Pakistani politicians across the political divide were unanimous in their condemnation of India's move to strip occupied Kashmir of its semi-autonomous status one year ago today, urging the international community to take note of New Delhi's "unimaginable savagery".
Ministers and leaders belonging to the government and opposition took to social media to strongly condemn the Indian atrocities and voice their support for Kashmiris' right to self-determination.
Prime Minister Imran Khan led the nation in showing solidarity with the residents of Indian-occupied Kashmir, vowing to continue to be their ambassador.
"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," the premier noted in a tweet.
Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif said despite their "political/internal differences", Pakistani politicians were together in calling out India for its "crimes against humanity" in IOK.
"World will be thankful to Kashmiris for standing up to state terrorism and keeping [the] banner of freedom afloat at a time when doing so was not easy," he tweeted, urging the international community to pay heed to the situation in South Asia.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi noted that the past year since India's annexation of occupied Kashmir was defined by "demographic alteration", "communication blackout" and "unimaginable savagery".
"Pakistan will always stand by the people of Kashmir," he wrote.
In his comments, PPP chairperson Bilawal-Bhutto Zardari said the Indian siege cannot conquer the aspirations of the Kashmiri people and asked the global community to "restrain [the] apartheid Indian state’s atrocities" in the occupied valley.
He said the issue of Kashmir will only be resolved through a plebiscite. “For a peaceful and developing sub-continent, resolution of Kashmir is a must and without it there could be no peace in the region,” he added.
Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Chaudhry said Pakistan desired peace but "if war is necessary to battle oppression, then so be it".
The ruling PTI observed on Twitter that Prime Minister Imran had raised the Kashmir issue on a global level and today the "world community is condemning fascism of Modi in Kashmir. Indian Government is exposed by PM Imran Khan."
In his remarks, Sindh Governor Imran Ismail said a year has passed since "the worst exploitation of humanity in occupied Kashmir. InshaAllah, the time will come soon when Kashmiris will decide their own fate!"
PTI Senator Faisal Javed Khan tweeted that time had proven that "PM Khan was right and [the] whole world now acknowledges the fact that RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) founding fathers were inspired by Hitler to change [the] demography of Kashmir through ethnic cleansing".
In a video message, PPP Senator Sherry Rehman noted that Kashmir has been under a "brutal military lockdown" for one year. She said Pakistan demanded of the United Nations to ensure implementation of its Security Council's resolutions regarding Kashmir.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan said the support for Kashmir "being our jugular vein" was not "just a mouthful of claims".
"We register every single emotion expressed for our Kashmiri brethren and InshAllah the time has come that Kashmiris will see a free dawn in their state and use their right to freely choose their alliance and select a side," he wrote on Twitter.
August 5 (today) is being observed as Youm-i-Istehsal (the day of exploitation) of occupied Kashmir's residents across the country, in order to register protest against the Indian government's decision to strip occupied Kashmir of its autonomy.
On this day last year, India had revoked the disputed region's special status and split it into two federal territories, causing further deterioration in New Delhi's ties with Islamabad.
Header image: Demonstrators shout slogans during a rally to show solidarity with people of Indian-occupied Kashmir, in Quetta on August 5. — AFP