The reaction in India to the loss to Pakistan in cricket, with Kashmiri people being harassed, beaten and even booked under terrorism laws, facilitated by the Indian State, occurred right in time for Kashmir Black Day, in a dark reminder of one of the world’s gravest injuries being committed by a country today.

It has been more than seventy years since one of the most grievous illegal actions and expropriations were committed by a State when India disposed and deprived the Kashmir people of their right to self-determination. However, the situation is as dire as it was seventy years ago, rather it has gotten progressively worse.

Finding itself unable to repress the predominantly Muslim population of the Indian Illegally Occupied Kashmir (IIOK), the Indian State has resorted to violence, deprivation of all kinds of freedoms and human rights, and attempted ethnic cleansing of the area, hoping to change the demographic of the region from Muslim to Hindu.

India has consistently flouted international law to put off any impending referendum or any solution that pays heed to the voices of the Kashmiri people. The absolute worse violation took place in August 2019, after New Delhi, in blatant disregard of international laws and treaties, suspended the special status of IIOJK through the revocation of Articles 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution.

Since then the residents of IIOK have been subjected to a consistent lockdown of media or information, with outright discrimination against Muslims residing in the region. Kashmiris are not given their right to free movement, information, press or speech, or any shred of dignity. In the past few years, Indian security forces have killed 1483 Kashmiris, tortured and injured 29483, including 11400 by pellet guns, arrested 27,207 and destroyed 4355 houses.

This is why Pakistan must observe “Kashmir Black Day” this year, and every year until the Indian State relents, with full zeal, in the country and particularly abroad, to shed light and awareness on this cause, and to let Kashmiris know we are with them.