LAHORE/ISLAMABAD/KARACHI Like other parts of the world, tens of thousands of people across Pakistan and AJK marked Kashmir Solidarity Day with a renewed pledge to continue all-out support for the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir in their just struggle for the right to self-determination. The day was marked with rallies, walks, seminars, signature campaigns and human chains in all small and major towns of Pakistan, including capital cities Islamabad, Peshawar, Quetta, Karachi, Lahore as well as Gilgit. Similar events were reported from all AJK towns and cities, including capital Muzaffarbad, sending a clear message to the world that double standards on the issue of Kashmir could not go on forever, and that the issue must be resolved now to put an end to the miseries of innocent Kashmiris. The protesters rejuvenated their commitment to break the shackles of Indian occupation and help the Kashmiris get their right to self-determination under the United Nations resolutions. Pakistan observed a one-minute silence at 10am. All rail and road traffic came to a halt as a mark of respect to the 47,000-plus Kashmiris martyred since the start of freedom movement. Various government and non-government organisations erected hoardings, streamers, placards and banners inscribed with slogans supporting the Kashmiris freedom struggle. Radio and television channels aired special programmes to highlight the Kashmir movement. In Lahore, mainstream religious, religio-political and political parties and human rights organisations arranged rallies, seminars and walks to express solidarity with the Kashmiri brethren. Jamaat-ud-Daawa organised a mammoth rally on The Mall. Thousands of people from various walks of life, mainly activists of Daawa, participated in the rally from Nasir Bagh to the Faisal Chowk, where top leadership of the parties addressed charged participants. Thousands of participants were carrying flags of Daawa inscribed with the sign of sword and Kalima Tayyaba, and placards and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of the Kashmir freedom struggle and against the Indian occupation. The participants, waving the flags all along, chanted slogans 'Kashmirion Se Rishta Kia, La Ilaha Illalah, 'Kashmir Banay Ga Pakistan, 'Kashmir Hamara Hai, 'Hindustanio Kashmir Chor Do Ya Jihad Ke Liye Tayyar Ho Jao, 'Tera Nagar Mera Nagar Srinagar Srinagar, 'Ali Geelani Qadam Barhao Hum Tumharay Sath Hain and 'Hafiz Saeed Qadam Barhao Qaom Tumharay Sath Hain. Daawa had made elaborate arrangements for the massive show of solidarity, as people from far-off areas joined the rally in great numbers. The foreign media took a keen interest in the rally, giving special focus to the speeches by Jamaat-ud-Daawa ameer Hafiz Muhammad Saeed and other notable leaders, including Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki and Maulana Amir Hamza. In addition to tight security arrangements by law enforcement agencies, polite Daawa workers checked all before letting them join The Mall rally. Police closed The Mall from Nasir Bagh to the Governors House for all traffic a couple of hours before the rally. Police too allowed entry to the rally after a thorough search. Besides police, operatives in plain clothes were also deputed for stricter security. Trained shooters were also posted on all multi-storey buildings along the route of the rally. Addressing the rally, Hafiz Muhammad Saeed said that Muslims are not against negotiations, but the track record of India suggests that these would be futile exercises. He urged India to quit Kashmir or face Jehad. Jehad is for peace. Islam does not allow killing the innocent. But the aggressors are to be given a befitting reply, Hafiz Saeed said, adding that the west should realise the true spirit of Islam and stop propaganda against Muslims. He urged the rulers to understand the conspiracies India has been hatching against Pakistan. He said that India is working on a plan to capture Balochistan after Kashmir and is encouraging separatist movements there. He said that India staged Mumbai drama but failed to prove its allegations. He said that on the other hand, India failed to conceal the fact that Hindu extremists were involved in the Samjhota Express tragedy. Vowing to uphold solidarity of the country, he said Kashmir is vital for Pakistan. He said that India is building dams in the occupied territory to stop water for Pakistan, to damage its agriculture and economy. He praised China for taking a firm stance on the actual status of Kashmir. He said that it was