KARACHI - Different political parties on Wednesday took out rallies, held programme to celebrate Pakistan’s 73rd Independence Day which was also observed as a day to express solidarity with the people of occupied Kashmir.

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Wednesday led a multi-party rally in the city to express solidarity with the Kashmiris.

Pakistan decided to observe its Independence Day as an event to mark solidarity with Kashmiris after the India scrapped special powers of the region under its occupation.

The PPP rally led by the chief minister was attended by leaders and activists from Awami National Party (ANP), Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Jamaat-i-Islami (JI), Pak Sarzameen Party and others.

It began from People’s Secretariat near Mazar-e-Quaid upto Empress Market. The participants of the rally were carrying flags of Pakistan and Kashmir and raising slogans against Indian atrocities in the valley. 

The main banner of the rally was inscribed with slogan ‘Kashmir ki Azadi Tak Jang Rahegi’ and ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’.

Speaking at the rally, the chief minister said that Indian atrocities in Kashmir could trigger unstoppable chain of events and demanded the United Nations to play its role to halt killings of innocent Kashmiris. “We have to forge and demonstrate national unity to expose the India aggression to the International community,” he said and added the Indian government banned media coverage in held Kashmir but even then we have to raise our voice to expose them.

He said that a joint rally was aimed at giving a unanimous message to India that all of them were united on Kashmir cause and Indian atrocities.

“This rally was taken out on Bilawal Bhutto’s suggestion and proved successful in giving a joint response,” he said.

ANP’s Shahi Syed said that Kshmir is a longs-standing issue and only Kashmiris have the right to decide their fate not the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He demanded to resolve the issue as per the resolutions of the United Nations.

The hearts of 220 million Pakistanis beat with the hearts of Kashmiri brethren and every Pakistani would fight for Kashmir, as it is our jugular vein, said Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf (PTI) Sindh chapter president Haleem Adil Sheikh, while addressing an Independence Day rally here.

According to details, the PTI staged Jashan-e-Pakistan and Kashmir solidarity rally in the megacity that marched from the Insaf House to the Mazar-e-Quaid. It was led by Haleem Adil Sheikh, MNA Faheem Khan, MPAs Khuram Sher Zaman, Raja Azhar Khan, Kareem Bux Gabol, Bilal Ghafar, Sanji Gangwani, Adnan Ismail, Haneed Lakhani, Adil Insari, Muhammad Ali Shewani, Subhan Ali Sahil and other leaders. A large number of citizens and PTI workers participated in the rally.

Addressing the rally, Haleem Adil Sheikh said the Kashmiris are a great nation and there is no other example of such brave struggle in the history for freedom than the struggle of Kashmiris. He said 22 Crore Pakistanis stand shoulder by shoulder with their Kashmiri brethren. He said Pakistanis are ready for every sacrifice for the freedom of Kashmir.

Haleem said India has been deceiving the Kashmiris, as well as, the international community for decades. He said Kashmir is our jugular vein and we will fight for it. He said Modi is a Hitler of this era. He said for many days there has been a curfew in the occupied Kashmir and the Kashmiri civilians are living in inhuman conditions. He said time has again proved that the two-nation theory of Quaid-e-Azam was correct.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan is taking efforts for resolving the Kashmir issue. He said Prime Minister Imran Khan has already told Modi that we would go for any extreme on Kashmir issue. He said whole nation supports Prime Minister Imran Khan and the Pak Army.

Likewise, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistanv also carried out a rally from mausoleum of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to Empress Market in Saddar. Adressing a rally, the party Convener and Federal Minister for Information Technology and Communication Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui said that India cannot suppress the struggle of Kashmiris through force. He asked the international community to play its role and force India to implement the United Nations resolution on Kashmir. “The people of Kashmir should have the right to self determination as per resolution of United Nations,” he added.

He asked the Indian authorities to stop targetting innocent Kashmiris from pellet guns. The MQM-P chief was of the view that India and Pakistan both are nuclear powers and cannot afford to indulge in war as it would affect the entire world. The party also arranged programme at other parts of the province including Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad, Sukkur, Nawabshah and Sanghar.

Separately, the Jamaat-e-Islami Karachi organized flag hoisting ceremony at its headquarter Idarae Noor-e-Huq. Adressing on the occasions, the JI city chief Hafiz Naeem-ur-Rehman said that the time has come to send Pak Army to Indian held Kashmir as the violation of human rights were on the rise there. “Today we all should commit that Kashmir get freedom from India,” he added.

Separately, Sindh Government Spokesman and Adviser to Sindh Chief Minister on Law, Environment and Coastal Development Barrister Murtaza Wahab in a statement said that Independent Pakistan was one of the greatest blessings of Allah Almighty to us.

Wahab while eulogizing the sacrifices of all the heroes of the Independence movement said that it was the shrewd leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the sacrifices of our brave heroes that made Pakistan a reality.

Today we salute to the founder of the Nation and all the martyrs of the Independence movement, he added. The Adviser said that it was the day to pledge that we would do whatever we could to turn our country from developing to a developed country in accordance with the principles of the Founder of the Nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and the dream of Dr. Allama Muhammad Iqbal. While expressing his opinion on the current situation of occupied Kashmir, he said that whole sub-continent was facing vulnerability owing to the haughty attitude of India. Barrister Murtaza Wahab said that the international community should play it active role in helping the people of Kashmir to get rid of the Indian hostilities without any further delay.

PTCL celebrates I-day

Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) celebrated Pakistan’s Independence Day on Wednesday across Pakistan, with various activities and ceremonies, where PTCL employees exhibited their love and solidarity for Pakistan.

To celebrate the Independence Day, a special flag hoisting ceremony took place at 8:55 am which was followed by prayers for the prosperity of the country.