Pakistan on Thursday marked “Black Day” to show solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir on the 75th anniversary of the dispute over the region.
The day began with special morning prayers offered in mosques for those who lost their lives in the conflict in the Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir.
Political, social, and human rights activists held rallies in major cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Muzaffarabad to protest the “illegal occupation” of the valley and demand the UN implement its relevant resolutions on Kashmir.
The government also arranged seminars, webinars, panel discussions, and photo exhibitions throughout the country, and at Pakistan’s diplomatic missions around the world, to highlight the plight of the innocent Kashmiri people and draw global attention to the “brutality and highhandedness” of Indian forces over the last 75 years, according to a Foreign Ministry statement.
A special Kashmir Solidarity Walk led by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar was also held from the Foreign Ministry building to the city square D-Chowk in the capital Islamabad.
Officers of the Foreign Ministry also participated in the walk to express their solidarity for the Kashmir cause.
President Arif Alvi in a message on Thursday said the entire Pakistani nation reaffirms its unwavering support to their Kashmiri people, saying: “We observe Kashmir Black Day to remember the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their just struggle for their right to self-determination by condemning the ongoing atrocities of Indian occupation forces over the last seven and a half decades.”
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also paid a tribute to Kashmiris and vowed to keep standing by them in their just struggle.
“The world should not turn a blind eye to Indian human rights abuses in IIOJK (Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir), which is a heavily militarized valley. Urge for freedom cannot be suppressed for long,” he tweeted.
On Oct. 27, 1947, Indian troops positioned themselves in Kashmir’s largest city Srinagar, after India and Pakistan gained their independence from British colonial rule. The anniversary of this Indian action is observed by Pakistanis and Kashmiris as “Black Day,” while India commemorates it as “Accession Day.” The region has been a source of tension between India and Pakistan ever since.
In 1989, Kashmiri resistance groups launched a campaign for independence or unification with Pakistan, leading to more than 70,000 deaths, according to several human rights groups.