ISLAMABAD: As people of Kashmir living on both sides of the Line of Control and around the globe observed Martyrs Day on Tuesday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to people struggling for self-determination in Indian-occupied Kashmir.
The day is celebrated on July 13 in commemoration of a gory incident in 1931 on the same day, when 22 Muslim protestors were killed while they were protesting the sedition case against Abdul Qadeer, a resident of British India, who was being tried on the charge of sedition, for inciting the people against the Dogra ruler at a gathering in Khanqah-e-Moula on June 21.
“We stand with Kashmiris on Kashmir Martyrs’ Day & pay tribute to 22 Shuhada of 13 July 1931, martyred when the Dogra Maharaja’s soldiers fired on peaceful protestors,” Imran said in a series of tweets.
We stand with Kashmiris on Kashmir Martyrs’ Day & pay tribute to 22 Shuhada of 13July1931, martyred when the Dogra Maharaja’s soldiers fired on peaceful protestors. Kashmiris’ struggle against tyranny & illegal Indian Occupation is steeped in a history of resistance & sacrifice.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 13, 2021
“Kashmiris’ struggle against tyranny & illegal Indian Occupation is steeped in a history of resistance & sacrifice.”
The prime minister observed that the “indomitable spirit of resistance” remained alive in the disputed region as it fought the “illegal Indian” occupation.
This indomitable spirit of resistance remains alive as Kashmiri men & women continue to fight illegal Indian Occupation. Pakistan stands with the Kashmiris in their just struggle & will not compromise till they get their right to self determination guaranteed by UNSC resolutions.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) July 13, 2021
Since 1931, the people of Kashmir observed Youm-e-Shuhada every year. The incident marked the beginning of the modern-era freedom struggle which has traversed through different phases including civilian protests and political and armed struggle.
Interestingly, until 2019, the day was also observed in occupied Kashmir. However, in December 2019, four months after revoking the special status of the disputed region, the Bharatiya Janata Party government removed this day from the region’s official holiday list.
According to Kashmir Media Service, a complete strike is being observed across the held territory today as part of the week-long protest calendar, a call for which has been given by the joint resistance leadership.
FREEDOM NOT FAR-OFF: ALVI
Meanwhile, President Dr Arif Alvi terming the resistance against Indian occupation “just and selfless”, said the day was not far when they would achieve their ultimate goal of freedom.
“The Kashmiri battle against illegal Indian occupation is just and selfless. Pakistan will continue to provide diplomatic, political and legal support to the Kashmiris in IIOJK till they achieve their goal of freedom,” his office said in a series of tweets. “That day is not far Insha’Allah. We shall see.”
The Kashmiri battle against illegal Indian occupation is just and selfless. Pakistan will continue to provide diplomatic, political and legal support to the Kashmiris in IIOJK till they achieve their goal of freedom. That day is not far Insha’Allah. We shall see.
— The President of Pakistan (@PresOfPakistan) July 13, 2021
He said the spirit of the tragic incident had been kept alive by the descendants of the martyrs who “demand self-determination as guaranteed by the international community”.
“Struggle for freedom continues by the brave,” he said.
The Foreign Office, in a statement, said the government and people pay homage to the sons of Kashmir who laid down their lives fighting the Dogra regime.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Youm-e-Shuhada-e-Kashmir is observed in Pakistan and on both sides of the Line of Control as well as by Kashmir-origin people across the globe.
The statement noted over 390 people have been killed by the security forces in Indian-occupied Kashmir since August 5, 2019. In 2021 alone, the troops have killed 85 people, including young boys and women, arbitrarily arrested and detained 537, and destroyed 31 civilian residential units.
However, the unabated repression has failed to break the will of the people, it said.
The Foreign Office called on the world, particularly the United Nations and human rights organisations, to probe the extra-judicial killings in the region and bring the perpetrators to justice.
“Pakistan will continue to support its Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle against Indian oppression till the realisation of their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant United Nations Security Council Resolutions,” it said.