director of National Institute of Administration (NIPA), Government of Pakistan