KARACHI -  Like other parts of the country, the people of Karachi on Sunday showed their unwavering support to the people of Indian-held Kashmir who were struggling to get their internationally-acknowledged right to self-determination.

Kashmir Solidarity Day is being observed as a national day in Pakistan since 1990. Jamaat-e-Islami late chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed was the first Pakistani politician who said that February 5 should be observed as a day of solidarity with the people of Kashmir. The government headed by the then PPP Chairperson Benazir Bhutto endorsed Qazi Hussain’s view and declared February 5 as Kashmir Solidarity Day.

During the day, various organisations held a number of events to mark the day. They organised rallies, symposia, peace walks, conventions and meetings to draw world’s attention to the plight of the oppressed people of the Indian-held Kashmir.

The Karachi chapter of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) took out a rally to mark the Kashmir Solidarity Day and demanded that the government play its due role for liberation of Kashmir instead of taking a totally opposite course.

A large number of JI activists and people from all walks of life participated in the rally. The participants were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans expressing solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The rally was taken out from Jail Chowrangi to Mazar-e-Quaid.

Addressing the rally, JI deputy chief Asadullah Bhutto said that Kashmir was incomplete agenda of the 1947 Partition. He said it was the basic principle of the partition of subcontinent that Muslim majority areas of the region would be part of Pakistan. He said that despite genocide and oppression of Kashmiris for the last 70 years, Kashmir was still a Muslim majority region. He said that India had no right on Kashmir. He said that Kashmir was naturally associated with Pakistan geographically. Referring to water channels flowing from Kashmir into Pakistan, he said that Kashmir was lifeline for Pakistan.

The JI leader criticised the government for putting Jamat-ud-Dawa chief Hafiz Saeed under house arrest. He was of the view that the government gave the message that it would put all those, who speak for Kashmir, behind the bars.

He also shed light on the services of former JI chief Qazi Hussain Ahmed for the movement of Kashmir, particularly Kashmir Solidarity Day. He said that Qazi Hussain Ahmed had declared February 5 the Kashmir Solidarity Day some 28 years ago.

JI Karachi chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman made it clear in his address that jihad was the only way forward to liberate the Indian-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He lambasted those who called jihad in Kashmir as a private affair. He demanded that the government play its due role in jihad for liberation of Kashmir. He was of the view that diplomatic efforts for the freedom of Kashmir were essential, but they would prove useless without inclusion of Kashmiris in the process.

He paid a rich tribute to martyred leader of Hizb-ul-Mujahideen Burhan Muzaffar Wani. He said that martyrdom of the young leader gave the Kashmir movement a new life.

The JI leader also criticised the rulers for giving a cold shoulder to the movement for freedom of Kashmir from India. He said that instead of pressing those who worked for Kashmir's liberation, the government should take solid steps for completion of Pakistan's independence. He criticised the government for its eagerness to allow Indian movies in Pakistan. He said the state of Pakistan as well as the army should discharge their duties in this regard.

Naeem lambasted the global community for its double standards when it comes to the freedom of Kashmir. He said the so-called world powers would spring into action even over violation of animal rights, but they would keep mum over the genocide of Muslims across the world. He said that world powers were unable to get their own resolutions on Kashmir implemented. He went on to say that Kashmir would be liberated through jihad only and the government should come forward on this issue. JI leaders Dr Osama Razi, Muhammad Islam, Muhammad Sagir and Younus Sohan also addressed the rally.

Separately, JuD Karachi took out a Kashmir Solidarity Rally from Hassan Square to Shahrah-e-Kashmir. Holding national flags, banners and placards inscribed with various slogans for freedom of Kashmir, the participants called on the world to push India to resolve the Kashmir issue in a peaceful manner and also take notice of Indian government’s atrocities in the occupied valley.

JuD Karachi chief Muzamil Iqbal Hashmi, Ansarul Ummah chief Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman Khalil, JUI-S leader Khawaja Abdul Maan, JUI-F leader Aslam Ghouri, JUP leader Adeel Anjum, All Pakistan Sunni Tehreek leader Matloob Awan, Jamiat Ahle Hadith Karachi chief Afzal Sardar, Tehreek-e-Azadi Jammu and Kashmir leader Abdu Akasha Mansoor, JuD leader Hafiz Mohammad Amjad and others said that Kashmir had always remained close to the hearts of the Pakistani nation and the future of Pakistan was linked to the future of Kashmir. They said that people of Jammu and Kashmir were struggling for freedom and would not let the Modi-led Indian government change demography of the Muslim-dominated region.

It is regrettable that the United Nations has kept silent over violation of its resolutions by India for the last 60 years, they said. Now time has come for liberation of Kashmir from the Indian occupation, they said.

Criticising the government, they said that people were tired of government’s dual policies. They don’t want screening of Indian movies or construction of roads; they want freedom of Kashmir, they said. They said the nation was untied against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and US President Donald Trump’s policies. They said it was rulers’ turn to take solid steps to resolve the Kashmir issue. They said the fourth generation of Kashmiris was today fighting for the right to self-determination. They said that India could not deny Kashmiris their right to self-determination.

Drawing world’s attention to the atrocities committed by Indian armed forces in held Kashmir, they urged the world community to take notice of gross violations of human rights by the Indian occupation forces.

Speaking on the occasion, JuD Karachi chief termed the detention of Hafiz Saeed unjustified and said that his party had initiated a movement for his release. On February 9, he said, the party leadership would announce its future course of action in Islamabad. He announced a gathering on February 12 in Karachi.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Dr Arif Alvi urged the international community to come forward on the Kashmir issue and take notice of gross human rights violations in the occupied territory. He expressed these views while addressing participants of a Kashmir Solidity Rally, which started from Insaf House and culminated at Quaid-e-Azam’s mausoleum. PTI Karachi President Firdous Shamim Naqvi, lawmaker Khurram Sher Zaman, party leader Imran Ismail and others were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, the PTI leader said the United Nations in its numerous resolutions promised the right to self-determination to Kashmiris, but failed to ensure compliance with its own resolutions. He said that despite this the people of Kashmir continued their strenuous struggle and rendered countless sacrifices. “We stand by the people of Kashmir and we are sure that the Indian armed forces can never crush their spirit of freedom,” Alvi said.

Similarly, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat (ASWJ), Mohajir Qaumi Movement-Haqqiqi, Sunni Tehreek, Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) and others also took out a rally in the port city to reaffirm their support to the people of Indian-held Kashmir for their right to self-determination as enshrined in several UN Security Council resolutions.

Moreover, the Karachi Municipal Cooperation (KMC) held a seminar on Kashmir Solidarity Day at Frere Hall. Addressing the seminar, provincial minister for health Dr Sikandar Mendhro said that atrocities against the Kashmiri people must be stopped. He said that Kashmir would get independence. He said that Pakistani people supported the Kashmiris in their freedom struggle.

KMC Municipal Commissioner Dr Badar Jameel said that sacrifices of the Kashmiri people were unparalleled and the people of Pakistan stood by their right to self-determination.



Farraz Israr