Rawalpind-Like other parts of the country, Kashmir Day was observed in twin cities on Monday to express solidarity with Kashmiri brethren and pledge support for their struggle for the right to self-determination.

Political and religious parties, administrations of various departments and members of civil society observed Kashmir Solidarity Day while reaffirming the pledge to continue support of Kashmiri people in their struggle for freedom from Indian occupation.

In this connection, scores of rallies were taken out in the twin cities and seminars were held where the speakers vehemently denounced atrocities of Indian troops in the occupied valley. The speakers also urged the United Nations to solve the issue as per its resolutions and to ensure the rights to self determination of Kashmiri people as per their desires.

Jamaat-e-Islami and Jammu and Kashmir Movement took out rallies from Rawalpindi to Islamabad to express solidarity with Kashmiri people and to condemn Indian illegal occupation of Kashmir.

In Sadiqabad, the JI brought out a rally led by its candidate for NA-56, Raza Ahmed Shah. The rally marched through different routes and culminated at Abpara. During a stopover at Faizabad, Raza Ahmed Shah, Zia Uddin Chohan, Hanif Chaudhry and Syed Uzair Hamid addressed the protestors. They said that Indian forces were involved in genocide of innocent Kashmiri people while the world had closed eyes towards suppression of the helpless Kashmiris. “UN should come forward to solve the dispute as per desires of Kashmiri people,” the speakers said.

Jammu and Kashmir People’s Party held a protest demonstration outside Rawalpindi Press Club and condemned Indian troops’ barbarianism against Kashmiri people in Indian Held Kashmir. The protest demo was led by Nabila Irshad, Sardar Rahim Ashraf, Sardar Khurshid and Nadim Ahsan, who were holding party flags and chanting slogans against Indian premier Narendra Modi.

Meanwhile, speakers at a seminar held in PPP Divisional Secretariat to mark Kashmir Solidarity Day stressed upon the international community to help Kashmiris to get their right to self-determination and focus the issue for early settlement, which, they said, was the root cause of unrest between Pakistan and India. PPP Divisional President Sardar Saleem Haider Khan, Vice President Gulzar Awan and Coordinator Sajid Kaleem Kiani were also present on the occasion.

Sardar Saleem said that India instead of mounting tension by unprovoked firing on Line of Control should initiate meaningful talks with Pakistan to resolve the issue.

A tableau competition among school children of Rawalpindi/Islamabad based on Kashmiri songs was arranged under auspices of Rawalpindi Arts Council, depicting atrocities of Indian forces against the innocent people of occupied Kashmir. MPA and Parliamentary Secretary for Youth Affairs, Sports and Archaeology Chaudhry Sarfraz Afzal was chief guest on the occasion.

Ch Sarfraz Afzal said on the occasion that Kashmir was an integral part of Pakistan. He said that the nation must highlight the Kashmir issue.   

Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation organised Kashmir Day event where MD PTDC Chaudhry Abdul Ghafoor said that Pakistan would not quit supporting the Kashmir cause. MNA Malik Abrar Ahmed said that India was treating Kashmir as its colony. Kashmir is not a legacy of anyone except its people and no one has the right to expel their right of self-determination, he said.

The state-run APP news agency reported that Muslim Institute carried out a rally from Kalsoom Plaza to China Crossing to express solidarity with Kashmiris on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day. Members of civil society, political and social activists, students, lawyers and journalists carried placards and banners displaying slogans to condemn state terrorism by Indian occupied forces.

Former Ambassador Fozia Nasreen, Leader of APCH Abdul Hameed Lone, Altaf Wani, former minister AJK Farzana Yaqoob  and PR Coordinator Muslim Institute Tahir Mahmood were leading the rally.

Also, artists paid tributes to Kashmiri martyrs in a cultural programme arranged by Pakistan National Council of the Arts in collaboration with Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan. The event comprised puppet show, photography exhibition, stage play and cultural show aimed to mark the Kashmir Day.