ISLAMABAD: Combined opposition leaders from the capital on Tuesday announced that they would observe Oct 27 as black day in protest against the ongoing repression in India-held Kashmir.

The decision was taken at a multi-party conference held to discuss matters related to Kashmir solidarity day and the upcoming Azadi March.

The participants of the conference urged the world community to persuade India to lift curfew in India-held Kashmir and withdraw its troops from the valley.

They condemned the revocation of Article 370 of the Indian constitution that gave special status to occupied Kashmir and said the relevant UN resolutions on Kashmir must be implemented without any delay.

They said durable peace in the region would remain a distant dream if the lingering Kashmir dispute was not resolved in accordance with the UN resolutions.

The conference decided that a protest demonstration would be staged outside the National Press Club on Oct 27 against the Indian attempts to jeopardise regional peace and stability, and express solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiris.

The MPC was attended by former PML-N MNAs from Islamabad Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry and Anjum Aqeel Khan, JUI-F leaders Emir Maulana Abdul Majeed Hazarvi, Mufti Mohammad Abdullah, Mufti Owais Aziz, PPP’s Syed Sibtul Hasan Bokhari, ANP’s Nasrullah Khan, Shahzada Iftikhar Hussain, Chaudhry Riffat Javed and Haji Abdul Qayyum Achakzai.

Later, speaking at a press conference, JUI-F Islamabad Emir Maulana Abdul Majid Hazarvi said as part of Azadi March a sit-in will be staged in Islamabad from October 31 which will continue till the resignation of the prime minister and announcement of fresh elections.

Replying to a question, Hazarvi said the Azadi March would be peaceful, adding that the opposition was united and moving forward under consensus decisions.

Dr Tariq Fazal Chaudhry warned the government against any attempts to disrupt the plan. “We will move together on Oct 31,” he added.

He said lives of top political leaders were at risk in the custody of National Accountability Bureau.

He said the government would be responsible if something happens to the arrested leaders and workers.

Syed Sibtul Hasan Bokhari was more specific as he said the lives of Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari were under threat. He, however, said the decision with regard to the sit-in will be taken by the Rahbar Committee.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2019