PESHAWAR - Khyber Pakhtunkhwa cabinet, secretaries of various departments and several political and religio-political parties staged rallies in the pro­vincial capital to mark Youm-e-Istehsal Kash­mir (Kashmir Exploita­tion Day) on the com­pletion of one year of lockdown imposed by the Indian government in occupied Kashmir.

Rallies were also staged in other parts of the province. In Pe­shawar, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan led a ral­ly from the newly named Muzaffarabad Chowk near the CM House upto Srinagar Chowk (Civil Of­ficers’ Mess). Speaking about the day, the chief minister said that the day was being marked as protest against In­dian government’s law that ended the sepa­rate status of Kashmir. He claimed that renam­ing Kashmir Highway as Srinagar Highway in Is­lamabad showed com­mitment of Prime Minis­ter Imran Khan towards the cause of Kashmir.

Activists of Jamaat-e-Is­lami (JI) and Jamiat Ule­ma-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) also held rallies in the provincial capital.

The JUI-F held a demonstration near Pe­shawar Press Club which was led by former pro­vincial minister Asif Iqbal Daudzai, provin­cial spokesman for the party Abdul Jalil Jan and others. Speakers on the occasion said that In­dia was violating the UN resolutions by declaring Kashmir its integral part.

The JI activists, led by provincial general sec­retary Abdul Wasi and district president Atiqur Rahman, gathered out­side the historic Mas­jid Mohabbat Khan and chanted slogans “Down with India” and “Free Kashmir!”. They later held a public meeting at Chowk Yadgar.

Addressing the ral­ly, Abdul Wasi said the prime minister should take measures to call a meeting of the Organi­sation of Islamic Confer­ence on the Kashmir is­sue. He said, “They have only released a song, re­named a road and de­signed a political map.”

Like other parts of the country, rallies were also staged in Mardan dis­trict on Wednesday on Youm-e-Istehsal to ex­press solidarity with the people of occupied Kash­mir. 

District administra­tion arranged a rally which was led by Assis­tant Commissioner (AC) Gul Bano. Additional As­sistant Commissioner (AAC) Jahanzeb Khan, Youth officer Usman Khan, official of different department, volunteers of youth task force, mem­ber of Mardan youth par­liament, volunteer of civ­il defiance and people from different walks of life participated in the rally. 

The rally started from Civil Secretariat and end­ed at Bacha Khan Chowk. The participants of the rally were holding Kash­mir flags, banners and placards inscribed with anti-India and pro-Kash­mir slogans. They also chanted slogans against Indian government. Addressing the ral­ly, speakers said that In­dia had illegally besieged Kashmir for the last one year. They were of the view that Kashmir was the jugular vein of Pa­kistan and the country would remain incom­plete if it was not freed from the clutches of In­dia. 

They said thousands of Kashmiri elders, youth and women had sacri­ficed their lives for the freedom of Kashmir. The Indian army was violat­ing human rights in occu­pied Kashmir and perpe­trating atrocities against innocent Kashmiris. They said for the last one year the Indian govern­ment had imposed lock­down in Kashmir while the whole world was si­lent on this cruelty of In­dian government. 

Speakers asked the in­ternational community to help liberate Kashmir from India. 

A rally was also or­ganized in Tank by the district administration to condemn the ongo­ing oppression of Indian forces on occupied Kash­mir. The rally was led by Deputy Commissioner (DC) Kabir Afridi. 

The participants of the rally were carrying plac­ards and banners with slogans against Indian aggression and in favour of Kashmiri. 

Speaking on the occa­sion, Deputy Commis­sioner Kabir Afridi and other participants of the rally said that Kashmir was the lifeblood of Pa­kistan. 

The DC said that India would not be able to sup­press the voice of Kash­miris at gunpoint. 

In Swabi also 5th Au­gust was observed as ‘Kashmir Exploitation Day’ by the district ad­ministration.