With the 67th anniversary just passed of when India in gross violation of law and human rights, landed its forces in the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, we remember once more. Every year, since that day in 1947, the day is observed as Black Day on both sides of the Line of Control and all over the world by the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

India committed a flagrant violation of law and announced the accession of Kashmir which to date remains controversial and a burning dispute between Pakistan and India. In view of Kashmir’s history, geography, cultural and religious affiliations, Kashmir had a natural tendency to accede to Pakistan but owing to the nexus of the Maharaja of Kashmir, Maharaja Hari Singh and the head of Boundary Commission, Cyril Radcliff, India was able to commit an act which in years to come would be known as the tale of perhaps one of the greatest unresolved human tragedies.

When India illegally acceded the Kashmir valley, the brave and resilient people of Kashmir stood up against Indian aggression. The people of Pakistan supported their Kashmiri brethren and as a result of this support, Pakistan and India went to war in 1947. During the war, it was India who first took the Kashmir dispute to the United Nations on January 1, 1948.

The UN, in the following year on January 1, 1949, helped enforce a ceasefire between the two countries. By the mutual consent of Pakistan and India, the UN Security Council and UN Commission for India and Pakistan passed several resolutions in the years following the 1947-48 war.

The UNSC Resolution of 21 April, 1948- one of the principal UN resolutions on Kashmir- stated that “both India and Pakistan desire that the question of the accession of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan should be decided through the democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.” Subsequent UNSC Resolutions reiterated the same stand. UNCIP Resolutions of 3 August 1948 and 5 January 1949 reinforced previous UNSC resolutions.

Even though it was India who took the Kashmir dispute to the UN, it has consistently disregarded UN resolutions and continues to commit blatant violations of human rights in the valley.

Unlike India, Pakistan has always been clear in its stance to completely abide by UN resolutions which call for the right of Kashmiri self-determination. All governments in Pakistan have given their unconditional support to the people of Kashmir and their liberation.

Indian state terrorism which has unceremoniously continued since 1989, when the unarmed people of Kashmir stood up against 700,000 armed Indian forces, has made life in the valley difficult. Indian forces in the region are protected by draconian laws such as the Armed Forces Special Powers Act and Disturbed Areas Act which have broken all records of human rights violations in the occupied territory of Kashmir.

The leadership of Pakistan Peoples’ party following their Chairman Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s footsteps, has always given its unconditional support to the cause of Kashmir over the years. Benazir Bhutto, on numerous occasions declared her support for the self-determination of the Kashmiri people according to their wishes and desires. She raised the dispute of Kashmir on many international forums and called on the international community for its resolution.

Carrying on in his grandfather, mother and fathers’ footsteps, the Chairman of Pakistan Peoples’ Party Bilawal Bhutto Zardari recently reiterated his commitment to the dispute of Kashmir by stating that his party would take back all of Kashmir from India because, like the other provinces, it belongs to Pakistan.

The atrocities by Indian forces have not lessened in recent times. The people of Kashmir are not allowed to freely carry out daily activities without the express permission of Indian forces. This year on Eid-ul-adha, a curfew was imposed in Indian occupied Kashmir.

The purpose of celebrating 27th October every year as Black Day, is to inform the world that Kashmiris will never bow down to Indian oppression and aggression. It also reinforces that the people of Kashmir, and Pakistan, will not stop at anything short of liberation.

The writer is President, Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies.