KARACHI: Karachiites came up with a strong gesture of unity on Friday when they expressed solidarity with the people of India-held Kashmir on the call of Prime Minister Imran Khan by standing for half hour, from noon to 12.30pm, as a token of support for Kashmiris.
A number of rallies and other events were organised across the city which were attended by a large number of people including women and children.
From political parties to government institutions and civil society organisations to units of the armed forces — every major segment of society participated in the show of unity.
Addressing a rally at the Quaid’s mausoleum, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said that the nation had responded positively on PM’s call to observe the Kashmir Solidarity Hour.
The government, armed forces and the nation were standing by their Kashmiri brethren, he said, adding that the government was raising Kashmir issue at every international forum and would make it clear to the whole world that Pakistani would always stand by Kashmiri people in their struggle for right of self-determination.
Life comes to a standstill for half an hour in protest over Indian brutalities in the held valley
Speaking to journalists at the airport, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi thanked the people of Pakistan for responding to the PM’s call.
He added that today’s nationwide protest had sent the message to unarmed Kashmiris that the people of this country were standing shoulder to shoulder with them.
The Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) took out a rally in the city against Indian move to change the status of Kashmir and atrocities against Kashmiris.
Party convener and Federal Minister for Information Technology Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that Kashmir was already a disputed issue and India further intensified its intensity by annexing it. There would be no reprieve for Kashmiris unless they acquire freedom from Indian atrocities, he added.
The Jamaat-i-Islami also took out a rally in Mauripur where schoolchildren, carrying posters and placards, chanted slogans in support of people of Kashmir.
JI’s Karachi chief Hafiz Naeemur Rahman said in a statement that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s madness had thrown the entire region on the brink of a war. The Indian government had made a grave violation of UN resolutions by revoking Article 370 of its constitution, he added.
A demonstration was held by the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf outside the Karachi Press Club which was attended by a number of people.
PTI’s Sindh chief Haleem Adil Sheikh along with other leaders and legislators of the party including Jamal Siddiqui, Khurram Sher Zaman and Shahnawaz Jadoon addressed the demonstrators.
They said that despite all Indian atrocities, Kashmir would get freedom soon.
Members of the Sindh cabinet belonging to the Pakistan Peoples Party Nasir Hussain Shah, Saeed Ghani and Murtaza Wahab held a joint press conference and condemned the Indian brutalities in Kashmir.
They also urged the government to increase its efforts through the Foreign Office to make the world aware of India’s aggression which had brought South Asia to the verge of war between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. The University of Karachi also observed the Kashmir Solidarity Hour to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
KU Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi, registrar Prof Dr Saleem Shahzad, deans of all faculties, chairpersons of departments, directors of institutions and centres, teachers, researchers, officers, employees, students and former federal law minister Barrister Shahida Jamil attended the ceremony held in front of the new Administration Block.
The Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology (SSUET) also observed Kashmir Solidarity Hour. The event was attended by Chancellor Jawaid Anwar, VC Prof Dr Vali Uddin, registrar Syed Sarfraz Ali and a large number of faculty and students. A rally was also organised on the occasion.
In an event at the Zindagi Trust-adopted SMB Fatima Jinnah Government School, 2,500 girl students stood together in the form of a human chain making the slogan “We stand with Kashmir.”
Expressing solidarity with the people of Kashmir, Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon observed the Kashmir Hour. A Sindh police team gathered at Sharea Faisal to express solidarity with the oppressed people of Kashmir. Traffic was stopped and national anthem was played during the event.
At Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, dozens of doctors, nursing staff, paramedics and other employees of the health facility took a break from the regular work to show solidarity with the people of Kashmir.
Led by JPMC’s executive director Dr Seemin Jamali, the participants took out a rally to show their support for the cause of Kashmir and to condemn the Indian aggression.
Professor Saeed Quraishy, Vice Chancellor of the Dow University of Health Sciences, led a rally to express solidarity with the people of India-held Kashmir.
The faculty, staff, students and people belonging to other walks of life began their march from DUHS and culminated their rally at Lighthouse signal via Baba-i-Urdu Road.
The Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi observed Kashmir Hour at its main campus. The event was attended by Executive Director Dr Farrukh Iqbal, associate dean Dr Huma Baqai, IBA staff, faculty and students.
Dr Baqai applauded the participation and turnout of the student body for showing support to Kashmiris.
The Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) condemned the Indian government for prohibiting doctors from providing treatment to patients in occupied Kashmir.
“This is the worst brutal step taken against the ailing people. Doctors have been arrested in occupied Kashmir under the offence of providing treatment to Kashmiri patients. This is highly shameful. The Pakistan Medical Association, the doctor community and paramedics denounce this viciousness,” said a statement.
Published in Dawn, August 31st, 2019