Rallies staged in AJK to mark India’s Independence Day as black day

Published August 16, 2023
Kashmiri activists hold banners and black flags at a demonstration in Muzaffarabad on Tuesday to mark India’s Independence Day as ‘black day. — Dawn
Kashmiri activists hold banners and black flags at a demonstration in Muzaffarabad on Tuesday to mark India’s Independence Day as ‘black day. — Dawn

MUZAFFARABAD: Kashmiri activists staged rallies in different parts of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Tuesday to mark India’s Independence Day as ‘black day’ as part of their consistent campaign to draw the attention of the international community towards the denial of their fundamental right to self-determination by the so-called largest democracy.

In state capital Muzaffarabad, Pasban-i-Hurriyat Jammu Kashmir (PHJK), an organisation of post-1989 migrants from India occupied territory, staged a demonstration outside the Supreme Court building in Chattar neighbourhood, with its participants holding black flags and large banners inscribed with anti-India slogans.

“15 August, Black Day [for Kashmiris],” read one of the three large banners.

“United Nations must take stern notice of the massacre of innocent civilians in Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir,” read another one.

Afterwards, the participants paraded through the main thoroughfare up to the Legislative Assembly building while chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans. Speaking on the occasion, PHJK chief Uzair Ahmed Ghazali and others said India’s Independence Day was a ‘black day’ for every Kashmiri because it had brazenly usurped their fundamental right to freedom.

India has not only denied Kashmiris their rights but has also unleashed reign of terror on them, he said, adding that the state sponsored terrorism in the occupied territory had increased manifold after India’s unilateral and unlawful August 5, 2019 move.

He pointed out that the government employees and students in occupied Kashmir were being coerced to take part in official functions to mark India’s national days with threats of dismissal from jobs and expulsion from educational institutions among several other harsh actions.

“Suchlike treatment with the Kashmiris is in itself a striking proof of the fact that India has nothing to do with democracy and in fact it’s a neo-Nazi state,” he said.

Mr Ghazali and other speakers asked the Indian government that if Jammu and Kashmir was India’s integral part then why India’s first prime minister had taken this issue to the United Nations and why had he and others on countless occasions promised the Kashmiris an opportunity to exercise their right to self determination in a UN sponsored plebiscite?

“Whatever wrong claims India may make and whatever harsh steps it may take, neither the reality that Jammu and Kashmir is a disputed territory will change nor will the Kashmiris surrender their inalienable right,” said Usman Ali Hashim, another speaker.

The speakers urged the United Nations to address the lingering Kashmir issue without further waste of time so that the divided and disturbed Kashmiris could live a peaceful and harmonious life in accordance with their wishes and aspirations.

A similar rally was held outside the press club under the aegis of state-run Jammu Kashmir Liberation Commission with secretary information Ansar Yaqoob and others among its key participants.

Published in Dawn, August 16th, 2023

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