Kash­mir Sol­i­dar­ity Day 5th Fe­bru­ary

The Miracle - - Lifestyle -

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.

Pub­lic Life

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

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