Today we are celebrating Kashmir Solidarity Day (KSD) to express our support and unity with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir (IOK) and paying our homage to our Kashmiri brothers who lost their lives fighting for their homeland’s freedom.

This particular day was started to be observed back in 1990. Its purpose is to refresh our resolutions that Pakistan’s independence is incomplete without the independence of IOK. All the rallies and seminars taking place today are not only inculcating this resolution to our younger generation but also to tell the world that Kashmir is a long standing issue which needs to be addressed according to the resolutions of the UN. The day also highlights the sufferings of people dwelling in IOK.

Kashmir Solidarity Day has two aspects – the national and the international. On national level we take pride to show our solidarity with defiant and infinitely courageous people of IOK. The day makes it fresh in our younger generation that what is Kashmir issue and what the observation of this day means. This day carries many resolutions that we affirm on this day. We celebrate 5th February to tell the people of Indian occupied Kashmir that, we have not forgotten their sacrifices and would do everything to get them free from the Indian occupation. The people and the Government of Pakistan are firmly standing behind the struggling people of Kashmir with political, moral and diplomatic support. The day carries a clear message for the international community that, the Kashmir dispute is still unresolved and its dwellers are under unlawful Indian occupation.

Besides, this day symbolizes hope, sacrifice and consistent efforts for the attainment of right of self-determination of Kashmiris. It reminds our responsibilities that we have to give full political, moral and diplomatic support without any pause.

On International level, we get a chance to highlights the tyrannies of Indian state through our protests and rallies. Marking this day also provides us a chance to ponder over that how we can improve our efforts to keep this issue alive at the international level. We should initiate an active and sustained diplomatic campaign to exert international pressure on India. This pressure can be increased by submitting a new formal submission of the proposal to send a UN commission to investigate human rights violations in IOK. We should also lodge a fresh complaint to the International Court of Justice against India’s violation of the Genocide Convention and should seek endorsement for a UN resolution calling for an end to Indian violence inhuman treatment to Kashmiri children, youth and women and the arbitrary detention of Kashmiri leaders. Even if these proposals are not adopted in UN forums, their submission and discussion will exert diplomatic pressure on India and ease the suffering of the Kashmiri people.

Indian government under the policy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi refuses to engage Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute. But they should make it clear that their denial cannot undo the legal and moral basis of Pakistan’s demand for a fair and just solution to the Kashmir dispute.

On final note, it is essential that our younger generation should really need to know what this Kashmir issue is and what its importance is. So instead of enjoying a holiday and spending this day at home we should celebrate Kashmir Day with full enthusiasm and show solidarity with the people of Kashmir, facing Indian aggression. Rather it would not be a bad option if this day would also be a working day but with a difference. Instead of routine activities at offices, markets and educational institutions, there would be more seminars and discussions about Kashmir issue so that more and more awareness would be given to younger generation and common people. We should remember that it is our political and moral obligation to support our Kashmiri brothers. On this day, the enemy must be reminded that the Kashmiri’s are an inseparable part of our national soul, and no power on earth can stop us to lend our support to our Kashmiri brothers. Even though the state of India has long been in denial of core human values in IOK, but its denial cannot go on forever. The people of IHK will ultimately prevail.

The author is based in Lahore. Email: hammadahmad1971@gmail.com