Kashmir Solidarity Day was observed on Sunday across Pakistan and Jammu and Kashmir with the pledge to seek a resolution of the Kashmir issue according to the United Nations resolutions and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
The hallmark of the day was forming of human chains by Pakistani and Kashmiri representatives and people from different walks of life on Kohala and Mangla bridges, entry points of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK). The day dawned with special prayers for the martyrs of Kashmir and victory of the freedom struggle.
During the day, mass rallies, seminars, walks, conventions, meetings and speech contests were held. The government had announced February 5 as a holiday to observe Kashmir Solidarity Day in support of Kashmiris. One minute silence was observed at 10am across the country and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) in connection with the day. People took to the streets in the cities of Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Sargodha, Multan, Faisalabad, Sukkur, Larkana, Dera Ismail Khan, Sialkot, Chiniot, Vehari, Sadiqabad, Nawabshah, Dera Bugti and Muzaffarabad and voiced their support for Kashmiris.
The members of AJK Legislative Assembly and the AJK Council participated in a rally of cars and buses to pay tribute to the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir for their continuous struggle to achieve their right of self-determination.
The people of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA also observed the day with great fervour and renewed their pledge and unwavering support to Kashmiris for their struggle to achieve their legitimate right of self-determination. The civil society, political, cultural and educational organizations held special programmes in connection with the day. All Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Teachers Association, All Primary Teachers Association and labour and transport organizations held rallies and meetings.
In Islamabad, members of the Kashmir Committee of the National Assembly led by Ejazul Haq visited the offices of the United Nations and handed over a memorandum to the resident representative of the United Nations. The memorandum addressed to the UN Secretary General called on the world body to ensure that Kashmiris get their right to self-determination. The people belonging to different sections of the society staged a rally in the federal capital and expressed solidarity with the people living in Indian Occupied Kashmir struggling for freedom from India. The participants, who were carrying placards and banners inscribed with different slogans, walked from China Chowk to National Press Club.
Different speakers in their speeches urged India to stop human rights violations in held Kashmir. They called upon the international community to force India to withdraw its troops from the occupied Kashmir and grant Kashmiris their right to self-determination. They said the Pakistani nation was united in support of Kashmiris and Pakistan would continue to offer moral, political and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris.
Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan Chaudhry Barjees Tahir addressed the joint session of AJK Legislative Assembly and the AJK Council in Muzaffarabad and reiterated Pakistan’s pledge to continue support to Kashmiris. The session was attended by AJK President Masood Khan. AJK Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider Khan also spoke on the occasion. The minister also distributed ration packages among Kashmiri refugee families on behalf of the people of Pakistan.
Television channels aired special programmes and interviews of different personalities to highlight different aspects of Kashmir issue. The Solidarity Day is a reminder of the sacrifices rendered by tens of thousands of Kashmiris, besides renewal of commitment by Kashmiris to peaceful resolution of the decades old dispute with India.