Events of the past year have made it clear that Pakistan stands with the people of Kashmir, against Indian tyranny and for their right of self-determination. Events of the past week, with the arrest of Jamaat-ud-Dawa Chief Hafiz Saeed, have also made it clear that the state and its security apparatus is in earnest when it says that it wants a peaceful solution to Kashmir, and is not supporting any terrorist or extremist activity in Kashmir or in India. The language of rights and self-determination is alien to India, a country that has learnt nothing from its own experience of colonial forces subjugating a nation, but Pakistan and its people are on the right side of history, and the matter of Kashmir’s right is one where the country will never compromise on, that much is assured.

Today marks the 27th year that Pakistan has been expressing its support and unity with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOC) on Kashmir Day. Though we take out one day of the year to express solidarity with our Kashmiri brothers who lost their lives fighting for their homeland’s freedom, in reality, the issue is constant in national and international debate for Pakistan, especially in the last one year.

Since July 8, 2016, the day when Burhan Wani was martyred by Indian soldiers, mass protests have been a constant in IOC. Indian repression – police action, communication blockades, media censorship and tight curfews – have also been constant, and not one country other than Pakistan has taken notice and advocated for the rights of these besieged people.

In August 2016, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh stated that India was willing to diplomatically discuss only Azad Kashmir, a territory exponentially more peaceful than IOK, which is even itself demanding accession to the Pakistani state. In this tyrannical desire for territory, the Indian state has no interest in the lives and rights of the people living in Kashmir. This makes the problem even more intractable, as India has no qualms about killing Kashmiris, and does not have to be open to any peaceful resolution. In August 2016, Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh stated, “Kashmir is an inseparable part of India. No power on earth can separate it from India,” thus clarifying that the people under Indian occupation have no right to self-determination and must submit. Today the enemy must be reminded that the Kashmiri’s are an inseparable part of our national soul, and no power on earth can stop the sheer good will and support that the people of Pakistan will lend to their Kashmiri brothers.