FEBRUARY 5 – KASHMIR SOLIDARITY DAY
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“Freedom, in any case, is only possible by continuously struggling for it” – Albert Einsteini
Anatomy of Issue
The Kashmir Solidarity Day is observed on 5th February every year by all Pakistanis. The purpose of this day is to show support to the Kashmiri brethren in their freedom struggle and apprise the world that Pakistan, and its people, has not forgotten the long-pending issue. As a national holiday, the occasion is marked by public processions and special prayers in mosques for the liberation of the occupied valley from brutal Indian clutches. Pakistan has been standing with the people of Kashmir in every thick and thin since last 75 years and will continue to provide Kashmiris unwavering support in their rightful right to self-determination, as promised by various UNSC resolutions.
• A non-working day to highlight the issue of Kashmir was first suggested by Qazi Hussain Ahmad of the Jamaat-e-Islami party in 1990. The idea was supported by Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister at the time, and the Prime Minister at the time, Benazir Bhutto. The Pakistan
People’s Party then declared February 5th as a public holiday.ii
Special transmissions are broadcasted on media in order to highlight Kashmir cause.
• Pakistan’s missions abroad also commemorate special events to inform international community regarding persecution faced by Kashmiris under the illegal Indian occupation.
• A one-minute silence is observed at 10:00 AM local time in honour of the dead. Radio Pakistan broadcast a special marathon transmission focusing on different aspects of Kashmir dispute.
Kashmir is Pakistan’s Jugular Vein
• Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah said, “Kashmir is the Jugular vein of Pakistan and no nation or country would tolerate its jugular vein remains under the sword of the enemy.”iii
• The Partition Boundary Commission, led by Sir Cyril Radcliffe, deliberately awarded two
Muslim majority tehsils in Gurdaspur district Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Kashmir (1944) to India. It provided India overland access to
• As revealed through the available archives, Quaid-i-Azam, visited Kashmir at least four times.
• From the aspects of geo-strategy and geo-economics, the State of Jammu and Kashmir and Pakistan are interlinked. Pakistan is such a state whose principal economy is agrarian based, needing constant supply of water, which comes from Jammu and Kashmir. For centuries, water flows down to irrigate the agricultural lands of Punjab, Sindh and other parts of the Indus Valley and the agricultural products from the areas, is consumed by Kashmiris, besides, the locals; thus establishing the relationship of interdependence.
Indeed, there existed a historical mutuality between the Kashmir and the areas forming part of Pakistan. This relationship of interdependence in pre-partition of the sub-continent and even precanal system, hence everlasting in nature. It was indeed, in the same context that seven decades earlier, the father of the nation, Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah through his visionary statement declared Kashmir as the “jugular vein of Pakistan.”
Kashmir is an Unfinished Agenda of Partition Plan
• It was stipulated in the 3rd June Plan that the princely state must consider ethno-religious orientation of population and geographical contiguity while deciding its fate.
• Being a Muslim-majority state, Kashmir was expected to join Pakistan. Kashmiri population and its genuine leadership i.e. Sardar Ibrahim Khan wanted to accede to Pakistan; however, Hindu
Maharaja signed a controversial instrument of accession with India on 24 October 1947 in an utter defiance of people’s aspirations.
• Kashmiri struggle was essentially based on two-nation theory.
• It paved way for Indian illegal occupation of the valley in late 1947 which led to Indo-Pakistan war in 1948.
• India went to the United Nations to seek mediation. The UNSC ruled, thought Resolution 47 passed on 21st April 1948, that people of Kashmir would express their will through a free and impartial plebiscite to decide about their future.
• Even after 75 years, India has not fulfilled its international obligations and remained reluctant to conduct plebiscite in Jammu and Kashmir.
• Jammu & Kashmir is an unfinished agenda of the completion of Pakistan and it will remain so until the outstanding dispute is resolved in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions and aspirations of Kashmiri people.
People of Pakistan Stands with People of Kashmir
• People of Pakistan and Kashmir have always been religiously, geographically, culturally, and economically connected. Their hearts beat for each other. This historic linkage, based to shared values, can never be disconnected no matter how hard India try.
