Kashmir Day is being observed today to express solidarity and support of the Pakistani nation to the struggle of Kashmiri people, for their inalienable right of self-determination under UN resolutions.
Officially, Pakistan began observing February 5 as Kashmir Day to “reiterate solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir,” in 2004.
On January 31, 2004, speaking at a news conference, the-then Federal Minister of Kashmir and Northern Area Affairs had said that the people and Government of Pakistan would demonstrate on the day their solidarity with the aspirations of the people of Kashmir. He said that observance of the day was meant to convey a message to the world that Pakistan would not step back an inch from its stated position on the issue.
The-then Pakistani Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali, visited Muzaffarabad on February 5 and addressed a joint session of the Legislative Assembly and Council.
Gowhar Geelani, a Kashmiri journalist, some time back quoted Srinagar-based international law expert Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain as saying that Kashmir Day has been observed historically right from 1932, after being first proposed by the then Kashmir Committee.
“In the 1930s, the day was observed to express camaraderie with the Kashmiris’ struggle against the autocratic Dogra ruler Maharaja Hari Singh. In present day context, Kashmir Day is being celebrated to show solidarity with the struggle of Kashmiris against India,” Sheikh Showkat said. “Basically, it [Kashmir Day] started from undivided Punjab and it has been celebrated ever since, with pauses in between. This day will continue to hold importance until the Kashmiris achieve their objective of right to self-determination.”
President Mamnoon Hussain will address the main ceremony of the Kashmir Solidarity Day in Islamabad today. Besides the leadership of Hurriyat Conference, prominent political and social figures, as well as the intellectuals will address the ceremony that is going to be covered live by national media.
Different documentaries encompassing the decades-old Kashmir struggle will also be shown.