ISLAMABAD/LAHORE: Pakistanis and Kashmiris around the world and on both sides of the Line of Control (LoC) observed Black Day on Sunday to reject India’s illegal occupation of the disputed region in 1947. However, this year’s Black Day held a double meaning as it also marked nearly three months of Indian atrocities in the occupied territory after New Delhi revoked its special status on August 5.
From young to old, Kashmiris have been killed, tortured and detained under the illegal curfew imposed by India in IOK.
In his message on Black Day, Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged the Kashmiris not to engage in the armed struggle against Indian forces, saying the whole Pakistani nation stood by them in this hour of need.
“Some elements in AJK [Azad Jammu and Kashmir] are instigating Jihad and armed struggle against the Indian forces which will deal a great amount of damage to the Kashmir cause, and is against the interest of Pakistan as well,” said the prime minister in a video message broadcast live on the state-run Pakistan Television (PTV) on Sunday.
PM Imran made it clear that anybody talking about crossing the line of control would commit enmity with Kashmir and Pakistan as India was looking for such an opportunity to crush the freedom struggle.
He said the New Delhi rulers had deployed 900,000 troops to subjugate the voice of Kashmiris.
“The Modi government wants to hold Pakistan responsible for the unrest in Kashmir to deflect the world community’s attention from the bloodbath continuing in the valley,” said Imran. “The Kashmiris’ movement is a political struggle and we have to extend our moral, diplomatic and political support in this regard.”
PM Imran said the entire Pakistani nation, including minorities, was standing behind the people of Kashmir in their just struggle for right to self-determination.
Imran said he highlighted the Kashmir issue in his speech at the United Nations and during interactions with other world leaders.
Imran said now the international community was aware of the oppression going on in occupied Kashmir at the hands of Indian forces.
The premier said Narendra Modi, after coming to power for the second term, imposed a curfew in IOK and no one knew what was happening in the valley, adding that the Modi regime changed Kashmir’s status by claiming that he wanted development there.
“Modi should hold a referendum if he wants peace, stability, and development in Kashmir,” he added.
Imran said all the mainstream political parties of Kashmir boycotted the recently held local government polls in IOK, adding that the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party met with a humiliating defeat even in the controlled elections there.
He assured the people of Kashmir that he was not only their ambassador, but would also become their spokesperson and advocate supporting their struggle till they achieved their right to self-determination as enshrined in the UN Resolutions.
Talking to a delegation of All Parties Hurriyat Conference leadership that called on him at the PM Office, Imran reaffirmed that the government of Pakistan would continue extending diplomatic, moral and political support to its Kashmiri brethren by raising the Kashmir issue at all world fora.
The delegation included Nisar Mirza, Muhammad Hussain Khateeb and Javed Iqbal. Special Assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan was also present.
The situation in IOK was discussed during the meeting. The Hurriyat leadership expressed their gratitude to the prime minister for vigorously presenting the Kashmir case at the UN.
Imran observed that the hearts of the Pakistani nation and the Kashmiri brethren beat together and the whole nation was standing by them.
HRCP condemns Indian atrocities
On Sunday, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) strongly condemned the detention of thousands of youth and minors as well as restrictions on access to food and medicines in IOK.
HRCP Chairman Dr Mehdi Hasan condemned the lockdown of some eight million Kashmiris, saying the suppressed Kashmiris had been facing gross human rights violations at the hands of the Indian forces deployed in the valley.
“It has now been more than two-and-a-half months since the Indian government revoked the special status of Kashmir under Article 370 of the Indian Constitution and placed the region under curfew,” he said.
To a question, Dr Hasan said that the Indian government’s failure to comprehend the grave implications of fuelling regional tension was highly irresponsible.
(With additional input from APP)