Accession Day: PM reaffirms commitment to Kashmiris' struggle for self-determination

Published July 19, 2020
In this file photo, Kashmiri protesters clash with Indian police as they take to the streets chanting pro-freedom slogans after prayers marking the festival of Eidul Fitr in Srinagar. — AFP/File
In this file photo, Kashmiri protesters clash with Indian police as they take to the streets chanting pro-freedom slogans after prayers marking the festival of Eidul Fitr in Srinagar. — AFP/File

Prime Minister Imran Khan, on the occasion of Youm-i-Ilhaq-e-Pakistan (Accession to Pakistan Day) on Sunday, reaffirmed Pakistan's commitment to people struggling for self-determination in occupied Kashmir.

July 19 is observed every year in renewal of the historical resolution of Kashmir's accession to Pakistan passed by the people of the state.

The All Jammu Kashmir Muslim Conference on July 19, 1947, in Srinagar had demanded the-then Dogra rulers to materialise the accession of the Jammu Kashmir state to Pakistan, honouring the decision and point of view of the majority population of the Muslim majority in the state.

In a tweet on Sunday, the premier reiterated that Kashmiris' right of self-determination is recognised by the United Nations Security Council as well as international laws. "We will continue to fight for justice for Kashmiris as they struggle against the brutal & illegal actions of the Hindutva Supremacist Indian govt in IOJK," he said.

"We reaffirm our commitment to the Kashmiri people and stand with them in their struggle for self-determination."

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said that July 19 marked the day when "true representatives of Jammu and Kashmir adopted a historic resolution for accession to Pakistan".

"Despite decades of Indian occupation, resolve of Kashmiris & immutable bonds to [Pakistan] stand strong," he said, adding that the country "reaffirms unwavering support to Kashmiris in their just struggle for freedom".

PML-N chief and Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said that the world "must know that no other people have suffered as much as Kashmiris have for demanding their UN-sanctioned right to self-determination".

Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari paid tribute to Kashmiris' courage, saying that "generation after generation of Kashmiri men, women and children have confronted & resisted Indian occupation, brutality & incarceration".

Addressing a seminar at National Press Club in Islamabad, Special Parliamentary Committee on Kashmir Chairman Shehryar Khan Afridi said the government of Pakistan continues to provide political and diplomatic support to the people of the occupied valley.

According to Radio Pakistan, he said India was violating international laws in the valley, adding that the world must take note and warn Delhi about the implications of its actions in the region. He urged the United Nations to take notice of Indian atrocities in the occupied valley.

He also stated that he will visit the Line of Control on Eidul Azha as he had done on Eidul Fitr, adding that all "political leadership needed to be on ground".

On August 5 last year, the Indian government repealed Article 370 of its constitution, stripping occupied Kashmir of its special status. It also divided up occupied Jammu and Kashmir into two union territories; one Jammu and Kashmir, and the other the Buddhist-dominated high altitude region of Ladakh. The bifurcation of the territory came into effect on October 31 last year.

A strict lockdown and communications blackout has been in place in occupied Kashmir since then, with only partial relief.

In April, amid the ongoing coronavirus lockdown, the Indian government notified new domicile laws for occupied Kashmir, making an unspecified number of outsiders eligible for residency and jobs.

As many as 25,000 non-locals have been granted domicile certificates in Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir since May 18, which local politicians believe is the beginning of a move to disturb the demographic profile of the region.

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