Rallies held across AJK to mark India’s republic day as black day

Updated January 27, 2020


Indian Border Security Force personnel (dressed in brown) and Pakistan Rangers (dressed in black) take part in a Beating Retreat ceremony on India’s republic day at the Wagah border on Sunday.—AFP
Indian Border Security Force personnel (dressed in brown) and Pakistan Rangers (dressed in black) take part in a Beating Retreat ceremony on India’s republic day at the Wagah border on Sunday.—AFP

MUZAFFARABAD / MULTAN: Rallies and demonstrations were held across Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Sunday to mark India’s republic day as black day, with participants calling upon the international community not to buy New Delhi’s false propaganda of being the largest democracy in view of its treatment of oppressed Kashmiris and her own citizens from minority communities.

“Isn’t it shameful that despite usurping internationally acknowledged basic democratic right to self-determination of Kashmiris for 72 years and unleashing terror on its own [Muslim] citizens under cover of a discriminatory citizenship law, India observes Republic Day on Jan 26?” questioned AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider in an early morning tweet. “For us, it’s a Black Day,” he added.

In Muzaffarabad, a rally was organised by Jammu Kashmir Liberation Cell (JKLC), an official institution raised to project the cause of Kashmiris and Jammu Kashmir Pasban-i-Hurriyat (JKPH), an organisation of post-1990 migrants from India-occupied Kashmir.

It was led by PPP regional president Chaudhry Latif Akbar, JKLC secretary Mansoor Qadir Dar and JKPH chief Uzair Ahmed Ghazali.

Foreign minister asks world to help stop Indian atrocities in valley

“India is not a democratic country but the murderer of humanity,” read one of the two black banners carried by participants, many of whom were holding black flags.

They also released black balloons into the air. Later, participants also delivered a protest note at the nearby office of UN Military Observers.

Separately, talking to media persons at his residence, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider said that India had no justification to observe republic day when it had usurped the fundamental rights of Kashmiris and its hands were stained with their blood.

“In fact, India is the largest terrorist country that derives pleasure from genocide of innocent people, particularly from the minority communities. This day is designed to hoodwink the international community,” he said.

In Multan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the world should play its role in stopping India from violation of human rights (HR) in held Kashmir.

Addressing Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf workers, he said the real face of India had been exposed by actions of the Modi government.

“The world should come forward to stop Indian atrocities in held Kashmir and provide relief to eight million Kashmiris. Voice should be raised to end curfew in Kashmir,” he said.

The foreign minister said that Pakistani nation would observe Kashmir day on Feb 5 to express solidarity with the Kashmiris.

“Due to successful foreign policy, the Kashmir issue was discussed in the United Nations Security Council after 56 years while the forum again endorsed Pakistan’s point of view in its recent meeting.”

Mr Qureshi said that on the directive of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he paid visits to Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States and made efforts to ease tension in the Middle East. “The tension which prevailed a few days ago does not exist now. Saudi Arabia is a time-tested friend, while Iran is also a friend and a neighbour.”

He said that the world was appreciating Pakistan’s efforts for peace in Afghanistan. “Entire region, including Pakistan, will be in peace if there is peace in Afghanistan.”

He said the PTI government made no compromise with corruption and the corrupt. “Accountability across the board and zero tolerance on corruption is our policy. So far no corruption allegation has been leveled against our government and hopefully there will not be any in future.”

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2020