Islamabad: Prime Minister Imran Khan, while addressing a rally in Islamabad arranged to observe 'Kashmir Hour' to express solidarity with the people of Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) said; today, all of Pakistan, all of us are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Kashmiris.
People came out on roads in large numbers on Friday noon as the country observed Kashmir Solidarity Hour upon the call of Prime Minister Imran Khan. Education institutions, government and private offices, banks, traders, lawyers and military authorities took part in the events.
Sirens blared across the country and all traffic signals across the country turned red as the clock struck noon. The national anthems of Pakistan and Kashmir were also played.
The main event was held outside the Prime Minister Office where a large gathering was addressed by the Prime Minister Imran Khan. The rally was also attended by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan and Prime Minister's Special Assistant Naeem ul Haque.
Today all of Pakistan, wherever there are Pakistanis, whether they are our school students, or shopkeepers or laborers, are standing with our Kashmiri people, the prime minister said. Our Kashmiris are going through a very tough time, he added.
Prime Minister Imran said that the hardline nationalist ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) had taken over India, the way the Nazi party had taken over Germany in the past. They think that Muslims are not equal citizens and should be taught a lesson, he said. Today, the whole world is seeing what is happening in Kashmir, the prime minister added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said he has conveyed to all foreign leaders that if the international community does not stand up to Narendra Modi's fascist government, the entire world would face the consequences. He reiterated that if India attempted any military action in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJ&K), every brick will be countered with a stone.
He called attention to the fact that Kashmiris in IoK were under curfew for nearly four weeks. The message from Pakistan that will be sent today is that till our Kashmiris don't get independence, the people of Pakistan will stand with them.
Another event was held at the Aiwan-e-Sadr where President Arif Alvi addressed the crowd. I pray to God that in your and my lifetime, we see an independent Kashmir in which their rights are not repressed, their women are not raped and their people are not martyred.
In Lahore, a major rally was carried out in front of Punjab Assembly which had Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Governor Chaudhry Sarwar and Finance Minister Hashim Jawan Bakht, among others, in attendance. Small and large rallies were also held across the country by citizens, lawyers, and people from other walks of life.
As Kashmiri people continue to reel under Indian oppression, which has increased manifold in the aftermath of the abrogation of Article 370 with weeks long curfew in place, Pakistan is expressing solidarity with the oppressed people of the occupied Kashmir by coming out on the streets upon the call of Prime Minister Imran Khan to observe the 'Kashmir Hour'.
The call for the observance of 'Kashmir Hour' came as Pakistan ramps up the pressure at the diplomatic front over the Kashmir issue, conveying its reservations to the global community about human rights violations being committed by India in the occupied Kashmir.
It will be a strong message of solidarity to Kashmiris, reiterated Prime Minister Imran days after the idea was approved by the National Security Committee in a meeting and was shared by the prime minister in his address to the nation. The plan to change the demography of Kashmir is a war crime under 4th Geneva Convention, he said.
The call has also been endorsed by the Pakistan Army. According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Kashmir day ceremonies will be attended by civil and military officials across the country. In a press conference on Wednesday, chief military spokesperson urged the nation, especially youth, to participate in the rallies.
On August 5, the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped Kashmiris of the constitutional rights they had for seven decades through a rushed presidential order. An indefinite curfew was imposed in occupied Kashmir and elected leaders were put under house arrest.
At least 500 incidents of protest have broken out in Indian-administered Kashmir since New Delhi stripped the region of its autonomy and imposed a military clampdown more than three weeks ago. The Kashmir valley is under a strict lockdown, imposed hours before India's decision to bring Kashmir under its direct rule.
Movements are restricted in the region and phone and internet services have been cut. Police have been using pellet guns and tear gas to disperse crowds of protesters in the main city of Srinagar. Forget the media, they did not let even Indian opposition leaders go to Srinagar.