MUZAFFARABAD / ISLAMABAD: People will observe Kashmir Solidarity Day in Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Monday to express their unfaltering support to the Kashmiris fighting over 750,000 troops in the India-held territory of the disputed Himalayan region to achieve their internationally acknowledge right to self-determination.
On Monday, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi will reach Muzaffarabad to address a joint sitting of the AJK Legislative Assembly and the AJK Council to pay tribute to the struggling Kashmiris and reaffirm Pakistan’s unwavering political, moral and diplomatic support to their just cause.
Later in the day, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz president Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz will address a public meeting in K.H. Khurshid Mini Stadium in the old city.
Besides other events, symbolic human chains would be formed at the points linking AJK with Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with ministers and notables from both sides among the participants, to send a loud and clear message to the international community and India that Pakistani and Kashmiri people were like “one soul in two hearts.”
Pakistani and Kashmiri expatriates in different parts of the world, mainly the UK and USA, will stage rallies to voice their support for the oppressed but resilient people of held Kashmir.
The people and government of Pakistan will continue their moral, diplomatic and political support for the people of India-held Kashmir (in their struggle against increasing Indian brutalities and violation of human rights, said Prime Minister Abbasi on Sunday.
In a message issued on the eve of Kashmir Solidarity Day, the prime minister called on the international community to urge India to respect the human rights charter and put an end to the human rights violations in Kashmir, according to APP. He said that they should also ensure a speedy resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in line with the United Nations Security Council resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said that the people of Kashmir were going through the worst form of aggression from the occupying Indian forces in the held Kashmir and urged the United Nations and the international community to investigate the reports of use of chemical weapons and pellet guns against the Kashmiris.
In his Kashmir Day message, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that Kashmiris had been waging a peaceful movement for their legitimate right to self-determination since 70 years losing thousands of innocent lives and impairing and maiming a large population.
His father and former president Asif Ali Zardari said: “The right to self-determination is a fundamental right enshrined in the UN charter that is not extinguished by delays and manipulation.
“While we commend the UN for bringing freedom to millions and dismantling apartheid and colonialism across countries and continents during the past seven decades, we are also baffled at the inability of the world body to resolve this issue,” he added.
Published in Dawn, February 5th, 2018