KASUR/QILA DIDAR SINGH - The Kashmir Solidarity Day was observed here like other parts of the country and the world with protest demonstrations against the Indian occupation of the major part of Kashmir valley.

It was national holiday and government offices, institutions remained nonfunctional. People from all segments of life including district and municipal administrations held meetings, seminars and rallies in major towns. They highlighted the issue of Kashmir, giving its historical perspective.

The main rally in Mandi Bahauddin was taken out by Jamaat-e-Islami and Mili Muslim League in front of Press Club. Common citizens also joined the rally in large number.

Speakers strongly condemned India for its inhuman atrocities. Giving historical background of Solidarity Day, they said it was first time suggested by Qazi Hussain Ahmed of Jamaat-e-Islami party in 1990. The idea was supported by then government and all the political parties, and February 5 was declared as public holiday.

They said every Pakistani feels pain over atrocities India had been continuing against the Kashmiris. They also blamed Pakistani rulers for their poor and faulty diplomacy to raise Kashmir issue for its settlement according to UN resolutions. They asked government to improve their diplomacy relating to Kashmir.

In Sialkot, a large number of the people made a human chain to express complete solidarity with the people of Kashmir.

District Ameer of Jamaat-e-Islami Dr Shakeel Thakur said the sun of freedom of Kashmir will rise soon and people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir will get freedom from India.

Likewise, rallies processions seminars and conferences have been held in Sargodha. The people chanted slogans against Indian army's persecutions on bare-handed Kashmiri men and women. Furthermore, Kashmir solidarity conference was arranged at Government Central Model School New Satellite Town.

A special function in connection with the Kashmir Day held at Government Comprehensive High School DG Khan, Deputy Commissioner Ibrahim Junaid was the chief guest along with other many officers of district. Addressing the special function, DC Ibrahim Junaid paid homage to the Kashmiri martyrs who sacrificed their lives for freedom of their motherland. He termed Kashmir the jugular vein of Pakistan, saying Pakistanis would never give up the struggle for independence of the held valley.

A separate function was also held at Government Post Graduate College for Women DG Khan. Teachers and students of college attended the function. The students in their speeches highlighted importance of Kashmir issue for Pakistan. They demanded the UN and other world powers to hold plebiscite according to the UN resolutions. Later, Principal Ghazalah led a rally of students and teachers namely Masrat Rafique, Shazia Salman and Shahina Riaz to show solidarity with Kashmiri brethren.

Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam also took out a protest rally at traffic Chowk DG Khan. During the demonstration, a large number of speakers including Jamaat-e-Islami Punjab Sheikh Usman Farooq, JUI leader Qari Jamal Abdul Nasar, Maulana Iqbal Rashid and Munir Ahmad also addressed the participants.

In Nowshera Virkan, different religious and political parties took out rallies. The day dawned with special prayers at mosques for freedom of Kashmiri people and their emancipation from Indian subjugation.

Addressing the rally, they threw light on the Kashmir issue and highlighted the efforts made by Pakistan for its resolution. They emphasised the need for plebiscite in the held valley according to United Nation resolution to bring a lasting peace in the region.

Journalists also showed solidarity with Kashmiri people in a meeting held in Nowshera Virkan Press Club. On the occasion, a resolution was tabled by Mirza Khadim Hussain, Naseem Yousaf and Athar Shafiq Meer, urging the government to continue political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris in their struggle for liberation of occupied Kashmir.

In QILA DIDAR SINGH, local Pakistan Sunni Tehreek (PST) office-bearers said that Pakistan would never end its unflinching stance over Kashmir. "It is a bone of contention between two atomic powers and early solution to the burning issue is necessary to bring about peace in the region." The PST office-bearers stated this during an address to a rally taken out in connection with Kashmir Day.

The rally was led by PST tehsil president Hafiz Amjad Sadiq Naqshbandi, Haifz Imran Qadri, Peer Syed Sherzaman Haideri and Syed Awais Shah.

Addressing the rally, they urged the government to raise the Kashmir issue at international forums. They demanded the United Nations (UN) and human rights organisations take immediate action against the ongoing brutalities in the Indian Held Kashmir (IHK). They termed Kashmir jugular vein of Pakistan, saying war for the independence of Kashmir would continue until the oppressed valley is liberated from Indian subjugation.

The rally was started from Milade-e-Mustafa Chowk and ended at Main Bazaar Thana Chowk. Participants of the rally were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against Indian oppression in the IHK. They shouted slogans in solidarity with Kashmiris.

On the other hand, Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) Unit President Raheel Anjum urged the world community to play its due role to stop Indian oppression in the IHK. He said that Kashmiris had been living under the Indian occupation for the last 70 years. He demanded the government of Pakistan raise Kashmir issue in UN Security Council and unveil ugly face of India in front of the international community. He said that India had no right to call itself the biggest democracy of the world. "A country which can't give its people their right to self-determination in the 21st century, how can it claim to be the world's biggest democracy," he pointed out.

In KASUR, office-bearers of Private Schools Association and religious organisations representing Sunni school of thought appealed to the international community to pressurise India to give Kashmiris their right to self-determination.

They stated this during an address to a rally taken out from Rukanpura to railway station in solidarity with the oppressed people of the held valley. They expressed their wonder over meaningful silence of the UN over Indian atrocities in the IHK. They flayed the biasness and failure of the UN to implement its resolutions concerning solution to Kashmir issue through plebiscite. They said that Israel and India had joined hands to suppress Kashmir freedom struggle. They pointed out that the entire Muslim world would have to put collective efforts for the freedom of the occupied Muslim territories including Kashmir. "Otherwise, we have no right live in this world as a respectable nation," they added.

In BAHAWALNAGAR, different political, religious and student organisations and the civil society members organised protest rallies across the district to express solidarity with Kashmiris. The main rally was taken out from Postgraduate College to Rafiq Shah Chowk. Participants of the rally raised slogans against Indian occupation of Kashmir valley.

Addressing the rally, speakers said that India couldn't suppress Kashmiris' freedom struggle by using power. They said that India would have to give Kashmiris their right to self-determination. They urged the UN to ensure implementation of its resolutions on Kashmir issue. Later on, a walk was also organised under the leadership of District Education Authority Chief Executive Officer Ali Ahmed.