Thousands in Pakistan mark Kashmir Solidarity Day

Until and unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved, there will be no peace in the region, says Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif

Thousands in Pakistan mark Kashmir Solidarity Day

World Bulletin / News Desk

Human chains, rallies, and massive protests marked Kashmir Day across Pakistan Sunday to express solidarity with the ongoing freedom struggle in Indian-held Jammu and Kashmir.

The day, which was also marked in the U.S., Britain, Belgium, and other European countries, has been officially observed every Feb. 5 by Pakistan and Azad (liberated) Kashmir since 1990.

The day began with a moment of silence, bringing traffic across the country to a halt for a minute as a mark of solidarity with the Kashmiris in the occupied valley.

A human chain was formed by thousands of people across roads at several points connecting Pakistan with Azad Kashmir. The song You Can Blind Our Eyes But Cannot Steal Our Dreams -- released by the Pakistan army to denounce Indian forces’ brutal use of force against protesters in the valley -- has gone viral on social media.

In recent months hundreds of Kashmiris have lost their eyesight after being shot by Indian forces through pellet guns.

Crowds chanting slogans such as "We want freedom," "India out of Kashmir," and "We won't rest till we get freedom" took part in demonstrations and rallies in both Pakistan and Azad Kashmir, organized by various political and religious groups.

Jamat-e-Islami, one of Pakistan’s largest Islamic parties, considered to have spearheaded Kashmir Solidarity Day, also held scores of rallies and demonstrations across Pakistan and Azad Kashmir.

In a message marking the occasion, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said, "Kashmir is unfinished business from the division of the sub-continent" -- a reference to end of British colonial rule in 1947, which led to the creation of Pakistan and India as two independent countries.

"Until and unless the Kashmir dispute is resolved, there will be no peace in the region," Sharif said, vowing that Islamabad will continue to lend political, diplomatic, and moral support to the Kashmiris’ just cause.

Last Mod: 05 Şubat 2017, 15:14
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