ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Friday announced that Pakistan will observe ‘Youm-e-Istehsal’ on August 5 to show solidarity with the people of Indian occupied Jammu & Kashmir.
On August 5 last year, the Modi government launched demographic apartheid in the occupied valley and divided the region into three parts, Qureshi reminded.
“The Indian government tried to divide the Kashmiri people through this illegal act,” he said, addressing a press conference in Islamabad. Qureshi was flanked by Information and Broadcasting Minister Shibli Faraz and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Security Moeed Yusuf.
Qureshi pointed out that the people of Kashmir are facing immense difficulties, pain and persecution under the continued military siege for the past one year.
The illegal actions of August 5 were aimed at ending the Muslim identity of the Kashmiri people in IIOJ&K. India is also divided on the steps taken on August 5, he said, reminding that the people of Kashmir rejected the move by India.
By introducing new domicile rules, aimed at changing the demography in IIOJ&K, India’s intentions were exposed once again, he said.
Pakistan stands by the Kashmiri people in their just struggle for their right to self-determination, reiterated the foreign minister.
On August 5, 2019, the Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party government struck down Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian constitution, thereby scrapping the law that granted Kashmir its special status.
A few months later, the right-wing Indian government of Narendra Modi instituted a controversial domicile law in the occupied valley. The certificate, a sort of citizenship right, entitles a person to residency and government jobs in the region, which till last year was reserved only for the local population.
With regards to observing Youm-e-Istehsal day, Qureshi said that the country will observe one minute of silence, followed by a solidarity march in the provincial and federal capitals.
A memorandum will be presented to United Nations Observer Mission, and Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the Azad Kashmir assembly on the day in solidarity with the people of Kashmir – to let them know they are not alone in their just right of freedom from the illegal occupation of India, apprised Qureshi.
In the same vein, Qureshi informed that the Kashmir Highway in Islamabad is being named Srinagar Highway.
Solidarity walks, photo exhibitions and seminars will be arranged with coronavirus-related SOPs in consideration to raise voices against Indian atrocities in IIOJ&K, said Qureshi.
He urged the nation, Pakistani diaspora and Muslims around the world to stand in solidarity with the people of Kashmir, on the day that opened a new era of hostilities in the disputed region, with local press engagement. The people of Kashmir were in a lockdown even before the pandemic broke out, he reminded.
According to the foreign minister, Islamabad has decided to enhance diplomatic outreach to highlight Indian oppression in IIOJ&K. Global leaders will be contacted and letters will be written in this regard, with Pakistani diplomats to play a proactive role in the process, he said.
Imran gave a new life to the Kashmir dispute by his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, according to Qureshi. Pakistan’s leadership is united on the Kashmir issue, he said, adding that Indian attempts to break this consensus have failed.
Qureshi thanked Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Azerbaijan, and other countries for supporting Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir. Discussions on the dispute were held in world and European Union parliaments where the issue of Kashmir was voiced and resolution demanded in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people, he said.
International media has remained critical of India’s aggressive policies and now “shining India has become burning India”, said Qureshi. He reaffirmed Pakistan’s resolve to raise Kashmir’s case till the curfew and communications blackout is lifted in IIOJ&K.
Meanwhile, Shibli Faraz, urged the nation to stand in solidarity with the people of Kashmir at this critical juncture. He asked local and international media to play a proactive part in this as well.
Faraz appealed to the people to observe Youm-e-Istehsal so as to indicate that India’s illegal actions in IIOJ&K can not be tolerated anymore.
The current government is committed to make all-out efforts for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute and the day is not far off when the Kashmiri people would be rid of Indian subjugation, said the premier’s information minister.
Moeed Yusuf noted that with the unilateral actions of the Indian government, India violated the Shimla agreement and international laws.
Meanwhile, with regards to the Afghan deal, Qureshi said it has been agreed that 5,000 Taliban prisoners will soon be released. Answering a question, he expressed hope that the awaited intra-Afghan dialogue will be held after Eidul Azha.