‘Relentless struggle’: Pakistan expresses unflinching support for Kashmiris on Solidarity Day

Published February 5, 2023
<p>The combination photo shows PM Shehbaz and FM Bilawal. — DawnNewsTV</p>

The combination photo shows PM Shehbaz and FM Bilawal. — DawnNewsTV

Pakistan is observing Kash­mir Solidarity Day on Sunday to express wholehearted support of the nation to the relentless struggle of Kashmiri people for their inalienable right to self-determination under United Nations resolutions.

In a message on the occasion, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said: “Today the whole of Pakistan comes together to express its unflinching solidarity and support to Kashmiri brothers and sisters, who remain undeterred by the oppressive Indian occupation apparatus in the struggle for UN-sanctioned right to self-determination.”

He went on to say that the people of Kashmir were waging a relentless struggle of “epic proportions” to realise their dream of freedom from the “Indian yoke”.

“Through their sacrifices, they have kept the torch of freedom burning. It is my faith that their dreams will soon see the light of day,” the premier added.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari stressed that India must end its gross human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) and reverse its unilateral and illegal actions of 5 August 2019.

“As we observe the Kashmir Solidarity Day, the people of Pakistan salute the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters who have suffered for more than 75 years under brutal Indian oppression,” he said in a video message.

The minister recalled that for over seven decades, Indian Occupation Forces have brutalised Kashmiris and denied them their rights. “Today, Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) is one of the most-militarised zones of the world, with the presence of over 900,000 occupation forces.”

With its illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, he continued, India had opened a new chapter in suppressing the people of IIOJK.

“I want to remind our Kashmiri brothers and sisters that Pakistan will never sit back and watch silently while Kashmiris continue to suffer Indian atrocities,” he promised.

“Jammu and Kashmir dispute will remain a key pillar of Pakistan’s foreign policy. We will continue to lend unstinted moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiri people until the realization of their right to self-determination in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions. As we observe the Kashmir Solidarity Day, the people of Pakistan salute the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters who have suffered for more than seventy-five years under brutal Indian oppression,” Bilawal added.

The Pakistan army also paid tribute to the indigenous freedom struggle of brave Kashmiris for their right to self-determination as per UN resolutions and aspirations of people of Kashmir.

“No amount of HRV (human rights violations) /atrocities can suppress the spirit of Kashmiris for freedom,” Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Ahmed Sharif Chaudhry said.

Former prime minister Imran Khan tweeted that the “vibrant and lively” Kashmiris have lost their zeal to live under “brutal” Indian occupation and oppression in occupied Kashmir.

He added that humans only thrive in free societies. “Today all those who value freedom must stand with the Kashmiris in their quest for liberation from illegal Indian occupation,” he added.

FO reaffirms solidarity, various activities organised

In an official statement issued by the Foreign Office (FO), the government reaffirmed its solidarity with the Kashmiri people in their “just and legitimate struggle for the realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination”.

It said: “The day is being observed with traditional zeal and fervour by Pakistanis from all walks of life and by Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora around the world.”

The FO highlighted that a special “Solidarity Day Walk” was held earlier this morning in the capital — along Constitution Avenue, starting from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Parliament Building.

Officers and staff members of the ministry participated in the walk alongside school children and people belonging to various professions, it added.

The statement stated a range of activities has been planned to commemorate the day, which will “underscore the dangerous implications of India’s illegal and unilateral actions since 5 Aug, 2019 to turn Kashmiris into a marginalised and disempowered minority in their own land”.

The activities included public rallies, seminars, webinars, panel discussions and photo exhibitions organised across the country, the FO clarified. Moreover, Pakistan’s diplomatic missions around the world would also “arrange special activities”.

Moreover, the FO reiterated the president’s, premier’s and Bilawal’s messages regarding the occasion, which called for the “resolution of the Kashmir dispute according to the wishes of the Kashmiri people in a UN-supervised plebiscite according to the UNSC Resolutions”.

It mentioned Bilawal has written letters to the UN General Assembly President, UNSC President, UN Secretary-General, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and OIC Secretary-General to apprise them of the latest developments in IIOJK.

The foreign minister has also demanded a “UN-supervised investigation into the human rights situation in IIOJK” in the letters, the statement added.

OIC panel expresses solidarity

Meanwhile, an informal meeting of the OIC Contact Group on Jammu and Kashmir at the UN — comprising Azerbaijan, Niger, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkiye — was convened by Pakistan’s Ambassador Munir Akram.

He said despite India’s massive repression Kashmiris were continuing their heroic struggle for the exercise of the right to self-determination, according to a press release issued by the Pakistan mission.

Besides, ambassadors from the OIC member states participated in the virtual commemoration marking the Kashmir Solidarity Day.

Expressing solidarity with Kashmiris were Saudi Ambassador Abdulaziz Alwasil, Azerbaijan envoy Yashar Aliyev, and Turkish Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu.



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