Kashmir Solidarity Day 5th February
Kashmir Day or Kashmir Solidarity Day is a public holiday in Pakistan on February 5 each year.It is a day dedicated to show Pakistan’s support and unity with the people of Indian-occupied Kashmir, their ongoing freedom struggle, and to pay homage to Kashmiri martyrs who lost their lives fighting for Kashmir’s freedom.
What Do People Do?
Kashmir Day is observed by people throughout Pakistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir (AJK). It is an internationally recognized day observed by people, predominantly Kashmiris, worldwide. The day is marked by public processions, special prayers in mosques for the liberation of Kashmir and protests that are carried out against the Indian oppression of Kashmir. Kashmir Day is also of particular political importance to major political and religious parties in both Pakistan and AJK. Processions, rallies, conferences and seminars are organized by many political and religious parties where politicians, heads of religious organizations, opinion leaders, and influential public figures address the masses and speak to support the Kashmiri freedom movement. These leaders and spokespeople also advocate a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue. Long marches, and rallies sponsored by political organizations, religious parties and other organizations are held, in which people chant slogans to support the Kashmiri freedom struggle and to express solidarity with the Kashmiri people. Another common spectacle is the formation of a human chain on all major routes leading to AJK from Pakistan. People stand in rows with their hands clasped forming a human chain on all major crossings into AJK from Pakistan. This symbolizes unity and solidarity to reassure Kashmiris that they are not alone in their struggle for freedom. Special cultural programs and festivals are also held to promote Kashmiri culture and tradition. News and entertainment channels air special programs, talk shows, dramas and Kashmiri songs about the oppression and brutalities suffered by Kashmiris over the years. Educational institutions organize debate competitions and dialogue forums where students express their views and ideas for resolving Kashmiri-related issues.
Kashmir Day is a public holiday in Pakistan and AJK. Government offices (federal and provincial), banks, educational institutions and businesses remain closed. However, some multinational companies continue normal business activities on this day. Public transport is available throughout the day, but traffic congestion is common in major cities. Major roads and streets remain blocked because of Kashmir Day parades and processions. Background There is a part of Kashmir called Azad Jammu Kashmir (Azad means “Liberated” in Urdu). Many Indians call it PakistanOccupied Kashmir. Officially Pakistan recognizes AJK as a separate state, having its own parliament, head of state and governing institutions. Kashmir Day was first observed in 1990 on call of Nawaz Sharif, who was the opposition leader and chief minister of Punjab at the time. Sharif appealed for a nationwide strike to protest against the Indian occupation of Kashmir and called for people to pray for the Kashmiri freedom movement’s success. The Pakistan People’s Party then declared February 5 as a public holiday and Kashmir Day has since been observed every year. Symbols The Kashmir valley is metaphorically referred to as “heaven on earth”. The valley is shown in modern art as being engulfed by flames, depicting unrest, uproar and peril in heaven. The valley is also shown to be surrounded by a barbed wire drenched in blood. This illustrates human rights violations in Kashmir. Note: The information in this article is from reliable sources, including from government and news sources. However, timeanddate.com does not take political views on the history behind the events mentioned in this article.
NUCLEAR FLASHPOINT. Map of Jammu and Kashmir
• 1948: India takes the Kashmir problem to the United Nations (UN) Security Council on 1 January. • 1949: On 1 January, a ceasefire between Indian and Pakistani forces leaves India in control of most of the valley, as well as Jammu and Ladakh, while Pakistan gains control of part of Kashmir including what Pakistan calls “Azad” Kashmir and Northern territories. Pakistan claims it is merely supporting an indigenous rebellion in “Azad” Kashmir and Northern Territories against repression, while India terms that territory as POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir). • 1949: On 5 January 1949, UNCIP (United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan) resolution states that the question of the accession of the State of Jammu and Kashmir to India or Pakistan will be decided through a free and impartial plebiscite. As per the 1948 and 1949 UNCIP Resolutions, both countries accept the principle, that Pakistan secures the withdrawal of Pakistani intruders followed by withdrawal of Pakistani and Indian forces, as a basis for the formulation of a Truce agreement whose details are to be arrived in future, followed by a plebiscite; However, both countries fail to arrive at a Truce agreement due to differences in interpretation of the procedure for and extent of demilitarisation one of them being whether the Azad Kashmiri army is to be disbanded during the truce stage or the plebiscite stage. • 1949: On 17 October, the Indian Constituent Assembly adopts Article 370 of the Constitution, ensuring a special status and internal autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir, with Indian jurisdiction in Kashmir limited to the three areas agreed in the IOA, namely, defence, foreign affairs and communications. • 1951: First post-independence elections. The UN passes a resolution to the effect that such elections do not substitute a plebiscite, because a plebiscite offers the option of choosing between India and Pakistan. Sheikh Abdullah wins, mostly unopposed. There are widespread charges of election rigging which continue to plague all the subsequent elections; effectively, the Center would rule the State with the help of its local nominees, imposing an one-party Rule with no avenues for the growth of opposition. • 1947-1952: Sheikh Abdullah drifts from a position of endorsing accession to India in 1947 to insisting on the self-determination of Kashmiris in 1952. In July 1952, he signs Delhi Agreement with the Central government on Centre-State relationships, providing for autonomy of the State within India and of regions within the State; Article 370 is confirmed and the State is allowed to have its own flag. The domination of Kashmir Valley(which has a 95% Muslim majority and accounts for more than 50% of the total population of Indian J&K) and d Abdullah’s bd ll h ld land reforms f create di discontent in Jammu and Ladakh; An agitation is launched in the Hindu-majority Jammu region against the Delhi Agreement and in favour of full accession with the Indian Union; the movement is withdrawn later, due to pressure from the Center; Secessionist sentiments in the Valley and communalism in Jammu feed each other. •1953-1954:In 1953, the governments of India and Pakistan agree to appoint a Plebiscite Administrator by the end of April 1954. Abdullah procrastinates in confirming the accession of Kashmir to India. In August 1953, Abdullah is dismissed and arrested. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammed is installed in power, who then gets the accession formally ratified in 1954. Pakistan and US sign a Mutual Defence Assistance Agreement in May 1954; Nehru states that he is concerned about the coldwar alignments and that such an alliance affects the Kashmir issue. India would resist plebiscite efforts from then on. Kashmiri activists continue to insist on the promised self-determination. • Balraj Puri, Kashmir: Towards Insurgency, New Delhi 1993, p.19. • Prem Nath Bazaz, Democracy through Intimidation and Terror, New Delhi: Heritage Publishers, 1978, p.15. In September 1954, Pakistan joins SEATO (South East Asian Treaty Organization) and later CENTO (Central Treaty Organization) in 1955, aligning herself with US, UK, Turkey and Iran. From 1955, Indo-Soviet relations become closer with India receiving Soviet military aid and later the Soviet would veto the 1962 UN Security Council resolutions on Kashmir in favour of India. Alastair Lamb, Kashmir A Disputed Legacy 1846-1990, Roxford 1991, pp.227-231