Youm-e-Istehsal Kashmir: India learned how to change regional demography from Israel, says President Alvi
As Pakistan marks one year to the revocation of Indian-occupied Kashmir's special status, President Arif Alvi on Wednesday lashed out against New Delhi for its ongoing oppression of Kashmiris, saying that "India has learned how to change the demography from Israel".
While addressing the attendees of a rally, taken out in Islamabad in solidarity with residents of occupied Kashmir, the president said: "India's high-ups made many promises to Kashmiris and Pakistan but none of those promises were fulfilled." The president was flanked by Senate Chairperson Sadiq Sanjrani and Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi among other senators and officials.
"They signed the Simla Agreement with us in which it was decided that [both countries] will hold bilateral dialogue, but to date, India has refused to hold talks. Whenever the issue was raised on multilateral forums, India made excuses saying that it was a bilateral issue but they are not ready to talk."
He said that Pakistan did not accept Article 370 — which provided special status to the occupied region — originally as well because "we want the independence of Kashmir since it is not part of India". Narendra Modi's government, he lamented, repealed the law and changed Article 35(a) last year.
"If, over the past year, Kashmiris had appreciated the move [of repealing the region's special status], India would not have to impose a lockdown in [occupied Kashmir]," President Alvi declared.
He stressed that Pakistan government had always strove for peace. Even after India violated Pakistani airspace on the "false reaction on Pulwama" blast, Pakistan returned the captured Indian airforce pilot Abhinandan "to show to the world and India that we want peace not war".
He demanded the United Nations Security Council, where resolutions have been passed regarding the Kashmir issue, to fulfill its promises.
He further said that the press should be given free access to Indian occupied Kashmir. "If the situation is peaceful then press should have complete freedom to report from the occupied region. He also demanded that the changes introduced by the Indian government against Geneva Convention and UN rules should be withdrawn.
He also appealed to the international community and world bodies, including the OIC, to take note of the barbaric actions of the Indian forces in occupied Kashmir.
He assured that Pakistan will continue peaceful efforts for the Kashmir cause.
A minute's silence was also observed by the participants of the rally.
FM Qureshi challenges Indian PM to visit Muzaffarabad
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who was also part of the rally in Islamabad, challenged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit Muzaffarabad and to let Prime Minister Imran Khan visit Srinagar.
Addressing the Indian premier, he said: "If you have confidence in your actions then as foreign minister of Pakistan, I invite you to come and address the Kashmiris of Muzaffarabad. If you have courage and confidence in your policies, then allow PM Imran to visit Srinagar and see how he is welcomed."
"The public's referendum will be held today. This is my challenge to you. If you have courage, accept this. If you don't have courage then review [your decision to annex occupied Jammu and Kashmir]," he added.
'Occupied Kashmir converted into world's biggest jail'
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah and Governor Imran Ismail also led a rally in Karachi to show solidarity with the people of occupied Kashmir.
Speaking on the occasion, Shah said every Pakistani child was standing with Kashmiris and the time was not far when occupied Kashmir would be free from Indian oppression.
He said that India had "stolen the identity of Kashmiris one year ago and took down their flag and imposed the world's longest curfew in occupied Kashmir".
The chief minister further said that despite these atrocities, "our Kashmiri brethren are determined in their struggle for self-determination."
"Kashmiris have decided that their lives and deaths are Pakistan's and Pakistan's life and death is with Kashmir."
He added that the country had to give a message to the world that Pakistan would never leave their Kashmiri brothers and sisters alone.
Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said Kashmir had been "converted into the world's biggest jail one year ago".
He expressed sadness that the world community had not given the response that was expected from it on the Kashmir issue.
"Prime Minister Imran Khan raised the Kashmir issue in the UN and brought the attention of the entire world to it. He was an ambassador of Kashmir for the whole world. We want to assure [Kashmiris] that every child in Pakistan is standing with them," he said.
He added that the government and opposition were united on the Kashmir issue and termed it a "clear message to India that they could not break the Kashmiris with oppression and torture".
India should not think we are weak, he said, adding that it did not matter how many Rafale jets India owned as there were "that many tea cups ready in Pakistan".
Day of exploitation
The government has declared August 5 as Youm-i-Istehsal (the day of exploitation) of occupied Kashmir's residents, in order to register protest against Indian government's decision to strip occupied Kashmir of its autonomy.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Imran Khan, in a series of tweets, vowed to "continue to be an ambassador for all Kashmiris whose voices India has tried to silence".
"Kashmiris in IIOJK (Indian Illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir) have been subjected to a brutal fascist military siege by India since its illegal actions of 5th Aug last year followed by efforts to change the demography of IIOJK," he said in one of the tweets.
Rallies are being held across the country to condemn Indian government's decision to strip occupied Kashmir's special status and its ongoing atrocities against the residents of the region.
A special Senate session is also underway on the occasion of the first anniversary of the unilateral and illegal act of India to annex occupied Kashmir. Yesterday, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Parliamentary Affairs Dr Babar Awan said that the main purpose of the Senate session was “to send a national call and cry to the rest of the world and the institutions” over the situation in the Indian occupied Kashmir which had been under lockdown for one year and where people had been facing atrocities by the occupation forces.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will visit Muzaffarabad and address a special session of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Legislative Assembly.
Before his address, the premier will lead a symbolic walk from the helipad to the nearby Legislative Assembly premises, with AJK President Sardar Masood Khan, Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider and other dignitaries and civil servants among its participants.
On the assembly premises, PM Imran will also lay the foundation stone of a monument to the martyrs of the Kashmir freedom movement.
He will also hold meetings with the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) representatives and heads of different parliamentary parties in the AJK legislature.