–PM questions world’s silence over atrocities committed by Indian forces in occupied Kashmir
–ISPR chief says GHQ to host ceremony, pays tribute to sacrifices of martyrs
ISLAMABAD: As Kashmiri people continue to suffer under a month-long lockdown imposed by the Indian forces following the abolition of Article 370 that ended Kashmir’s special status enshrined in its constitution, Pakistan will express support for the besieged people of the occupied region by observing ‘Defence and Martyrs Day’ on Friday (today) as Kashmir Solidarity Day.
India, in a move widely criticised by the global community, revoked Kashmir’s special status, ramping up tensions with Pakistan considerably, leading to downgrading to diplomatic ties and suspension of bilateral trade. The move is also feared to change Kashmir’s demographics as it allows non-residents to buy property.
Ahead of the Kashmir day, Prime Minister Imran Khan questioned the silence of the global community over the persecution of Muslims in Indian occupied Kashmir and India.
The prime minister took to Twitter to highlight the plight of Kashmiri people, as he has done since India unilaterally decided to annex occupied Kashmir on August 5 and enforce a lockdown.
“Today is the 32nd day of the siege of Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian occupation forces of the Modi government,” he said, adding that under the cover of this siege, Indian forces have killed, injured (with pellet guns), and abused Kashmiri men, women and children.
“Men have been taken away and thrown into prisons across India.”
Highlighting the impacts of the curfew and communication blackout, he said: “Hospitals have run out of medical supplies; basic necessities are in short supply but a communication blackout has deprived Kashmiris a voice to the outside world and their families. Despite this, tales of horror are finding their way into the international media.”
ARMY PAYS TRIBUTE TO MARTYRS:
Meanwhile, the armed forces have decided to commemorate the day to pay tribute to shuhada and ghazis for their sacrifices.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General (DG) Major General Asif Ghafoor on Thursday urged Pakistanis to reach out to the families of martyrs as over 81,000 lives have been sacrificed by the army in the fight against terrorism.
Speaking to a private news channel, the ISPR DG said that “great nations always remember their martyrs”. He said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made the Kashmir an international issue because of his government’s unilateral decision of annexing the disputed territory.
He said that armed forces are prepared against any form of misadventure.
“Pakistan Army has a keen eye on the situation at the Line of Control (LoC) and would respond in a befitting manner if India makes another mistake like the one it made on February 27,” he said.
The ISPR DG said that the government is actively pursuing the Kashmir case against India on the diplomatic front.
“Pakistan Army has been standing with Kashmiris for the past 72 years and will support them till they get their freedom from Indian occupation,” he said.
He also said that no other country can compete with Pakistan and no other army can compete with the Pakistan Army. “We are proud of our institution,” he added.
Gen Ghafoor said that a ceremony would be held at the General Headquarters (GHQ) on September 6 and urged the public to watch the ceremony.
He added that Prime Minister Imran Khan has also praised the institution for taking care of the families of the martyrs. “A major part of our welfare fund goes to the families of the martyrs,” he said.
The ISPR DG also appreciated Punjab University (PU) vice chancellor’s announcement of providing free education to the family members of martyrs.
Friday will mark the 54th anniversary of 1965 Pakistan-India war when Pakistan Army successfully defended the country against a multi-pronged Indian attack on the eastern border.
The day would be observed to pay tributes to the martyrs and to reaffirm the commitment to defend Pakistan against all threats, internal and external.
The day will begin with a 31-guns salute at the federal capital and 21-gun salute at provincial capitals. Special prayers will be offered for independence of the occupied Kashmir from the clutches of India.
‘Fateha’ and Quran Khawani will also be held for all those, who have laid their lives in the line to serve the nation.
According to the Interior Ministry, the offices throughout the country will be closed by 3pm to mark the day and show solidarity with the Kashmiri people and martyrs. People are encouraged to visit the families of the martyrs, to ensure them of full support.
Wreath-laying ceremonies will be held at the mausoleums of the recipients of Nishan-e-Haider (the highest gallantry award), which will be attended by the senior officials of the respective areas across the country.
The national media, both print and electronic, have “chalked out comprehensive coverage plans of the events to be held in connection with the day”. Special talk shows will be held on the state-run and private television channels and radio stations across the country.