Islamabads responsibility to support the freedom movement and fight the case of Kashmir. He said that instead of continuing support, the rulers of Pakistan damaged the Kashmir cause after 9/11. He said that now the situation is changing for the better and Kashmir and Palestine will soon get freedom. Referring to Raymond Davis, he said it is a pity that the US is demanding the custody of a killer, but awarded 86-year imprisonment to innocent Aafia Siddiqui. We will not accept US courts if she is not ready to accept ours, said the Daawa chief. Addressing the rally, Hafiz Abdul Rehman Makki urged the federal government to create the Ministry of Jehad for Kashmir, saying Daawa is ready to extend financial support and manpower for the cause. He urged the rulers to come out of American slavery and look up to their own people for support. Instead of begging for dialogue, the government should go for Kashmir Jehad, he added. Addressing the rally on the phone from Jammu, Hurriyat leader Shabbir Shah thanked the people of Pakistan for supporting Kashmiris, and expressed hope that Kashmir will get freedom soon. Solidarity of Pakistan is critical not only to the Kashmiris but also to the entire Muslim world, he said, adding that the Indian forces are using all resources to crush Kashmiris, but freedom is only round the corner. Maulana Amir Hamza said that the so-called world powers created East Timor out of Indonesia and divided Sudan, but are declaring Kashmiris terrorists. Referring to a statement by Editor-in-Chief The Nation Majid Nizami, he said that Hafiz Saeed himself would steer the tank carrying the veteran journalist to India. He demanded an exemplary punishment for Raymond Davis for killing innocent Pakistanis. He said that the people will throw (President) Zardari, (Prime Minister) Gilani and the Sharif brothers out of power if Raymond was handed over to America. Maulana Amir Hamza said if the rulers handed over Raymond to him, he (Raymond) would confess all crimes. Abdul Salam bin Muhammad said that it was high time for Jehad and not inconclusive dialogues. JUI leader Hafiz Hussain Ahmed said that the rulers of Pakistan damaged the Kashmir cause and rubbed salt into Kashmiris wounds by initiating a bus service and by vying for Indian friendship. He said the Kashmiris kept the cause alive with their blood. He urged the rulers to learn a lesson from Tunisia, Egypt and Yemen and mend their ways. Jamaat-e-Islami Secretary General Liaquat Baloch said that it is national responsibility to ready the people for Jehad. He said that India resorted to dialogues in the past only to release foreign pressure and dent the Kashmir independence movement. He said Jehad and not dialogues would resolve the Kashmir issue. Hurriyat leader Ghulam Muhammad Saffi, vowing to continue the struggle, said sacrifices of the Kashmiris will not go waste. Referring to a statement by former president Pervez Musharraf and former foreign minister Khursheed Kasuri that Pakistan and India had reached a consensus but Ali Geelani marred it, he said the Hurriyat leader opposed the idea as it was against the aspirations of the people of Pakistan and Kashmir. He said that he has recently conveyed a message of Ali Geelani to Maulana Fazlur Rehman. He said that the Hurriyat leader has urged Pakistan to stop begging for dialogues and press India to accept Kashmir as a disputed territory. Saif Ullah Mansoor said that barbed wires would fail to stop Mujahideen from hoisting the Jehad flag in Srinagar. He urged the rulers not to be scared of India, as Pakistan is an atomic power and the leverage should be used for Kashmir solution. PML-N leader Naseer Ahmed Bhutta, Qari Yaqoob Sheikh, Zahid Mahmood Qasmi, Jamil Ahmed Faizi, Malik Zaheer Abbas Khokhar, Maulana Hasnain Siddiqui, Amirul Adeem, Khalid Waleed and Idrees Farooqui also addressed the rally. In another remarkable event of the day, thousands of people formed human chains on all bridges linking Pakistan with AJK including Kohala, Dhalkot, Azad Pattan, Holar, Mangla, Dhangalli and Bararkot. Members and leaders of various religious and political parties, including PPP, PML-N, PML-Q, JI, and MC, joined the human chains. Addressing a gathering on the Mangla bridge, PML-N MPA Meher Muhammad Fiyaz, AJK National Events Organising Committee Chairman Muhammad Tayyeb Chaudhry, Senior Vice Chairman Raja Saqib Munir, Secretary General Altaf Hamid Rao and others reiterated that such display of unity is a clear message to the world that hearts of the people of Pakistan and Kashmir beat together. They