LAHORE: Major political parties on Sunday set up their camps side-by-side on The Mall Road to express solidarity with each other and the people of Indian-held Kashmir on Kashmir Solidarity Day.
PML-N and PPP set up their camps right in front of the Punjab Assembly on The Mall Road, while JIP erected its Kashmir Conference stage a few hundred yards away. Activists of Pakistan Tahreek-e-Insaf (PTI) were also there on the occasion to mark their party’s presence.
Addressing the participants who gathered from all four provinces and Gilgit-Baltistan, JI chief Sirajul Haq said the freedom struggle of Kashmir was neither an economic war nor a movement run on the basis of cast and creed.
“It is an ideological struggle. Hundreds of thousands of Kashmiri people have lost their lives in freedom struggle, while thousands others have been disabled but they are not ready to give up,” the JI chief remarked.
Criticising Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, he said India wanted to turn Pakistan into a barren piece of land by holding its water supply.
Addressing the PML-N rally, Federal Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafiq said India would starve to death if it did not give freedom to the people of Kashmir. He stressed that the United Nations must shun its double standards. Saad said his party would continue its support with the people of Kashmir.
PPP leader Azizur Rehman Chan led a rally on Mall Road in which a large number of party workers participated to express solidarity with the people of Indian-held Kashmir.
Meanwhile, in Faisalabad Kashmir solidarity day was observed at the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) on Sunday. In this connection a seminar was held where the faculty members and students of the UAF expressed solidarity with Kashmiris.
Addressing the participants, UAF Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan said independence was the basic right of all human beings. He urged the international community to take notice of human rights violations by India against Kashmiris.
Meanwhile, different government, social, religious, political, trader and other organisations also staged rallies, seminars, conferences and other programmes to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir. Faisalabad Arts Council arranged a photo exhibition at Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Auditorium Art Gallery on the occasion of Kashmir Day in which photographs pertaining to the aggression and excesses of Indian troops were displayed.
In Bahawalpur, the biggest gathering on Kashmir Day was held on Fareed Gate in which thousands of people from different political and religious parties gathered to express their solidarity with Kashmir.
The participants of the rallies carried placards and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of the Kashmiris and demanded of the United Nations to resolve the Kashmir issue according to aspirations of Kashmiri people.
Jamaat-e-Islami, Multan chapter organised a rally to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day on Sunday. The rally started from Clock Tower Chowk and concluded at the JI office in the city. On the occasion, JI, Vice Ameer, (South Punjab) Sheikh Usman Farooq said Kashmir Day was being observed to give a message to the people of Kashmir that Pakistanis were with them.
In Sargodha, a conference was organised to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir with a pledge to continue moral support in their struggle of freedom from Indian occupation.
The conference was attended by activists of major religio-political parties, members of civil society and people from all walks of life. On the occasion, speakers condemned India for not implementing the UN resolutions to resolve the core issue of Kashmir.
Meanwhile, Punjab Emergency Service Rescue 1122 and Regional Scouts office staged a walk to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people. The participants of the rally were carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans against the atrocities of Indian forces in held Kashmir.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 6th, 2017.