5 February: Kashmir Solidarity Day
Since the partition of the Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan in 1947, the Kashmir dispute has been a hot issue between the two countries. They fought three wars over it but have not been able to resolve it. The partition left the fate of over 550 princely states undecided. They were required to accede either to the two states on the basis of the geographical location and wishes of their people.
The situation after abrogation of article 370 by the Modi regime has worsened. On August 5, 2019, the Modi-led BJP government abrogated the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by repealing articles 370 and 35-A. A lockdown was imposed in the occupied Kashmir and Indian forces perpetrated unspeakable crimes against the Kashmiri people, with complete impunity. India is continuously violating the rules of basic rights for Kashmiris. The media does not have free access and is unable to show the real picture of the disputed area.
Pakistan has safeguarded the rights of Kashmiri friends and well-wishers across the Line of Control between Pakistan and India from the beginning. The Pakistan Army has shown full solidarity with Kashmiris. Kashmiris consider Pakistanis as their brothers and love them from the bottom of their heart. Pakistanis display similar sentiments for Kashmiris. They stand united. Hearts of Kashmiris and Pakistanis beat together. In return, Kashmiris recognize sacrifices of Pakistanis and the army.
Kashmir Solidarity Day is observed on 5th February every year by people throughout Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK). It is an internationally recognized day observed by people, predominantly Kashmiris, worldwide. The day is marked by public processions, special prayers in mosques for the liberation of Kashmir and protests that are carried out against the Indian oppression of Kashmir.
Kashmir Solidarity Day is a national holiday observed in Pakistan on 5 February annually. It is observed to show Pakistan’s support and unity with the people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Kashmiri freedom fighters efforts to secede from India, and to pay homage to the Kashmiris who have died in the conflict. Solidarity rallies are held in the Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and around the globe. Kashmir Day was first proposed by Qazi Hussain Ahmad of the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan in 1990, and supported by Pakistani Government of that time.
Readers, the current situation in Kashmir entails the Indian leadership to act on the United Nations resolutions on Kashmir. Immediate and bold decisions need to be made. It’s time to address the Kashmiri’s right of self-determination with more powerful voice. It is necessary for international community to realize that peace and stability in South Asia can only be guaranteed if all outstanding disputes between Pakistan and India, including the Kashmir dispute should be resolved because Pakistan has become a frontline state against the global war of terrorism.
The best solution of the Kashmir dispute could be the right of self-determination which should be given to Kashmiris in order to give them the right to decide to whom they want to accede. It’s our national responsibility to show solidarity with innocent citizens of the occupied Kashmir and observe the Day with full intensity for raising their voice and conveying the message around the globe.
—The writer is contributing columnist, based in Muzaffarabad.