Observer Report Islamabad
Pakistan officially celebrated Kashmir Solidarity Day on Friday, holding rallies across the country and forming a chain of human hands in Pakistani-administered Kashmir, also called Azad Kashmir, to pay homage to the Kashmiri martyrs.
As a national holiday, the day began with special prayers in the mosques for the “liberation of Kashmir.” A minute’s silence was observed throughout the country at 10am.
The chain of human hands was formed at the Kohala area and other important sites linking Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.
In Islamabad, the main rally was led by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi near the parliament house which was attended by Cabinet ministers, lawmakers, government officials, and a large number of students.
Rallies, conferences, and seminars were also held in all the four provincial capitals — Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, and Quetta — to “denounce the human rights violations in Jammu and Kashmir.” President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan in their separate messages reiterated that the entire Pakistani nation stood by their Kashmiri brethren “in their valiant struggle to achieve their legitimate right to self-determination.”
In his message, Alvi said the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the wishes of the Kashmiri people is “key to durable peace in South Asia.”
Alvi warned the changes in demographic structure “of the occupied territory by the Indian government is further violation of international law wherein Kashmir’s Muslim majority is being turned into a minority in its own land.”
Khan called on the world community to hold New Delhi accountable for its “crimes against humanity in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir [IIOJK].”
“India must stop its brutal suppression of Kashmiris, adhere to its international human rights obligations, and honor the commitment to grant to Kashmiris their inalienable right to self-determination through a free and impartial plebiscite under the UN auspices,” he said.