MUZAFFARABAD/ ISLAMABAD: Millions of Pakistanis across the globe will observe the Kashmir Solidarity Day today (Monday) to express their support to the Kashmiris in the struggle for their inalienable right to self-determination under the United Nations (UN) resolution.
The day is being observed to give a loud and clear message to the world that the hearts of Pakistanis and Kashmiris throb in unison.
One-minute silence will also be observed at 10:00am to pay homage to the martyrs of the liberation struggle of Occupied Kashmir.
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People from Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) will also observe the day and a joint session of AJK Legislative Assembly and Kashmir Council would be held in Muzaffarabad. The session will be addressed by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif will also address a public gathering in the Khurshid Hassan Khurshid stadium of the city.
Human chains would be made at main entry and exit points - Kohala, Azad Pattan, Mangla and Bararkot - which connect AJK with Pakistan. The human chains and other programmes will also be organised in the other district headquarters of AJK to express solidarity with the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir.
Pakistan and people from AJK have been observing Kashmir Solidarity Day on 5 February every year to extend their support to their Kashmiri brethren who are fighting for the implementation of UN resolutions to decide their future.
The day was first observed in 1990s on the call given by former Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Qazi Hussain Ahmad.
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Senior Minister AJK Tariq Farooq, while talking to the media, said that people of Kashmir are indebted to the people of Pakistan for observing 5 February as a solidarity day. He added that the rallies taken out across Pakistan on the day show the commitment of the Pakistani people with Kashmiris.
“People of Pakistan have remained at the back of the Kashmiris since long and we have a great regard for their commitment to support the Kashmiris struggle,” said Farooq.
The minister said that the arrival of PM Abbasi and PML-N President Nawaz Sharif along with his daughter to show solidarity with Kashmiris is a great gesture. He added that their presence will send a positive message to the other side of Kashmir where people are fighting against the illegal Indian rule.
Farooq further said that Pakistan supported Kashmiris in their movement for the right of self-determination, and this is the cause that people in IOK are hoisting Pakistani flags in rallies and funeral prayers of Kashmiri martyrs.
“India is the killer of Kashmiris while Pakistan is the prime supporter of their political struggle. Observing Kashmir Day with traditional zeal and fervor across Pakistan and AJK is proof that whole Pakistani nation is with the people of IOK,” Farooq concluded.
On the other hand, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Muhammad Barjees Tahir while addressing a news conference in Islamabad, said Kashmir issue is the oldest unresolved issue on the UN agenda.
He said, “If a referendum can be held in East Timor and Sudan then why a plebiscite cannot be held in Kashmir.”
The minister urged the United Nations for the implementation of its resolutions for the solution of Kashmir dispute as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
He said Pakistan respects all resolutions of UN and the world council has endorsed the resolutions many times in its sessions since 1947.
Tahir said that Pakistan will continue its political, moral and diplomatic support for their birth right to self-determination.
The minister said, “India has crossed all records of atrocities and human rights violations in occupied Kashmir.” He added that the despite India’s unprecedented brutalities, the Kashmiri youth are taking forward their freedom movement.