ISLAMABAD - Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq has urged the national political leadership to unite on the Kashmir cause and evolve an effective policy to help liberate the occupied territory to save the people from Indian forces’ unprecedented human rights violation.

“Either Kashmir would be liberated or we would embrace martyrdom for the cause,” he said while addressing a rally on the Kashmir Solidarity Day here on Monday.

In a passionate appeal, he urged former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan, Pakistan People’s Party Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, Jamiat Ulema-e Islam-Fazl chief Fazlur Rehman and other national leaders to stand united for the cause of the people of Kashmir.

Stressing the need for highlighting the case of the Kashmiris at international forums effectively, the JI chief proposed appointment of a state minister for foreign affairs, who would only focus on the Kashmir issue and take delegations of Kashmiris from both sides of the Line of Control to world capitals to present the true picture of the occupied territory.

The participants of the rally including a large number of women and children were carrying placards and banners with slogans in support of the Kashmiris and condemning the brutalities of the Indian occupation forces.

Some of the banners also carried slogans against the world apathy towards the humanitarian crisis in the valley especially the inaction of United Nations on the killings of innocent Kashmiris.

Siraj said that Kashmir was indispensable for Pakistan as the rivers flowing from Kashmir were watering the Punjab plans.

“If this water is blocked, Punjab would become barren and as a result, the people of the province would be forced to migrate,” he warned.

The JI chief said that Nawaz Sharif claimed to be a Kashmiri but he never talked about the Kashmir in an effective manner and seemed bent on cultivating relations with Modi.

He said that the river water flowing into Punjab also carried the blood of Kashmiris and even their bodies and garments. “If we betrayed the Kashmiris, the hands of the Kashmiris would be on the throats of the rulers,” he said.

The JI chief said that Kashmir was not an issue of a territory or economic deprivation of the people of occupied Kashmir but it was a matter of faith and ideology.

He said that the Indian government had offered jobs to thousands of Kashmiri youth but they had ‘flatly rejected’ the offer. Likewise, he said, the residents of Srinagar remained hungry for full 40 days but when the Indian army dropped rice and biscuits, they refused to receive them and preferred to remain hungry.

Siraj said that Hurriyat leaders Syed Ali Gilani, Shabbir Shah, Yasin Malik, Mir Waiz Umer Farooq, Syed Salahud Din and Ghulam Muhammad Safi were the heroes of Pakistanis and they were looking towards this country and the nation.

He said that when Syed Salahud Din’s son was produced before the Indian high court from an Indian jail, he did not complain about his injuries but talked about the Indian army’s repression.

Haq said that the rulers were not representing the ‘brave Pakistani people’ on the Kashmir issue. He said that former prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had talked of fighting for one thousand years for Kashmir but he did not keep his words.

Later, he said, military ruler Pervez Musharraf sabotaged the Kashmiris’ freedom movement and attempted a bargain with India which was ‘foiled’ by Syed Ali Gilani.

The JI chief also called for a special OIC conference on Kashmir in Islamabad.

Meanwhile, Muslim Institute organised a rally on Kashmir Solidarity Day from Kalsum Plaza to China Chowk, Blue Area.

A large number of people from different walks of life including members of civil society, political and social sector, students, lawyers and journalists participated in the rally.

The participants of the rally were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans, condemning the Indian state terrorism, and demanding the right to self-determination for Kashmiris, appreciating their freedom struggle and expressing solidarity with them.

Speakers of the rally urged the international community to play its role and fulfill its pledges made with the Kashmiri people. They urged the world powers, governments and rights bodies to play their role in stopping atrocities in the Indian-administered Kashmir.