ISLAMABAD/LAHORE - Religio-political parties observed Kashmir Solidarity Day on Wednesday across Pakistan, reiterating support to Kashmiris in their just struggle for right to self-determination.
February 5 has been declared public holiday. Pakistan has been marking the day since 1990 to pay homage to the Kashmiri martyrs and raise voice for Kashmir.
Special prayers were offered after Fajr prayers, followed by one-minute silence at 10am and halt to traffic as a show of solidarity with Kashmir. Rallies, demonstrations and human chains were held across the country to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people.
In Islamabad, Jamiat Ulema-e Islam (s) Chief Maulana Samiul Haq said that people of Kashmir have rendered sacrifices for their right to self-determination and these struggles will not go in waste. “No solution will be accepted against the will of Kashmiri people,” he added. Gen (r) Hamid Gul, Aijazul Haq, Ajmal Khan Wazir, Qari Yaqoq, Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Abdul Rahman, Ajmal Baloch, Abdullah Gul and others were also present on the occasion.
Gul said that they are with the people of Kashmir. There is need to adopt unanimous stance on the issue of Kashmir. He said rulers should adopt strict stance over the Indian's tyrannies in Kahmiris. PML-Z head Aijazul Haq said there was dire need to take concrete steps as only passing a resolution would not serve the purpose.
Speaking a rally in Islamabad, Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Syed Munawar Hasan urged Indian rulers to see the writing on the wall. He added that Indian rulers could not deny the Kashmiris of their freedom for long in the present changing times.
He said that the Islamic and infidel forces were at war all over the world. The colonial powers of the world were trying hard to crush the Islamic movements but the Muslim youth, imbued with the love for freedom, were not ready to accept aliens subjugation.
PML-N women parliamentarians also addressed a Kashmir rally in front of the Parliament House.
In Lahore, Jamaatud Dawa (JuD) and Jamaat Islami (JI) held major shows of solidarity with Kashmiris by holding rallies on The Mall, which were participated by thousands of people including women and children.
PTI Punjab chapter held a seminar, while a forum of Kashmiri youth organised a special sitting and Sunni Tehreek held a demonstration to express solidarity with Kashmiris.
The JD rally was led by Hafiz Saeed, Jamiat Ahle Hadith leader Allama Ibtesam Elahi Zaheer, Maulan Ameer Hamza, JI deputy secretary general Dr Farid Paracha, Tanzimul Arifeen leader Sultan Ahmad Ali, Hafiz Abdul Rauf, Sh Naeem Badshah, Maulana Abul Hashim and others, while it was telephonically addressed from Srinagar by Dukhtran-e-Kashmir leader Aasia Andrabi.
The JI rally was led by the noted Muslim convert British journalist Maryam Ridley, and also telephonically addressed from Srinagar by veteran APHC leader Syed Ali Gilani.
Addressing the gathering, Hafiz Saeed warned the rulers that they must not forget that solution of Kashmir and end of terrorism in Pakistan was now directly linked with complete withdrawal of Indian forces and secret agents from Afghanistan.
He said Indian hand in subversion became public after media had reported that Taliban were not involved in the recent spate of bomb blasts in Peshawar and Karachi. He said any friendship or trade with India without solving Kashmir would be a betrayal with father of nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah who termed Kashmir as jugular vein of Pakistan.
Addressing the JI rally, Maryam Ridley said it was a matter of extreme shame that the UNO and European countries were conniving in the genocide of Muslims all over the country.
Syed Ali Gilani said that Indian occupying forces had increased the speed of genocide of local populations set in the history by invaders like Chengiz Khan and Halaku Khan. Sunni Tehrik Pakistan staged a demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club led by its Lahore president Mujahid Abdul Rasool Qadri.
PTI leaders including Khursheed Mehmood Kasuri and Ijaz Chaudhary during a seminar on Kashmir Solidarity Day said that Kashmir issue could be resolved without including the Kashmiri people in the dialogue.
At a seminar, Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Kashmir issue could be resolved through three-party negotiations.