Latest World News Kashmir: The international community was urged to help resolve the longstanding Jammu and Kashmir dispute to ensure a durable peace in South Asia, as the Kashmir Solidarity Day was observed across the country and Azad Kashmir on Saturday.
One of the highlights of the day was the formation of a “human chain” by the people of Pakistan and Azad Kashmir at Kohala Bridge to show solidarity with their brethren in the Indian-held Kashmir.
Seminars and exhibitions were organised by the government, political parties and private organisations to mark the day. Speakers pointed out that Kashmir was a dangerous flashpoint having the potential to trigger a nuclear war between Pakistan and India.
The mega event in Islamabad was a convention held at the Aiwan-i-Sadr. Speaking on the occasion, President Asif Ali Zardari reiterated Pakistan`s stand on the issue, saying the country would continue to extend political, moral and diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people.
Terming the ongoing peaceful campaign against Indian rule in Kashmir a new chapter in the struggle of Kashmiris, he said it was “spontaneous, indigenous and non-violent”.
The president said the international community had yet to restore to the Kashmiris their rights recognised through the UN resolutions. He said that Kashmiris had struggled for six decades to achieve their right of self-determination and rendered countless sacrifices.
“Force and oppression has been used against Kashmiris, but their voice could not be silenced.”
Lauding the courage, resolve and determination of the Kashmiris, the president paid tribute to the heroic struggle and assured them that Pakistan would remain firmly committed to its principled stance based on UN Security Council resolutions.
Reiterating Pakistan`s desire for peace with all its neighbours, Mr Zardari said that Kashmir held the key to peace and progress in South Asia. “The resolution of the issue of Kashmir will pave the way to normalisation of relations between Pakistan and India.”
Another key event was a national Kashmir solidarity rally arranged by the parliamentary committee on Kashmir. Leaders of political parties in Pakistan and Azad Kashmir participated in the rally attended by thousands of people chanting slogans in favour of the struggling Kashmiris and against worst human right abuses in held Kashmir.
The committee chairman Maulana Fazlur Rehman said that peace in South Asia was linked with settlement of the Kashmir dispute. “The way to peace in the entire region passes through Kashmir.”
He criticised India for its bid to secure a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) and said how could a country refusing to implement the council`s resolutions dream of becoming its permanent member.
He said that India was illegally occupying bulk of Kashmir and ultimately its forces would have to leave. “India should realise that it cannot suppress a just freedom struggle through brutal use of force forever.”
Kashmir Affairs Minister Manzoor Wattoo said the government was committed to the Kashmir cause, adding that the Quaid-i-Azam had rightly termed Kashmir as the jugular vein of Pakistan. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani was scheduled to address a joint sitting of the AJK Legislative Assembly and AJK Council, but could not travel to Muzaffarabad because of bad weather. However, he sent a message which was read out at the session.
In his message the prime minister urged India to enter into a meaningful and result-oriented dialogue with Pakistan on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir.
He said that India`s refusal to implement the Security Council resolutions had blocked the way of a durable peace in the region.
He said the struggle in Indian occupied Kashmir was the result of human rights abuses perpetrated by Indian forces.