HAFIZABAD/ SARGODHA/ NOORPUR THAL/ SIALKOT-The entire Punjab province observed India’s Independence Day as black day as anti-India rallies were taken out in different districts against oppression of Kashmiri Muslims on Thursday.

In Hafizabad, black day was observed in the district against the abrogation of Article 370 and 35-A, revoking special status of Jammu and Kashmir state. A big rally was taken out from District Complex which was led by DC Naveed Shehzad Mirza and DPO Sajid Kiani. A large number of traders, ulema, teachers, government servants, journalists, and students participated in the rally. They were holding black flags and wearing black armbands. They raised slogans against oppression of Kashmiri Muslims for demanding their right to self determination.

The activists paraded up to Jinnah Chowk, and one minute silence was observed to express solidarity with the Kashmiris. The speakers vehemently condemned Indian move to annex disputed territory of Indian Held Kashmir and demanded resolution of the dispute according to 70-year-old Security Council Resolutions.

Another big rally was organised by the PTI which was led by MNA Shaukat Ali Bhatti, MPA Mamoon Jaffar Tarar and other office-bearers of the PTI. The leader, along with hundreds of workers, wearing black armbands and holding black flags, proceeded to Lahore to participate in the Lahore rally. The MNA and the MPA strongly condemned the Prime Minister of India and warned him not to play with fire. They said that the day was not far when Kashmir would be liberated from Indian subjugation.

Meanwhile, students and teachers of local schools under the auspices of All Pakistan Private Schools Association also took out anti-India rally and expressed solidarity with Kashmiris.

In Sargodha, a huge rally to observe Indian Independence Day as black day was taken out from Regional Sui Northern Gas office. The rally was led by SNGPL Regional Manager Umer Hayat. Hundreds of people from all walks of life including SNGPL officials also participated in the rally which concluded at Sargodha Press Club after marching University Road, Khyam Chowk, and Khushab Road.

Meanwhile, Pir Mushtaq Shah Al-Azhari and other leaders of Ahle Sunnat parties also took out a rally to condemn India and express solidarity with Kashmiri Muslims. Speakers said that the sacrifices being rendered by Kashmiri Muslims would not go in vain. They said that Pakistan would respond to any misadventure by India, adding that the people of Pakistan stood by their armed forces against India. They stated that the citizens of Pakistan would not leave Kashmiris alone in their freedom struggle.

In Noorpur Thal, locals observed Indian Independence Day as black day to show solidarity with Kashmiris. A rally was organised by AC office which was led by Assistant Commissioner Ch Jafir Gujar, Deputy Superintendent of Police Mehr Javed Iqbal, Deputy District Education Officer Faiz Hassan Malik, and President Shopkeepers Welfare Association Sheikh Abdul Majeed.

Assistant Education Officer Asif Khan Niazi, Chief Officer Nasir Hussain Kanwal, Assistant Education Officer Malik Mehmood Olakh, Prof Sheikh Abdul Latif, Senior Headmaster Sultan Sikender Malik, Headmaster Malik Hameed Jasra, former Town Committee vice chairman Malik Manzoor Ahmed Baga, Allama Sherlock Sialvi and former nazim Malik Ghulam Jafir Baghoor also participated in the rally. On the occasion, the speakers reiterated the vow to support Kashmir cause, saying that Kashmir was not bilateral dispute. “It is rather an international issue which can be resolved only through peaceful and diplomatic means.”

In Sialkot, people observed August 15 as black day as they hoisted black flags to lodge their strong protest against growing Indian state terrorism in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. People also wore black arm bandages.

Local religious and political parties, social welfare organisations, and NGOs took out rallies in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial, Pasrur, Zafarwal and surrounding areas.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar and Provincial Minister for Special Education Punjab Ch Akhlaq jointly led a rally.

Addressing the participants of a rally, Jamaat-e-Islami district ameer Dr Shakil Thakur said that hearts of the Pakistani people beat in unison with the people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He said that Kashmiri people were not alone in their freedom struggle, adding that both Pakistan and Kashmir were important and vital for each other.

Meanwhile, Convener Jammu and Kashmir Freedom Movement Dr Zahid Ghani Dar said that the sacrifices of thousands of innocent Kashmiri martyrs would bear fruit soon.

