ISLAMABAD        -         Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi Friday said Pakistan will observe Youm-e-Istehsal (day of exploitation) on August 5 to protest against the illegal merger of Kashmir into the Indian territory.

Speaking at a news conference along with Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz and Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Security Moeed Yusuf, he said India removed Kashmir’s identity and disrespected its flag.

 “Pakistan is going to highlight the Indian atrocities in Kashmir on August 5,” he said.

Last year on August 5, India repealed articles 35A and 370 of its Constitution, revoking special status granted to the held Kashmir.

Qureshi said: “The RSF (extremist) government has divided the State of Jammu and Kashmir into three parts. They did it forcefully but the Kashmiris didn’t accept it. The Hindu pundits disapproved of it, along with Buddhists in Ladakh, Muslims in the valley.”

Kashmir, he said, was an internationally-recognized disputed area, the government of Indian PM Narendra Modi tried to make Kashmir part of India and now was seeking to change the demographics of the Muslim-majority area too.

 “We have planned a range of activities on August 5 to show how Kashmirs are being exploited by India,” Qureshi said. “We have our eyes set on Srinagar, which falls in Indian-Administered Kashmir. We have decided to change the name of Kashmir Highway to Srinagar Highway as it will take us there directly.”

He added: “We are standing with our Kashmiri brothers till the end. I am no one to tell the story of Kashmir but I want them to tell their story themselves.”

He said the Pakistanis and Kashmiris would reunite this August 5. “India tried to break their spirit, conducted search operations, and picked up so many people. So much blood has been spilled,” he added.

“Kashmiris are the real leaders of the movement against Indian occupation and we will stand with them but they have to take the initiative. We will continue to raise their plight on international forums till they are suffering from communications blackout. The world finally knows how it feels to be in lockdown. We got bored in a few months but people in Kashmir have been living in a double lockdown for a year now,” the foreign minister added.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had more than 120 engagements on Kashmir and was not a small thing, Qureshi remarked.

 “I have written nine litters on the plight of Kashmiris, and three times it was discussed in the UN Security Council session after 55 years,” he claimed. “Our stance has been the same, but no one was listening to them and now they are listening because of Imran Khan,” he added.

Giving details of the planned events in connection with August 5, the Foreign Minister said one minute silence would be observed across the country to give message of peace on this day, followed by a solidarity march in Islamabad as well as provincial capitals. He said a memorandum would be presented to the UN Observer Mission.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan would address the Azad Kashmir Assembly on August 5 to give Kashmiris the message of solidarity and let them know they were not alone in their just right of achieving freedom from illegal occupation of India.

The Foreign Minister said Kashmir Highway in Islamabad was being named as Srinagar Highway.

He said the day was not away when we would offer prayer in the mosque of Srinagar with our Kashmiri brethren.  The Foreign Minister said the government had decided to enhance diplomatic outreach to significantly highlight the Indian oppressions in held Kashmir.

He said global leaders would be contacted and letters would also be written to many of them in this regard. He directed the Pakistani diplomats to play proactive role in highlighting Kashmir issue.

He said on 5th August, only the ceremony was not enough, local media engagements in their respective countries were needed and through a newly introduced application, their activities would be noticed.

He said keeping in view the SOPs of COVID-19, Solidarity walks, photo exhibitions and seminars wpi;d be arranged across the country to raise voices against Indian outrage.

The Foreign Minister also urged the nation, Muslim Ummah and Pakistani nationals abroad to express solidarity with Kashmiris on this day which opened a new era of oppression in IIOJ&K.

The Foreign Minister said that Kashmir dispute stood internationalized today and credit for that went to the Prime Minister. He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan effectively presented the case of Kashmiris before the 74th session of UN General Assembly.

He said Pakistan’s political leadership was united on the Kashmir issue and Indian attempts to jeopardize this unanimity had been frustrated.

The Minister said Corona lockdown made the world realise about difficulties facing the Kashmiri people who were in lockdown even before virus outbreak.

The Foreign Minister said that not only Pakistan and Kashmiri people have rejected India’s 5th August illegal steps in held Kashmir India is also divided on it. The Foreign Minister said the world and EU parliaments held discussion on Kashmir dispute in which they not only voiced concerns over the prevailing situation in held Kashmir but also demanded the resolution of outstanding dispute in accordance with the aspirations of Kashmiri people. Qureshi thanked the Muslim countries including Saudi Arab, Turkey and Azerbaijan for supporting Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir.

He said after successfully highlighting the Kashmir issue, international media remained critical on Indian aggressive policies and now shining India has become burning India.

To a question on the Afghan issue, the Foreign Minister said after peace deal in Afghanistan, situation was improving and now it has been agreed that 5000 Taliban prisoners will be released soon. He expressed hope that after Eid intra Afghan dialogue will be held. Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Shibli Faraz urged the whole nation to express solidarity with Kashmiri brethren in this critical juncture. He urged local as well as international media to play a proactive role in this regard. Shibli Faraz appealed the masses to observe Yaum-e-Istehsal on August 5 in a befitting manner so that India could realize that its illegal action in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir could not be tolerated anymore. He said that Pakistan has redesigned its concept of solidarity with the Kashmiris under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Shibli Faraz said the present government was committed to make all-out efforts for the resolution of Kashmir dispute and the day was not far off when the Kashmirs would get rid of the Indian subjugation.

Prime Minister’s Special Assistant on National Security Moeed Yusuf said unilateral actions of 5th August had validated that India has violated the Shimla agreement and international laws. “Hindustan is not only exploiting the human rights in Kashmir but also violating the international law,” he said.