January 26: Black day for Kashmiris

M Rashid Tabassum

KASHMIRIS observe Indian Republic Day, falling on January 26, as Black Day. Kashmiris from all over the world protest against illegal and forcible occupation of a part of Kashmir by India. They condemn the atrocities of Indian forces against helpless Kashmiris. The aim of black day is to show disgust against India. They also express solidarity with oppressed Kashmiris of Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK). Kashmiris hold protest rallies, demonstrations and public gatherings around the globe. These events are arranged by different political and social organizations and civil society in which people from all walks of life participate. They shout slogans in favour of Pakistan and against Indian occupation. They also burn Indian flag and effigy of Indian Officials. Complete strike is observed in IOK.
Kashmiri leaders have called for Black Day and shut down on 26th of January. Chairman All Parties Hurriyat Conference (G) Syed Ali Geelani appealed the people to observe complete strike and fully boycott the official functions. Chairman Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front Mohammad Yasin Malik said India has snatched the democratic rights of Kashmiris and it has no right to celebrate its Republic Day in IOK. Dukhtaran-e-Millat chief Asiya Andrabi termed “August 15 and January 26”, the days of mourning that reminds the people of worst suppression. Other Hurriyet leaders including Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Yasmeen Raja, Nayeem Ahmed Khan and Zafar Akbar Butt in their separate statements in Srinagar said that India has no constitutional right to observe Republic Day in J&K as India has occupied state with military force.
Moreover, India has crossed the limits of atrocities in IOK. Kashmiri Muslims have written new history of sacrifices after martyrdom of Burhan Wani dated 8th of July, 2016. Since then 117 unarmed Kashmiris have been martyred. 16,700 Kashmiris have been injured in which 7,500 injured by palette guns. 1390 people have lost their eyes whereas 22 have been completely blinded. Indian army has arrested approximately 12,000 Kashmiris. 961 Kashmiris are house arrest under Public Safety Act. Over 65,000 structures have been destroyed by Indian army. 51 schools were burnt. More than 3561 women have been harassed. Furthermore, India is trying to change the demographic status of Jammu and Kashmir. Domicile certificates have been issued to retired Indian soldiers. Indian Government has decided to reside them permanently in Srinagar among other areas under a new plot. Army colonies are also being made on the name of Sainik colonies. As well as, India is planning to settle pundits in the Valley.
Writing more, freedom movement of Kashmir is at peak nowadays. Kashmiris carry Pakistani flag during each protest and demonstration. They chant slogans in favor of Pakistan and independence. They throw stones on Indian army in response of palette gun firing, tear gas. They bury their martyrs in flag of Pakistan. In fact, word “India” is the symbol of disgust in IOK. Wall chalking against Indian occupation and in favour of independence are common. Slogans like ‘Indian Dogs Go Back, Go India Go Back, India Quit Kashmir and We want freedom’ can be seen on walls.
On the other hand, Tehreek-e-Azadi Jammu Kashmir (TAJK) has decided to observe year 2017 for Kashmiris. It has announced to arrange all programs and conferences on Kashmir issue. TAJK will also observe 26th of January to 5th of February as Kashmir Decade. All Parties Conference will be held in Islamabad on January 26 to express solidarity with Kashmir. Concluding more, Occupation of Indian Army could succeed in trampling freedom movement with gunshots. In fact, Kashmiris comprehend Pakistan as their biggest lawyer and sacrificing everything for the sake of accession to Pakistan. It is need of hour Pakistani leaders should assure Kashmiris that they will never leave them alone in their freedom struggle against usurper India.
—The writer is freelance columnist based in Islamabad.
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