said the sacrifices being offered by the valiant Kashmiri people would not go waste as the time is not far when their struggle will succeed. MQM and ANP also took out rallies to mark the day in Karachi and Peshawar. Meanwhile, veteran Kashmir leader Ali Shah Geelani expressed his gratitude to the Pakistani government and the people for exhibiting solidarity with them, saying that the zeal shown on Kashmir Solidarity Day is clear message to the world, especially India, that the Pakistan government and people stand by Kashmiris. In Islamabad, Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami AJK Abdul Rasheed Turabi addressed a large pubic gathering and paid homage to the efforts of Kashmiris. He said the unprecedented uprising in Kashmir has shaken the Indian government to the hilt, and nervous Indians are trying to suppress the movement through coercive measures. The JI Ameer said that people of Pakistan and Kashmir would never forgive former dictator Pervez Musharraf for what he did with Kashmiris. Turabi urged the government to play its role for the independence of Kashmir as a party to the issue. Abdul Rasheed Turabi paid special homage to Editor-in-Chief The Nation and Chairman Nawa-i-Waqt Group Majid Nizami for always highlighting the Kashmir cause. It is due to the result of great people like Majid Nizami that the Kashmir cause is revived. Nawa-i-Waqt, The Nation, Family magazine, Nidaay-e-Millat, Phool magazine and Waqt TV have always supported the Kashmir cause and we dont have words to thank Majid Nizami for his valuable national service, he said. In Peshawar, hundreds of Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl), Jamaat-ud-Daawa, All Occupied Kashmir Muslim Conference (AOKMC), Save the Poor against Terrorism and Poverty, and various NGOs activists gathered on Shershah Suri Road to protest against Indian atrocities in the Indian-held Kashmir. They were holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans denouncing Indian armys tyrannies. Addressing, Senator Ghulam Ali said that the Kashmiris should be given their right to self-determination. The JUI-F leader said that his partys stance was very clear on the Kashmir issue. The JUI will continue its support to the Kashmir cause until its peaceful settlement, he added. Jamaat-ud-Daawas provincial chief Yawar Aftab said that the Kashmir freedom movement could never be suppressed. In Karachi, Jamaat-ud-Daawa took out a rally to mark the day and express solidarity with the Kashmiris. A large number of people from different walks of life participated in the rally that started form Nippa Chowrangi and ended at Mazar-e-Qaid. Chairman Hurriyat Conference Syed Ali Geelani, in his telephonic address to the rally, said that no one could stop the Kashmir freedom movement by force. He criticised Musharraf, saying he had damaged the Kashmir cause. He stressed the need for a strong stance of the Pakistan government, and demanded that it should internationally highlight the Indian forces brutalism against armless Kashmiri. Mehmood-ul-Hassan of Tehreek Hurmat-e-Rasool, Mufti Usman Yar of JUI-S, Salim Zia, Zain Ansari of PML-N, Zubair Khan of PML-Q, Aslam Ghouri Jamiat of JUI-F, Dr Arif Alvi Tehreek Insaf, Qazi Ahmed Noorani, Syed Muhammad Iqbal, Razaq Bajwa and Abdul Rasheed Dar also spoke on the occasion. The Jamiat-e-Islami (JI) also took out a rally from Jail Chowrangi to the Mazar-e-Quaid. JI Karachi chief Muhammad Hussain Mehanti and Javed Qasoori addressed the rally. The PML-N Sindh Chapter also organised a gathering at PML House. PML-N Chief Organiser for Sindh Saleem Zia, Central Leader Makhdoom Shahnawaz, Zahid Rafiq Butt, Syed Hafeezuddin, Perveen Bashir addressed the gathering. Central Leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf Justice (retd) Wajihuddin Ahmed, while addressing a conference on Kashmir Solidarity Day, said that Pervez Musharraf damaged the Kashmir cause. He also criticised the ruling government, saying it had no clear policy on Kashmir. Also, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain condemned the illegal occupation of Kashmir by India and vowed that the MQM would raise the issue of innocent Kashmiris across the world. Addressing a large gathering at MQMs headquarter Nine-Zero, Altaf said that MQM would raise the voice of innocent Kashmiris in the parliament and also in the United Nations. He said India should consider the independence of Kashmir according to the UN charter. The politicians and establishment of both the countries should try to solve the issue honestly, he said.