by: Ch. Muhammad Natiq
On the occasion of the 89thYoum-e-Shuhada-e-Kashmir (Kashmir Martyrs’ Day), the Government and people of Pakistan join Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control (LOC) and across the globe to pay homage to the 22 innocent and unarmed Kashmiris who stood up for truth and justice against the tyranny of the Dogra force in 1931. Their extraordinary courage and sacrifice kindled a valiant struggle for the Kashmiris’ right to self-determination that continues to date.
No less brutal than the Dogra forces, the Indian occupation forces have martyred hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris and grievously hurt millions of families in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJ&K). Yet, they have failed to break the will of the Kashmiris and weaken their resolve to secure freedom from Indian occupation.
India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5 August 2019, aimed at erasing the distinct identity of the people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, have further fortified the Kashmiris’ quest for freedom and self-determination and lent even greater poignancy to the Kashmir Martyrs’ Day.
In another reprehensible action, the RSS-BJP Government following the ‘Hindutva’ ideology has scrapped the regional public holiday on Kashmir Martyrs’ Day in IOJ&K this year, which was being observed since 1948. Kashmiris in IOJ&K are protesting that it will be the first time that there will be no official guard of honour at the martyrs’ graveyard at Nawhatta Srinagar inside the premises of Khawaja Naqashband shrine.
Pakistan and the Kashmiris deeply honour the Kashmiri martyrs, who have hallowed the just Kashmiri cause with their supreme sacrifice and continue to inspire generations. Carrying on the earlier tradition, a guard of honour was presented to the martyrs today in Muzaffarabad, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
While condemning the state-terrorism being perpetrated by Indian occupation forces in IOJ&K, Pakistan calls upon the international community to take practical steps to stop India from the continuing brutalization of the Kashmiri people including extra-judicial killings and illegal attempts to change the demographic structure of IOJ&K. India must be held accountable for its unspeakable crimes against the Kashmiri people.
The Government and people of Pakistan will continue to stand by Kashmiris till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination as enshrined in the relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions.