ISLAMABAD: The nation is observing Kashmir Solidarity Day on Sunday with ceremonies, rallies, meetings and processions being held all over Pakistan and in various countries of the world.
A public holiday is being observed in the country with messages of solidarity issued by the president, the prime minister, military and others.
A chain of human hands was formed on the Mangla bridge connecting Pakistan with Azad Kashmir and a minute of silence was observed at 10 am as a siren sounded.
Rallies will also be held in different cities of the country by social and political organisations to highlight the Kashmir issue. Solidarity walks have been organised in Islamabad, Muzaffarabad, Gilgit, and in four provincial capitals.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will address a special session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly in Muzaffarabad today.
In his message, the prime minister said that that the entire nation of Pakistan has united to express unwavering solidarity and support with its Kashmiri brothers and sisters.
“On behalf of the entire Pakistani nation, I want to assure our Kashmiri brothers and sisters that we stand shoulder to shoulder with them. We will continue to lend moral, diplomatic and political support to their just cause, until they attain freedom from Indian oppression,” he said.
The premier said that India is mistaken if it believes it could crush the iron will of the Kashmiri people. “No amount of state terrorism, unleashed by Indian Occupation Forces, can break the will of the Kashmiris or undermine their legitimate struggle,” the premier said.
“The Kashmiri people have kept the torch of freedom burning with their sacrifices. I am sure their dreams will be fulfilled soon,” he said.
The prime minister urged India to honour its commitments made to Pakistan, the UN and, above all, to the Kashmiri people.
President Dr Arif Alvi, in a separate message, said that Pakistan has consistently maintained that a lasting solution to the Kashmir dispute was possible only in accordance with the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and wishes of the Kashmiri people.
“Pakistan also urges the international community and organisations to take practical steps to hold India accountable for its gross and widespread human rights violations in IIOJK,” the president said.
“We observe this day to draw the attention of the international community towards the relevant UN Security Council resolutions which state that the final disposition of the Jammu and Kashmir Dispute would be made in accordance with the will of the people, expressed through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite conducted under the auspices of the United Nations,” he stressed.
The spokesperson of the Pakistan Armed Forces Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry paid tribute to the Kashmiri struggle on behalf of the Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), services chiefs and forces.
In a tweet, he said that no amount of atrocities could suppress the Kashmiri spirit for freedom.
Kashmir Solidarity Day is being observed today with a renewed commitment to support the just struggle of Kashmiris for their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant UN resolutions.
The day will also be marked to expose the oppression being perpetrated by Indian occupational forces against Kashmiris in Illegally Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
Kashmir Solidarity Day is observed in Pakistan every year not only to renew the nation’s love and affection for the people of IIOJK but also to reiterate its commitment and dedication to the liberation of the occupied valley from Indian subjugation.
Rally held in Italy
The Pakistan United Federation in Italy held a protest rally and conference to commemorate Kashmir Solidarity Day. It was one of the biggest rallies held in Europe in recent years.
Participants of the rally held up placards and raised slogans in support of the Pakistan Army and in protest against Modi and the terrorism in IIOJK.
Chaudhry Pervaiz Iqbal, Chaudhry Tazamul Hussain, Syed Sajjad Bukhari, Ihtisham Siddique, Chaudhry Faisal and others spoke at the Kashmir Conference.
The speakers condemned the atrocities on Kashmiris, urging the United Nations to take notice of the Indian brutality in IIOJK.
They highlighted that according to the UN resolutions, Kashmiris should have the right to self-determination.
On this occasion, the speakers also said that the Pakistan Army is the guarantor of security in Pakistan and its soldiers are protecting the nation by sacrificing their lives on the borders.