Islamabad-Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Sunday observed Kashmir Solidary Day to reaffirm support for the struggle of the people of Indian-held Kashmir for their right to self-determination pledged under several UN Security Council resolutions.

Speaking on the occasion, President ICCI Sheikh Amir Waheed said that resolving the longstanding issue of Kashmir was vital to promote regional trade and economic integration in South Asia as without resolving this issue, regional trade could not be promoted in the region smoothly.

He called upon the world community to play role for resolving Kashmir issue that would lead to acceleration in business and economic activities in the region and bring prosperity to the people of South Asia.

He said that Pakistan and India were spending billions on defence and Kashmir was the main cause of hostility between the two countries necessitating increased defence spending.

He stressed that India should honour its promises and give the Kashmiris right to self-determination that would bring lasting peace to the region and enable both the countries to cut defence expenditures and spend more on uplifting living standard of people.

He said that ending poverty would give rise to strong middle class in both the countries that would give big boost to business and economic activities.

Muhammad Naveed, senior vice president and Nisar Mirza, vice president of the ICCI, said that Europe and West had achieved better economic prosperity after ending hostilities.

They stressed that India should learn lesson from the history and give the Kashmiris right of self-determination as they could be kept deprived of this right indefinitely.

They said that Pakistanis and Kashmiris had been observing the Kashmir Day every year without any discontinuity since 1990 which was a loud and clear message to the international community in general and India in particular that Pakistanis and Kashmiris were like one soul in two hearts.

They reaffirmed that business community of Pakistan would continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiris in their just struggle till the time they achieve the right of self-determination from the Indian yoke.