Kashmiris observe Indian Republic Day as Black Day

Pakistan urges UNSC to hold accountable Indian officials responsible for crimes against civilians in Occupied Kashmir

By: News Desk
Published: 11:48 AM, 26 Jan, 2022
Kashmiris observe Indian Republic Day as Black Day
Caption: Representational image.
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Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world observed the Indian Republic Day, the 26th January, as Black Day, on Wednesday to remind the world that India’s continued denial of right to self-determination to the Kashmiri people is contrary to its claim of being a democratic republic, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The call for the observance of the Black Day was given by the illegally detained All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Masarrat Aalam Butt, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, Shabbir Ahmad Shah and Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front and supported by other Hurriyat leaders.

The day was marked by a civil curfew by the people in Indian illegally occupied Jammu while the occupation authorities have suspended internet services in all areas of the territory.

Kashmiris and their sympathizers held anti-India demonstrations and rallies in world capitals to draw the attention of the international community towards the Indian state terrorism in IIOJK.

Meanwhile, the occupation authorities have turned the entire Kashmir valley and parts of Jammu region into a military garrison by imposing curfew-like restrictions and deploying Indian troops and police personnel in strength in the name of so-called security measures.

Srinagar and Jammu cities were turned into fortresses. The Indian troops were deployed in large numbers around the main venues of the January 26 functions, especially a cricket Stadium at Sonawar in Srinagar and Maulana Azad Stadium in Jammu, the main venues of the Indian Republic Day official functions. The roads leading towards the stadiums were sealed with barbed wire and barricades. Sharp-shooters have been deployed on high-rise buildings while the forces’ personnel also used drones and CCTV surveillance to keep a watch on the movement of people.

Meanwhile, a top Pakistani diplomat Tuesday catalogued a series of crimes committed by India against civilians in occupied Kashmir and fervently urged the UN Security Council to take cognizance of the “compelling evidence” on those atrocities and to hold accountable those responsible for them. 

Speaking in the Security Council debate on “Protection of civilians in armed conflict” in New York, Ambassador Munir Akram also said that India was financing, sponsoring and supporting terrorist attacks against Pakistan, including from the territory of Afghanistan. “India is not a victim of terrorism; It is the mothership of terrorism in South Asia,” the Pakistani envoy told the 15-member Council.

Ambassador Akram’s pointed comments evoked a response from Indian representative R Madhusudan, who made oft-repeated allegations against Pakistan about harbouring and supporting terrorists and claiming that Jammu and Kashmir was an integral part of India.

The Pakistani envoy effectively countered the Indian accusations.

He said terrorism in South Asia originated in India, a country that has also sponsored such actions in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and in other neighbouring countries. As regards Jammu and Kashmir, it is a territory whose destiny the Security Council has stated should be decided by its people through a free and fair plebiscite conducted under United Nations auspices.

“It is not an integral part of India,” the Pakistani envoy asserted. “If you look at any United Nations map, it is stamped on that [as] disputed territory.”

Ambassador Akram also asked India’s representative whether his country subscribed to the United Nations Charter’s Article 25 which states that UN members agree to accept and carry out the Security Council decisions, and whether its leaders would denounce the call for genocide against Muslims, issued on December 17, 2021 in Haridwar, Uttarakhand Province.

There were no response to those particular points raised by the Pakistani envoy.

In his main speech, Ambassador Akram asked how civilians can be protected in situations where their suppression is “the very object of a military’s operations”, as is the case when foreign occupation forces forcibly deny the right of peoples to self-determination in perpetuating their illegal occupation.

He said such a situation is taking place in India-occupied Jammu and Kashmir, where, since January 1989, Indian forces have killed 96,000 Kashmiris, widowed 23,000 women, raped over 11,250 women and girls, and destroyed over 100,000 dwellings, including schools and houses.

The Pakistani envoy pointed out that, since 5 August 2019, 900,000 Indian troops have been stationed in the region to impose “what India’s leaders have themselves ominously called a “final solution for Jammu and Kashmir”, carrying out extrajudicial killings of innocent Kashmiri youth, and destroying Kashmiri neighbourhoods and villages.

Accusing India of being a terrorism sponsor, Ambassador Akram said with the active support of Indian intelligence agencies, TTP (Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan) and JUA (Jamaat-ul-Ahrar) were involved in over 1000 cross-border terrorist attacks against Pakistani military and civilian targets in 2020 alone.

India, he said, has funded and supported UN Security Council-listed terrorist entities to carry out cross-border terrorist attacks against Pakistani military and civilian targets, including on the Karachi Stock Exchange on 29 June 2020; in Lahore on 23 June 2021; and the killing of Chinese and Pakistani engineers in Dasu on 14 July 2021.

As for Genocide, he drew attention to the anti-Muslim pogrom in New Delhi in February 2020; the almost daily cow-lynching and targeted killing of Muslims; the 400 attacks against Christian churches in India last year and the open calls for genocide against the Muslims of India issued by extremist Hindutva two weeks ago.

Further, he called on the Council to take note of the words of the head of Genocide Watch, Gregory Stanton, who said last week that “genocide can happen in India”.

Opening the debate on how to protect civilians caught up in urban conflict, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that more than 50 million people are currently impacted by fighting inside towns and cities.

In fact, he added, when explosive weapons are used in populated areas, around 90 per cent of those killed and injured, play no part in instigating the violence.

“Civilians can suffer devastating harm both in the immediate aftermath, and in the long-term”, the UN chief said.

According to him, many victims face lifelong disabilities and grave psychological trauma. Water, electricity and sanitation infrastructure are often damaged, and healthcare services are severely disrupted.