LAHORE   -   The nation will observe Defence Day as Kashmir Solidarity Day on Friday (today) as part of the ongoing campaign for backing the people of Kashmir in their fight for right to self-determination. Last month, the nation also celebrated its 73rd Independence Day as Kashmir Solidarity Day.

The day will dawn with special prayers, followed by 21-gun salute, seminars, walks and other activities to shed light on brave soldiers. At the art galleries, exhibitions will also be held to portray the history of gallant of soldiers. The newspapers will publish special editions while TV channels will air special programmes.

The main events will be flag-lowering ceremony at Wahga border in afternoon and the other at Fortress Stadium in the morning. Huge number of people will reach these sites.

At Fortress Stadium, exhibition of the military hardware will be held apart from the demonstration of free fall jump by the army commandos, air show and combined action by the infantry and artillery. The army bands will also enthral the audience.

In addition to Defence Day ceremonies, events will be arranged to express solidarity with victims of Indian brutalities.  “Office throughout Pakistan will be closed at 15:00 (3pm) to commemorate the Defence Day of Pakistan, observe solidarity with the people of Kashmir and visit families of martyrs and monuments,” read a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior.

Solidarity drive

The Lahore Transport Company will run special buses from Railway Station to Valentia Town and Jallo Moor to Jinnah Terminal (Thokar Niaz Baig) to mark the Defence Day .  In a message, LTC Chief Executive Officer Mariam Khawar paid tribute to soldiers, saying: “We pay homage to our heroes of our armed forces. “The nation stands by Kashmiries in their just struggle for right to self-determination, in Indian occupied Kashmir as across the world on various platforms people are expressing their feelings and registering their protest against worst violations of human rights in Indian held territory of Kashmir,” she said.

Wake-up call

Jamaat-e-Islami chief Sirajul Haq has lamented on the silence of world community on brutalities in Indian occupied Kashmir. Addressing a meeting of JI central leadership at Mansoora on Thursday, he said the UN and international community had become a silent spectator on worst human rights violation in Kashmir.  Referring to the UN resolutions on Kashmir, Siraj said the international body was completely losing its already exposed credibility due to its weak position on Kashmir. What was the use of the UN if it was incapable to implement its own decisions, he questioned. He warned the world that the fascist regime could throw the entire region into war. The cost of that war could be millions of lives, he said, reminding the world its responsibility to force India to provide right of self determination to Kashmiris. He, however, reminded New Delhi that it could not keep Kashmiri as slave through the use of brutal force. Three generations of the Kashmiris rendered countless sacrifices in their quest to get freedom from Indian yoke and they are still standing like a rock despite worst circumstances, he said. He said the people of Kashmir spent a month in strict curfew and communication blockade. A severe food and medicine shortage was impending over the entire region due to this blockade which could cost thousands of lives, he said. He said the Pakistani government and world organizations should take practical steps to provide relief to the besieged people.

Darussalam statement

on Kashmir

Darussalam Managing Director Akasha Mujahid in a statement issued on Thursday said that founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah declared Kashmir jugular vein of Pakistan. He said government should utilize its all resources and efforts to help the Kashmiris brothers and sisters in Indian Occupied Valley.