Black Day: PM Imran vows to continue supporting Kashmiri struggle for right to self-determination

Updated 28 Oct 2020

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A screenshot from the video message by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Kashmir Black Day. — DawnNewsTV
A screenshot from the video message by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Kashmir Black Day. — DawnNewsTV

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday said that he will continue to raise his voice in support of Kashmiris under Indian occupation until they are given the right to self-determination as promised by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

"I will keep reminding the world of the pain and suffering of Kashmiris," he said in a video message on the anniversary of the valley's occupation by Indian forces in 1947.

The premier highlighted that state-sponsored terrorism was evident in occupied Kashmir in the form of the extra-judicial killings, the blackout on the media and the discovery of mass graves. He added that India was also carrying out state-sponsored terrorism in Pakistan which would soon be exposed in front of the world.

Commenting on India's decision to revoke the region's special autonomy in August 2019, the premier said that the region has been turned into an "open prison".

"[In August 2019] India carried out a military siege and stripped the people of their remaining rights, jailing the political leadership and youngsters living in the valley."

Read: One year of India's clampdown in occupied Kashmir — here's everything you need to know

The prime minister also stated that peace in the region was the only way forward.

"We only want one thing, we want peace," he said, adding that it was the only way to bring prosperity to the people of the subcontinent.

"I say again to India that we are ready [for peace] but for that the military siege in Kashmir will have to end and the people of the valley need to be given the right to self-determination," he said.

'Remarkable courage'

President Dr Arif Alvi said that on this day 73 years ago, Indian security forces landed in Srinagar to illegally occupy the territory and subjugate the people of Jammu and Kashmir in clear violation of international laws and humanitarian norms.

"In August 2019, India moved to alter the disputed status of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and change its demographic structure. The illegal and unilateral Indian actions have been rejected by the Kashmiri people, by Pakistan, and by the international community for violating international laws, UNSC resolutions, and India's own commitments made bilaterally to Pakistan and the people of Kashmir," he said.

"For more than a year, Kashmiris have been prisoners in their own homes, aliens in their own land, and unable to walk freely on their own streets. Over 900,000 Indian occupation forces have turned the occupied territory into the world's largest open prison.

"India's inhuman military siege, continued blockade, continuing torture and brutal repression and attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory, have shown the real face of the ' Hindutva' driven RSS-BJP regime and its extremist designs."

The president added that despite the nature and scale of Indian atrocities, the people of the occupied valley have demonstrated remarkable courage, strength and resilience. "They have proved that India cannot break their will with the use of brute force."

The president assured the Kashmiris people that Pakistan honoured their sacrifices. "We reaffirm our unflinching support to the people of occupied Kashmir in their just struggle. This support and solidarity will continue until the Kashmiris achieve their legitimate right to self-determination," he said.

'Pakistan will not relent in its support'

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said the global community was calling India out on its tyranny as its facade of being one of the world's largest democracies had been exposed.

"Pakistan calls for the urgent lifting of the military siege and media blackout, immediate stop to the violations of human rights of the Kashmiri people, release of Kashmiri leaders and youth, and an end to the impunity granted to Indian occupation forces under draconian laws."

"We urge the international community to play its role in putting pressure on India to reverse its illegal course in occupied Kashmir and restore the people's fundamental human rights," he said.

"Pakistan will not relent in its support until the Kashmiris realise their legitimate right to self-determination in accordance with the UNSC resolutions," he said.

Later in the day, the foreign minister paid tribute to the Kashmiris' "steadfast(ness)" in the face of "unimaginable brutality" of the Indian forces.

'Darkest day in history'

PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari said October 27, 1947 would be remembered as the "darkest day in human history". He added that Pakistan has always provided political and diplomatic support to the people of the occupied valley and will continue to do so.

"The hearts of the people of Pakistan beat with their Kashmiri brethren," he said in a statement. He stated that a genocide was being carried out against the people of the occupied valley.

"Indian occupation forces have martyred more than 7,000 Kashmiri youth in custody," he said, urging the international community to take notice of Indian atrocities in the valley.

"Lasting peace cannot be achieved in South Asia without resolving the Kashmir issue," he said, adding that the only way to solve it was by giving the people of the occupied valley the right to self-determination.

'Campaign of terror and violence'

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said today marked the day India illegally sent forces to Kashmir and began conducting a "campaign of terror and violence".

"Generation after generation of Kashmiris have fought against this illegal occupation and have seen their women raped as a weapon of war [...] their children blinded by pellet guns, their young men picked up and dragged in the streets tied to army vehicles and locked up in prisons across India, their old men taken away and heard the cries of half widows'," she said in a series of tweets.

"Through it all the Kashmiris have resisted and fought India's illegal occupation," she said.

Information Minister Shibli Faraz said Pakistan will continue to extend moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris, adding that the nation stands by its Kashmiri brethren in their struggle against Indian occupation, according to Radio Pakistan.

The minister said the entire valley has been turned into a prison for over a year as the people face travel, communication, political and democratic restrictions and blockades.

"India has been committing tyranny and barbarism in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, which has unveiled its real face," he said.

Speaking to the media later in the day, Faraz said that India had "made a joke out of UN resolutions" and regretted that the global community had done nothing to stop New Delhi from its "barbaric" actions in occupied Kashmir. He also rued the role of the UN Human Rights Council, that "issues its edicts over everything is blind to Kashmiris' suffering".