Addressing an important meeting of Kashmiri people, he said that the people of Pakistan were united for the Kashmir cause, saying that India had unleashed worst brutalities against Kashmiris to maintain its illegal occupation of the valley. He said that the oppressed Kashmiris had rejected India’s illegal occupation of their motherland, adding that Kashmiri people had appealed to the UNO to implement its resolutions on Kashmir to mitigate their sufferings. He pointed out that peace could never be promoted in South Asia without resolving Kashmir issue, adding that the growing atrocities of Indian occupying forces would gave rise to violence in the entire region.

He revealed that the freedom was the basic right of the people of Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, and no one could deny this fact. He urged the world community to pressurise India to stop human rights violations, custodial killings, and genocide of the oppressed Kashmiri Muslims at the hands of Indian occupying forces.

SHEIKHUPURA: Black day was observed here against India for oppressing Kashmiri Muslims to prolong its occupation of Kashmir. Rallies and processions were taken out in the city. The participants chanted slogans against the killing of innocent Kashmiris and gross violation of human rights. The speakers, on the occasion, urged the UNO, OIC and Muslim world to intervene in the matter and stop Indian oppression of Kashmiri Muslims.

BAHAWALPUR. Black day was observed throughout the district. A ceremony was held at Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB). The IUB faculty, students, and citizens participated in the ceremony. They condemned brutal use of force on innocent Kashmiri people. They were of the view that right to self-determination is basic human right of Kashmiris and United Nations has declared their right of plebiscite through its resolution which is yet to be implemented. They said that Kashmir was an unfinished agenda of partition of India which had to be resolved as soon as possible. On the occasion, the participants gave their impressions on a board displayed in the hall which included slogans for liberation of Kashmir and condemnation of Indian occupying forces.

Students of Special Education School, Human Rights Commission, PTI, District Administration Bahawalpur and Press club Bahawalpur also took out rallies to observe the black day and express solidarity with Kashmiris. All the participants condemned the Indian government on the issue of Kashmir. A large number of students and citizens participated in these rallies.

TOBA TEK SINGH: Citizens observed black day on Thursday all over the district on India’s Independence Day celebrations. They condemned Indian government’s decision to eliminate special status for Indian Held Kashmir. Protest rallies were brought out by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and NGOs which were also attended by the government officials. A PTI rally started from Jhang Road Forest Park which ended at Shehbaz Chowk. It was led by PTI leaders - Irfan Jat and Mian Abdul Basit - and District Bar Association president Ch Tanweer Ahmed. A big rally started from district government complex which was led by PTI MPA Saeed Ahmed Saeedi and Deputy Commissioner Mohsin Rashid. This rally also culminated at Shehbaz Chowk. A rally at Gojra was led by PTI MPA Bilal Asghar Warraich and Assistant Commissioner Ms Ambreen while a rally at Kamalia was led by PTI MNA Riaz Fatyana and AC Rao Tasleem Akhtar.

OKARA: Black day was observed across the district on India’s Independence Day. The main function was held at Municipal Committee (MC) Jinnah Hall which was hosted by MC Administrator Khurram Shehzad where DC Maryam Khan and DPO Jahanzeb Nazir were the guests of honour. The function was participated by hundreds of citizens from all walks of life. The representatives of different segments of society including PTI District President Tariq Irshad Khan, Ch Abdullah Tahir, Rai Hamad Aslam, Okara Press Club President Ch Atiqur Rehman, Hafiz Hasnain Raza, Sheikh Azhar, and Qari Saeed Usmani addressed the function. They highlighted the background of Kashmir and its other related aspects besides Indian brutalities against unarmed Kashmiris. They demanded that world leaders take notice of the human rights violations in India and get this issue resolved.

MUZFFARGARH: Black day was observed here against India’s oppression of Kashmiris. A rally was carried out under the leadership of Abdul Hai Dasti. Deputy Commissioner Dr Ehtisham Anwar and DPO Sadiq Ali Dogar also participated in the rally which was attended by a large number of citizens, religious scholars, teachers, professors, district heads of various departments participated in the rally.

The rally started from DC office to Fayaz Park Chowk. The rally sounded with anti-India slogans. The participants were carrying Pakistani and Kashmiri flags and wearing black armbands. The speakers said that Pakistanis were ready to fight India over Kashmir, adding that Indian atrocities against unarmed Kashmiris were intolerable. The rally ended at Qinwan Chowk

ATTOCK: To condemn the brutalities and genocide of Indian forces in Indian Occupied Kashmir, Indian Independence Day was observed as black day here. In this connection, rallies were taken out. The participants condemned Indian atrocities against innocent Kashmiris. They demanded that the world must stop India from oppressing Kashmiris and resolve Kashmir issue as soon as possible.