The government and the people of Pakistan and Kashmiri people observed the 76th anniversary of the Indian troops landing in Jammu and Kashmir as a Black Day.

The president, the prime minister and the foreign minister, in their special messages on the occasion, reiterated Pakistan’s unflinching moral, diplomatic and political support for the Kashmir Cause. They also underscored the need to reverse India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019, which have triggered a process to change the demographic structure and political landscape of the Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK). The foreign minister addressed letters to the President UN General Assembly, the president UN Security Council, the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the OIC Secretary General to apprise them of the latest situation in IIOJK. In the letters, the foreign minister called for the implementation of the relevant UN Security Council resolutions to enable the people of Jammu and Kashmir to determine their own future. He requested the international community to urge India to immediately release the political prisoners and dissenters, including Yasin Malik, for whom the Indian authorities had sought a death penalty.

The foreign secretary briefed the Islamabad-based diplomatic missions on the situation in IIOJK. He also highlighted the legal, security and human rights dimensions of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.

A protest walk was also held from the Foreign Office to D-Chowk on the Constitution Avenue in Islamabad. It was led by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi, and participated by the officers and staff members of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A range of activities, including public rallies, seminars, webinars, panel discussions and photo exhibitions, were organized throughout the country to mark the Black Day. With the active participation of the Pakistani and Kashmiri diaspora, Pakistan’s diplomatic missions around the world also arranged special events to raise global awareness about India’s decades-long occupation of Jammu and Kashmir. In a related development, the Senate unanimously adopted a condemnation against India’s brutal state terrorism and killing of innocent Kashmiris and the ‘blatant violation of international laws’ in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).

The House also rejected outright the conduct of farcical elections in the occupied territory, being a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions and urged the world community to expeditiously form a commission of inquiry to probe the gross human rights violations there. The resolution marks the 76th anniversary of the Indian invasion and occupation of Jammu and Kashmir on October 27, 1947. The day was observed as Black Day across Pakistan, AJK and IIOJK.

The resolution says, “This House strongly condemns the killing of thousands of innocent Kashmiris (who are martyred) in Indian Occupied Kashmir by Indian forces”. The House urged the international community for the expedited formation of the Commission of Inquiry to investigate the ‘gross human rights violations’ in IIOJK, as the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights also recommended it. The resolution, moved by PML-Q Senator Kamil Ali Agha, rejected the conduct of ‘fake elections’ in IIOJK by the Indian government, adding that these actions violated UN Security Council resolutions which stipulate that the final disposition of the Kashmir dispute would be made in accordance with the will of the locals through a free and impartial plebiscite to be conducted under the auspices of the UN. “This House re-affirms its solidarity and commitment to the people of Indian Occupied Kashmir in their just struggle for their rights to self-determination and reiterates its continuing political, moral and diplomatic support,” the resolution read.

After the adoption of the resolution, Chairman Senate Muhammad Sadiq Sanjrani directed sending the resolution to all the parliaments across the world as well as to the UN secretary-general. The Senate, met after August 9 for the first time, following the submission of a requisition application.

It also passed two more resolutions expressing profound grief and sorrow over the deaths of sitting PML-N Senators Rana Maqbool and S M Zafar. The resolutions moved by Leader of House Ishaq Dar and Kamil Ali Agha paid glowing tributes to their services and contributions and said that their services would be remembered for a long time. The House also extended condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the departed souls while recalling their contribution towards the Constitution, the rule of law and fundamental rights.

“SM Zafar must have been in great pain during his last days of life on seeing the trampling of the Constitution and erosion of the rule of law while the Election Commission is unable to give a date for elections within 90 days,” regretted ex-chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani. He demanded that the electoral body announce the election date immediately to end the uncertainty. He wished the caretaker government should have convened a regular session of the Senate.

While speaking highly for the two late legislators, JI’s Mushtaq Ahmad lamented that Kashmiris were a victim of the Indian state terrorism but insisted they and Palestinians would be victorious one day in their just struggles. Senator Irfan Siddiqui of PML-N said the late SM Zafar was not only the witness of 70 years of history but remained involved in the constitution-making process in the ‘50s. He said the sentiments of senators be conveyed to the caretaker prime minister to be present in the House on Monday when solidarity with the people of Palestine is expressed.

PPP’s Nisar Khuhro also showered tributes on both but regretted that some bitter memories of the time when Rana Maqbool was posted as IGP Sindh, could not be erased and that there were questions marks about SM Zafar who remained part of the undemocratic era. He also demanded the Election Commission to announce the date of elections, which were to be held within 90 days.

Leader of House Ishaq Dar said that Rana Maqbool was a principled and capable person and that his valuable contributions would be remembered for a long time to come. He also noted that SM Zafar was recognized as the top lawyer and a great politician and rendered his services as a senator as well. Some caretaker ministers, including Murtaza Solangi and Sarfraz Bugti, attended the proceedings and their presence was acknowledged by some lawmakers. The Senate was later adjourned for Monday.

In her video message on Black Day, Special Assistant to Prime Minister for Human Rights and Women Empowerment Mushaal Hussein Mullick called upon the global community to give up its silence on Indian state terrorism and brutalities unleashed on people of the besieged Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and take practical steps to ensure resolution of the lingering Kashmir dispute in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

Mushaal said that on October 27, 1947, Indian troops had invaded Jammu and Kashmir and occupied it in total violation of the partition plan of the subcontinent and against the aspirations of the Kashmiris’. Since then, she added that Indian brutal forces were engaged in the genocide and massacre of the Kashmiris. This day, she added the Kashmiris on both sides of the Line Of Control and across the world marked October 27 as Black Day to convey a strong message to the world that Kashmiris rejected illegal occupation of their motherland by the terrorist Indian state and would not rest till they achieved their cherished goal of freedom from it, Mushaal added.

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