Gowhar Gilani, a Kashmiri journalist, some time back quoted Srinagar-based international law expert Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain as saying that Kashmir Day has been observed historically right from 1932, after being first proposed by the then Kashmir Committee. “In the 1930s, the day was observed to express camaraderie with the Kashmiris’ struggle against the autocratic Dogra ruler Maharaja
Hari Singh. In present day context, Kashmir Day is being celebrated to show solidarity with the struggle of Kashmiris against India,” Sheikh Showkat said. “Basically, it [Kashmir Day] started from undivided Punjab and it has been celebrated ever since, with pauses in between. This day will continue to hold importance until the Kashmiris achieve their objective of right to selfdetermination.”v
• India calls Kashmir dispute a territorial issue. While for Pakistan, it’s a humanitarian issue where the population of 1.3 million is being denied the right to self-determination.
• As long as Kashmiris don't get freedom, people of Pakistan will stand with them.
Pakistan Will Continue to Strive for Kashmir Cause on International Stage
• Kashmiris are suffering under the illegal Indian rule. Kashmiris are looking towards Pakistan for every kind of support to help them out of this misery. Therefore, Pakistan will continue to fight their case on every international platform.
• In the United States, the New York State Assembly passed a resolution on 5 February 2021 calling on the Governor of New York to recognize the day as Kashmir American Day. According to the resolution, the day is meant to recognize New York's Kashmiri community and to "champion human rights including the freedom of religion, movement, and expression for all Kashmiri people, which are embedded within the United States Constitution, through the recognition of diverse cultural, ethnic, and religious identities.vi
• Pakistan would not let the world forget about plight of suppressed Kashmiris.
Abrogation of Article 370 and 35(A) is a Demographic Apartheid
• On 05 August 2019, the Indian government unilaterally revoked Article 370 and 35A from the
Indian constitution that gave Kashmir special status since it’s an internationally recognized disputed territory. The move led to protests in IIOJ&K; as a result, the Indian government used repressive tactics to quash demonstration.
Article 35(A) had barred outsiders, including Indian nationals from other states, from settling and claiming government jobs to maintain the demographic balance in the region, which has seen decades of armed rebellion against the Indian rule.
• India revoked the semi-autonomous status of the region, it also scrapped the local special citizenship law, guaranteed under Article 35(A) of the Indian constitution.
• Now any person who has lived in the region for 15 years, or has studied in the region for seven years and passed his class 10 or class 12 examination is eligible for domicile certificate.
• The move has drawn parallel with the occupied West Bank.
• The decision to provide non-Kashmiri residents with a domicile certificate is an effort to bring demographic change – converting Kashmir from Muslim majority state to Muslim minority state – making it another Palestine.
• According to a census conducted by India in 2011, out of 12.5 million total population, Muslims comprise 68.31 percent and Hindus 28.43 percent in Kashmir.vii
The World Must Take Notice of Indian Human Rights Abuses in Kashmir
• Human rights abuses in Illegally Indian-Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJ&K) range from mass killings, enforced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual abuse to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech.
• Currently India maintains almost 1 million troops in Kashmir, making it the most militarized zone in the world, which have been involved in crimes against humanity.ix
• Indian Security Forces operate with pretty much impunity in IIOJ&K. The draconian security laws, e.g. Jammu and Kashmir Public Safety Act
1978, The Armed Forces Special Powers Act 1990, Prevention of Terrorism Act 2002, give
extraordinary powers to Indian security personnel to shoot and kill unarmed civilians. These infamous laws encourage the use of lethal forces in IIOJ&K against innocent people.x
The United Nations Must Fulfill its Promises
• The UN was created in the wake of WWII to help maintain peace among nations through pacific settlement of disputes.
• The United Nations has failed to implement its resolutions on Kashmir which has the potential to disrupt global peace; it’s a nuclear flashpoint.
• Even after 76 years of its creation, the UN could not protect the basic human rights of
oppressed Kashmiris, hold India accountable, and deliver the promise of plebiscite to Kashmiri people.
• The US and its allies have failed to press India to resolve Kashmir dispute because of strategic convergence of Indo-Western interests. The US deems India as a crucial player in its Chinacontainment strategy. Hence, India acts with impunity in IIOJ&K and the region.
• The UN must not become a tool in the hands of great powers; instead, it must go back to its primary responsibility as mentioned in the UN charter.
• The process of de-colonization will be incomplete until the people of Jammu and Kashmir are enabled to exercise their right to self-determination through an UN-supervised plebiscite as called for in several resolutions of the Security Council.