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Pakistan voices solidarity with Kashmiris on 3rd anniversary of special status withdrawal

Rallies held to mark 3 years since New Delhi revoked special status of Indian-administered Kashmir

Islamuddin Sajid   | 05.08.2022
Pakistan voices solidarity with Kashmiris on 3rd anniversary of special status withdrawal

ISLAMABAD

Several rallies and seminars were held across Pakistan on Friday to mark three years since New Delhi stripped Indian-administered Kashmir of its special status.

Islamabad commemorated the day as “Youm-e-Istehsal,” or “Day of Exploitation,”​​​​​​​ to reiterate its condemnation of the move that resulted in the annexation of the disputed valley.

On Aug. 5, 2019, the Indian government revoked Article 370 and other related provisions from its constitution, scrapping the region’s autonomy and splitting it into two federally administered territories.

Simultaneously, it locked down the region, detained thousands of people, imposed movement restrictions, and enforced a communications blackout.

The main rally was held in the capital Islamabad, led by Defense Minister Khawaja Asif and Qamar Zaman Kaira, the prime minister’s adviser on Kashmir affairs.

The participants expressed solidarity with the Kashmiri people, chanting slogans in their support and against India’s human rights violations in the valley.

In his message, President Arif Alvi said Pakistan honors the sacrifices rendered by Kashmiris in their rightful struggle for the right to self-determination.

“India is implementing a brutal campaign of military occupation, land confiscation, and the influx of non-Kashmiris in the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) in violation of the UNSC resolutions and International Law, including the 4th Geneva Convention,” Alvi said.

He said India’s Aug. 5 actions violated several UN Security Council resolutions concerning the Kashmir dispute.

“Like always, Pakistan will continue to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their just struggle,” he asserted.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in a separate statement accused India of altering the demographic structure of the “occupied territory.”

“Over the last decades, India has used unbridled force with complete impunity. Generations after generations, brave Kashmiris have persevered in the face of fear, intimidation, torture & worst forms of human rights violations,” Sharif said on Twitter.

He paid rich tributes to all Kashmiris who sacrificed their lives in the just struggle for their right to self-determination, saying “Indian oppression” could not shatter their resolve.

“The Jammu & Kashmir dispute has been a battle of hope against overwhelming odds, of courage against fear & of sacrifice against tyranny. Today, we pay rich tributes to all the martyrs of IIOJK for their ultimate sacrifice & to their families for their resolve & courage,” he added.

Disputed region

Kashmir, a Muslim-majority Himalayan region, is held by India and Pakistan in part but claimed by both in full. A small sliver of the region is also controlled by China.

Since they were partitioned in 1947, India and Pakistan have fought three wars – in 1948, 1965, and 1971 – two of them over Kashmir.

Some Kashmiri groups have been fighting against Indian rule for independence, or for unification with neighboring Pakistan.

Already strained relations between the two nuclear neighbors further plummeted after India’s controversial move in August 2019.

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