ISLAMABAD - Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and across the world on Sunday observed the Right to Self-Determination Day with the pledge to continue their liberation struggle till its logical conclusion.

It was on January 5, 1949 when the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution supporting the Kashmiris’ right to decide their future by themselves through UN-sponsored plebiscite, Kashmir Media Service reported.

This year, the day was observed when Occupied Kashmir is under continued military siege on the 154th consecutive day.

The special meetings highlighted the importance of early grant of the right of self determination to Jammu Kashmir people – which was being suppressed and denied by India since over last 71 years at the might of her occupational military forces. Thousands of people thronged the city streets in AJK’s metropolis in morning and staged a mammoth rally under the leadership of the Prime Minister of AJK government Raja Farooq Haider Khan.

Rallies, seminar, conferences held across Pakistan

A demonstration of symbolic plebiscite/ referendum was held on this occasion to raise the significance of early holding of the plebiscite under the above January 05, 1949 resolutions to provide much-awaited opportunity to Kashmiris to decide about their destiny.  AJK Prime Minister participated in this symbolic balloting by casting the vote to reiterate the much-cherished demand of early holding of the plebiscite in entire internationally –acknowledged disputed Jammu & Kashmir state. Similar special rallies were also held in different other parts of AJK including in Bhimbher district of Mirpur division to mark the right of self-determination day. Addressing the rallies, speakers warned that the people of Pakistan and Azad Jammu & Kashmir will respond to every aggressive posture and misadventure on the part of India if launched against Pakistan or AJK in the same coin.

The meetings strongly condemned repeated violation of the Line of Control by India through the frequent incidents of the unprovoked firing by the Indian troops on the LoC in AJK facing occupied Jammu & Kashmir state. They called upon the UNO and other international community to take immediate notice of the increased aggressive designs of India in the region – which they warned, may turn into a conventional war in the region. Like other parts of the country, the right to self-determination day was also observed in Hyderabad to express solidarity with the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir and their struggle for freedom of Jammu and Kashmir.

In this connection, a rally led by Commissioner Hyderabad Mohammed Abbas Baloch was taken out from commissioner office at Shahbaz Building to General Post office Thandi Sarak. President Dr Arif Alvi while calling the United Nations of honoring its commitments made 71 years ago, said the Right to Self-Determination Day was a reminder to global community that they could not shy away from their responsibility towards the Kashmiri people.

In his message to the nation on Right to Self-Determination Day, the president said the right to self-determination was a vital component of the human dignity.

“Negation of this right is the negation of human freedom, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Human Rights Covenants,” he remarked. In the post-colonial era, he said, the realisation of this inalienable right paved the way for successful culmination of freedom struggles in different parts of the world, including in South Asia.

Prime Minister Imran Khan said that being a party to the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, Pakistan stood ready to play its role to ensure a free and impartial plebiscite in accordance with the UNSC resolutions.

In his message, the prime minister said, “Our strong and steadfast moral, political and diplomatic support for the Kashmiri people will continue till the realization of their inalienable right to self-determination.” Special Assistant to the Prime Minster on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, in a series of tweets through her official account, said the people of IHK were being subjugated, tortured and humiliated for demanding their democratic, legitimate and basic right.

Speaker KP Assembly Mushtaq Ghani said that the international community should know the sensitivity of Kashmir issue and it was need of the hour that Kashmiri people were given their rights as promised in the light of UN resolutions.

President, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Sardar Masood Khan stressed that the power of pen, computer, and camera should be used to highlight voice of Kashmiri people across the globe and to eliminate social evils in the society.

Mishal Malik, the wife of Hurriyat leader Yasin Malik hoped that 2020 would be a year of Kashmiris’ freedom as the government of Pakistan was pleading their case at international level in effective manners.