Kashmiris and Pakistanis across the globe, and in India and Pakistan commemorated October 27 as Black Day, a day marked as a rejection of India’s unlawful occupation of the disputed Himalayan territory in 1947.
However, this year, Black Day held a more profound significance as it has been held in the backdrop of India’s heightened brutality and forceful, unilateral annexation of occupied Kashmir after the Narendra Modi-led government revoked the special constitutional privileges assigned to occupied valley on August 5.
The occupied Himalayan valley of Kashmir has been under an unprecedented curfew and security lockdown for nearly three months. International and local media outlets report that hundreds of Kashmiri youth have been forcefully detained, tortured and killed, while communication networks and internet remains suspended across the valley.
Addressing the nation and Kashmiris on Black Day, Prime Minister Imran Khan has strongly advised Azad Kashmiri youth and citizens against engaging in an armed struggle with the Indian occupation forces. He reiterated that the people of Pakistan stand united in their support to their Kashmiri brethren, and his resolve to fight Kashmir’s case as the ambassador of their longstanding freedom struggle.
— Govt of Pakistan (@pid_gov) October 27, 2019
Jihad will Damage Kashmiri Cause
Addressing the nation and the people of Kashmir in a televised address, the Premier said, “Certain elements in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) are inciting the fervor of Jihad and advocating the need for an armed struggle against the Indian occupation forces.”
Prime Minister Imran Khan warned, “Such measures will cause grave damage to the Kashmiri cause, and it is also against the interests of Pakistan.” The Premier clarified that any individual advocating the need to cross the Line of Control (LoC) will be an enemy of Kashmir and Pakistan, as India is awaiting such an opportunity to quell down the longstanding freedom struggle of the Kashmiri brethren.
The Premier reminded that the Narendra Modi-led government has deployed 900,000 Indian occupation troops to quell the voices and the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people. He said, “The Modi-led government seeks to hold Pakistan responsible for instigating violence in Kashmir, and to divert the international community’s attention from the ongoing brutalities in the occupied valley.”
The protestors chanted slogans of “Go India, Go Back” and “Freedom of Kashmir” alongside carrying banners and placards
Imran Khan continued, “The movement of Kashmir is a political struggle, and Pakistan and its people must extend their diplomatic, moral and political support to their movement.” He said that the people of Pakistan, including minorities, stand beside their Kashmiri brethren in their justified struggle for the right of self-determination.
The Premier said that he highlighting the Kashmiri cause in his address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and during his meetings with world leaders. He observed that the international community is no longer blind to the sufferings of the people in occupied Kashmir and the brutalities committed by the Indian occupation troops.
Modi Should Hold Referendum
Prime Minister Imran Khan lamented Narendra Modi’s decision to forcefully and unilaterally alter the constitutional status of Kashmir and change the demography of the Muslim-majority state under the pretext of ushering development. He said that in his second term in the Prime Ministerial office, the occupied Himalayan valley has witnessed the most brutal curfew and unprecedented lockdown.
Imran Khan said, “If Modi wants peace, stability and development in Kashmir, he must hold a referendum.” The Premier added that all mainstream political parties in the occupied valley had boycotted the recently held local government elections, and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had lost the election in a mortifying defeat, despite its attempt to control the polls.
Assuring the people of Kashmir of Pakistan’s unwavering support, Imran Khan said that he is not only the ambassador of the Kashmiri struggle, but he will also become their advocate and spokesperson. He vowed to support the Kashmiri cause until the longstanding dispute is resolve as per the mandated UN Security Council regulations.
The Premier also received a delegation of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) at the Prime Minister’s Office, led by local leaders, including Nisar Mirza, Javed Iqbal and Mohammad Hussain Khateeb. The meeting was also attended by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting, Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan.
The Premier reiterated his commitment to the APHC delegation, vowing that the government of Pakistan will continue to extend its moral, diplomatic and political support to the Kashmiri freedom struggle.
Protests in Solidarity with Kashmir
The local wing of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference commemorated Black Day with a protest staged near the Indian High Commission in Islamabad. The protestors chanted slogans of “Go India, Go Back” and “Freedom of Kashmir” alongside carrying banners and placards.
The protestors demanded an end to the unprecedented communications blackout and curfew in occupied Kashmir, demanding the Kashmiri right to self-determination. APHC leader, addressing the crowd of protestors, said that New Delhi has always attempted to quell the voice of the Kashmiri people, but he stressed that the people of the occupied valley remain persistent in their demand for freedom.
Read more: World silence on Kashmir deafening
Syed Yousaf Naseem, local APHC leader, urged the international community play its role to end the longstanding dispute of Kashmir, which has been ongoing since 1947, as per the resolutions of the UNSC.
Mashal Malik, wife of senior Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik who languishes in India’s notorious Tihar jail, staged a hunger strike camp in front of the National Press Club. Malik highlighted the brutalities committed by the Indian occupation forces, and narrated the ordeals of the Kashmiri brethren living under an unprecedented curfew for the past three months.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan says implementation of UN Resolutions on Kashmir is responsibility of the international community. pic.twitter.com/gWTtZnrLYI
— Information Ministry (@MoIB_Official) October 27, 2019
She appealed to the international community to support the freedom struggle of the Kashmiri people, and urge India to put an end to arbitrary arrests and forced detentions of Kashmiri youth.