ISLAMABAD/LAHORE/KARACHI/QUETTA - Thousands of people rallied across the country on Friday to denounce Indian occupation of Kashmir.
A public holiday, Kashmir Solidarity Day, supports the Kashmiris right to self-determination in line with UN resolutions that call for a plebiscite in Kashmir.
Banners and hoardings calling for Kashmirs freedom from Indian rule were put up by main roads and intersections throughout the country.
Pakistan observed a one-minute silence at 10:00 am as a mark of respect to the thousands of people killed in Kashmir.
In Islamabad, different political and religious organisations held rallies and seminars to highlight the plight of innocent Kashmiris.
Addressing a huge gathering at Aabpara Chowk, Amir JI Syed Munawar Hassan emphasised over the world community to ensure implementation of UN resolution regarding peaceful solution of Kashmir dispute. He stressed that there was a dire need to calibrate strategic plan to forcefully stop the atrocities of more than 7 million brutal Indian forces deputed in Occupied Kashmir.
I ask President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Chief of Army Staff Gen Ashfaq Parvez Kayani to present balance sheet of military operations, which displaced more than 5 million innocent people from their homes, he said.
The JI Amir criticised the lenient attitude of President Zardari, Prime Minister Gilani and Chief of Army Staff Gen Kayani in response to the US and Indian aggressions. He asked why they were not protesting against the cruel decision of the US court against Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
It is pertinent to mention here that a fair number of Kashmiri women, children and displaced persons also participated in the rally. Top Kashmiri leader Abdur Rashid Turabi while addressing the rallys participants highlighted the atrocities of brutal Indian forces and highlighted the miseries of Kashmiri people.
Meanwhile, activists of Jamaat-ud-Dawa also arranged a rally in favour of Kashmiri people and against the Indian atrocities. They were holding placards and chanted slogans. Hafiz Muhammad Saeed, General (r) Hameed Gul and other speakers on the occasion asked the Government of Pakistan to take strict action for the liberation of Kashmir dispute.
In Pakistan Occupied Kashmir, hundreds of JI activists rallied in Muzaffarabad, while hundreds of others formed a human chain in Kohala town.
I warn India to stop human violations and pull out its forces from Occupied Kashmir, AJK minister Raja Mohammad Naseem told the participants.
In Lahore, thousands of people took to the streets chanting 'Allah-o-Akbar, 'We want jihad against India and 'Kashmir will become Pakistan.
The residents of Karachi also showed great enthusiasm to mark the day and vowed that they would not left behind their Kashmir brethren until their rights were achieved.
Many political and religious parties organised the processions in different areas of the City. Kashmiri brothers paid tremendous homage and tribute that they have been fighting for more than 63 years against Indian forces.
Addressing a Kashmir rally via telephone outside Karachi Press Club, Hurriat Conference central leader Mirwaiz Umar Farooq said that all these rallies, seminars, and meetings were aimed at showing solidarity with the ongoing freedom movement in Kashmir. We Kashmiris are observing the prayer day for Pakistans sovereignty and lasting independence. India is acting upon its tradition of curbing the voice of Kashmiri people and once again imposed curfew in the valley while the Indian forces have arrested the top leadership of Hurriyat conference. You can figure out the extremeness of Indias fear from this struggle that it has barricaded all the means of communication and blocked all the mosques in order to prevent Kashmiri to attend Friday prayers especially in Srinagar.
Mirwaiz said that Indian occupied forces started killing of Kashmiri youths. Every single day Indian army sheds blood of our innocent people but we want to assure India that whatever cruelty it will use against us, we will not step down from demanding freedom from India and our struggle will not be stopped or diverted through these atrocities. He urged the Indian government and authorities to abide by its promise which it made in 1948 in UN for the solution of Kashmir issue.
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah in his message on Kashmir Day has said that showing solidarity with our Kashmir brothers is really an honor for us. Kashmir is a central artery for Pakistan and their freedom struggle against Indian occupied forces in which thousands of Kashmir people have scarified their lives and properties is an example for our youth to follow.
Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan has also organised a rally for expressing its solidarity with the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The participants also slammed the USA jurys decision about Dr Aafia.
Professor Ghafoor Ahmed, the JI deputy chief, said: All Pakistanis are behind the struggle of the Kashmiris and would continue to offer support until the freedom fighters expel the Indian occupants from their soil.
Addressing a rally via telephone from Lahore, Ameer Jamat-ud-Dawa Hafiz Saeed said that they had religious and national relations with their Kashmiri brothers. He urged the international actors to intervene and resolve Kashmir issue according to the resolutions of United Nations resolutions.
Meanwhile, Kashmir Solidarity Day was also observed in Quetta and other parts of Balochistan on Friday with full zeal and fervour to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir and pay tribute to the sacrifices of Kashmiri martyrs for their self-determination.
Political parties, social and human rights groups and other organisations staged rallies and protest demonstrations outside Quetta Press Club against Indian atrocities in the Occupied Kashmir. A rally led by leader of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC), Tahir Masood, Balochistan Education Minister Tahir Mehmood, Commissioner Quetta division Naseem Ahmed Lehri marched through various roads of the city and later changed into a demonstration outside Quetta Press Club. The participants of rally were carrying placards and banners inscribed with demands and chanting anti-Indian slogans.
Addressing on the occasion, Tahir Masood said that India had forcibly occupied Kashmir before six decades but Kashmiris never accepted occupation despite Indias brutal atrocities. He said people of Pakistan had always supported the just struggle of their Kashmiri brethren for their right of self-determination. Struggle of Kashmiris will be continued till achievement of right of self-determination, he added. Tahir Mehmood said Pakistan had been struggling for the peaceful settlement of Kashmir issue but unfortunately Indian government did not respond positively and intended to solve the issue by force.
Meanwhile, the activists of JI and Islami Jamiat-e-Tulba took out a rally and staged a protest demonstration outside Quetta Press Club against Indian occupation of Kashmir and to express solidarity with Kashmiri people. Shouting slogans, participants of rally marched on different roads of the city including Jinnah Road and Shara-e-Iqbal. Rally culminated into a demonstration outside the press club. Addressing on the occasion, leaders of JI including provincial chief of party Abdul Mateen Akhundzada said that people of Pakistan observe Kashmir Solidarity Day every year to demonstrate their unequivocal support to Kashmiri people so that they could achieve their legitimate right of self-determination in accordance with UN resolutions. They urged the international community to play its role to end the Indian atrocities in Kashmir.