From global rallies, sessions to highway renaming, Pakistan plans aggressive pro-Kashmir campaign on Aug 5


ISLAMABAD, Jul 31 (APP):The government on Friday unveiled an aggressive action plan to observe the first anniversary of India’s illegal action in the IIOJK on August 5 last, by holding worldwide rallies, solidarity marches led by top leadership, renaming of an inter-provincial highway, special postal stamps with hard-hitting depiction and parliamentary session.

Describing the whole chart of activities planned for the day at a media briefing here, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said as the whole Kashmiri leadership was under detention, Pakistan would forcefully raise their voice globally until the people of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK) got their right to self-determination.
He said the Yaum-e-Istihsal would be observed on August 5 to highlight the illegal Indian action on August 5, 2019 of changing the special constitutional status of IIOJK by holding solidarity walks throughout the country to be joined by the top political leadership.
Special Assistant to the PM on National Security Moeed Yousuf, who also flanked the foreign minister, besides Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz, said President Dr Arif Alvi would lead a walk in Islamabad to be followed by his media interaction to highlight the Kashmiris’ cause.

Qureshi said the government had decided to rename the Kashmir Highway, which connected the Federal Capital with Kashmir and other provinces, after Srinagar.
“We are looking at Srinagar. That is our destination,” he remarked.
He said the parliamentarians and the foreign media would be taken to the Line of Control to engage them with the residents there, who had long been suffering the unprovoked firing by the Indian troops in violation of the ceasefire.

He said a special postal stamp would be issued on the day to highlight the Indian aggression and human rights abuses by depicting a minor sitting over the body of his slain grandfather killed by the Indian troops in Spore town in early July.
Prime Minister Imran Khan, who had committed to play the role of Kashmir’s ambassador, would make a historic address to the Legislative Assembly of Azad Jammu and Kashmir after a solidarity walk also to be joined by AJK president and prime minister in Muzaffarabad.

Besides solidarity walks across the country to be led by the political leadership regardless of the political divide, a one-minute silence would also be observed at 10 am after blaring of sirens, he added.

The foreign minister said the government would enhance its diplomatic outreach on the day by writing letters to the United Nations Secretary General and world leaders, besides interactions of the prime minister and himself with the international media.
Publication of special Op-eds in the foreign media, special campaigns through print, electronic and especially social media, and presentation of a memo to the UN representative had also been planned, he added.

The foreign minister strictly directed Pakistani envoys across the world that instead of mere indoor seminars, they would have to prove their diplomatic skills on August 5 by engaging with local media, think tanks and community to apprise them of the Indian aggression and blatant violations of repeated UNSC resolutions.

He said he would be closely monitoring the performance of embassies asking them to hold photo exhibitions, seminars, car rallies and other activities while strictly observing the local anti-COVID standard operating procedures (SOPs).

SAPM Moeed Yousuf invited the local and international media to an event on the night falling between August 4-5 at the Parliament House planned for projecting the sufferings of Kashmiri people at the hand of Modi regime.

More major decisions were also in the pipeline in that regard, which would be revealed by the prime minister and foreign minister on August 4, he added.
The foreign minister said on August 5, the whole nation must give a message to their Kashmiri brethren that they were not alone rather the people of Pakistan would always support their struggle.

He said August 5, 2019 added a new turn and chapter in the Kashmiris struggle as India had tried to abolish their identity through demographic apartheid, which was rejected not only by the Muslims as well as Hindu pundits and Buddhists.

He said Pakistan had internationalized the Kashmir issue and exposed the Indian illegal actions in the IIOJK before the world, though some states might not be speaking up owing to some compromises or commercial interests.  He said Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)-backed Modi regime had turned the IIOJK into the world’s most militarized zone with the people still facing communications blackout and double lockdown since the outbreak of coronavirus pandemic – the military siege and the lockdown imposed on the pretext of COVID-19.

He said the previous governments had put the Kashmir issue on the back burner but Prime Minister Imran Khan had revived it through his historic address at the 74th session of the UN General Assembly. The foreign minister said the government’s diplomatic efforts resulted into three meetings of the Kashmir Contact Group of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), as many hearings by the United States Congress, debate by the European Union and the United Kingdom’s parliamentary group on Kashmir, and above all taking up the issue thrice by the UN Security Council after 55 years.
He said during the last one year, the prime minister held over 120 Kashmir related engagements, including speeches, interviews and conversations with the world leaders, which also prompted reaction from the leadership of countries like China, Turkey, Malaysia and Iran.
During his visit to Pakistan, UN Secretary General Antonio Gutteres defended the UN resolutions on Kashmir, which Qureshi described as the renewal of the world body’s pledge to grant the self-determination right to the Kashmiri people.
Pakistan, he said, also successfully turned the trend of international media in favour of the Kashmiri people, who, otherwise, were being ignored because India had linked the issue with terrorism.
Even the human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watchdog also condemned the human rights abuses in the IIOJK. It all happened just because of clarity in the stance of the prime minister as well as the Foreign Office, he added.

To a question, the foreign minister welcomed the announcement of ceasefire in Afghanistan ahead of Eidul Azha and said the commitment of the release of prisoners was being fulfilled by both the sides which would create a conducive environment for an intra-Afghan dialogue.

He said Pakistan was achieving successes on all fronts while India was getting isolated having strained its ties with all the neighbouring countries.
Qureshi told the media that he had drafted a comprehensive resolution on the Kashmir issue that would be finalized after consultation with all the political leadership for its adoption in the special Senate session on August 5.

To a question, the foreign minister criticized the irresponsible attitude by the opposition parties in the parliament and said the parliamentary proceedings could not be hijacked through commotion. If the opposition kept up the tendency, they would have to face a stronger reaction, he warned.