PKONWEB Report (ISLAMABAD) — Afghan women for the first time staged a rally in Kabul to express solidarity with Kashmiri people.
They chanted anti-India and pro-freedom slogans. They were also carrying banners and placards inscribed with slogans in support of the freedom struggle of Kashmir.
They demanded that the genocide of innocent Kashmiris and blatant violations of their fundamental rights be stopped.
In the occupied valley, as prelude to Kashmir Day, observed on Feb 5 each year, images of closed-down shops and streets in the wake of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit appeared on the social and print media worldwide.
The land was on a lockdown to ensure smooth passage for the Indian prime minister, who was visiting to monitor development projects. Businesses were closed and internet services on the phone suspended. Several well-known Kashmiri leaders were put under house arrest and hundreds of others also taken into custody in the run-up to the trip.
Srinagar presented the look of a city besieged by soldiers taking control of the roads.
Mr Modi was ultimately spotted waving emptily at imaginary crowds as he took a safe cruise through the famous Dal Lake, reported Dawn.
A video uploaded on Sunday of Modi’s visit to Srinagar’s Dal Lake showed him waving to people – except, there are no people in the camera frames waving back at the Indian PM.
The tour has been dismissed as being the most artificial of its kind — the latest in the make-believe series of the BJP that seeks to show it is firmly in command in held Kashmir.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi while addressing an international conference on Kashmir in London on Monday, appealed to the world conscience that humanity was bleeding in Kashmir, the valley was burning and human rights were being trampled in Indian Occupied Kashmir.
“Human blood is being spilled in occupied Kashmir. The Kashmir valley is burning as the people are scared,” the foreign minister told the gathering. “Everyday reports of rape and killings come from held Kashmir,” he added.
“India is using different tactics to change the demography of the held valley,” the FM said.
Independent observers in Pakistan and India say the valley today is on fire with a movement that is recognized for its indigenous character and which continues to withstand fierce assaults by the occupying Indian forces.
There has been a large number of civilian casualties in recent times. Observers fear that with a general election looming in India, the ruling party will be seeking to play up its Hindutva philosophy all the more vociferously to get votes.
To make matters worse, the BJP has a greater urge to promote its narrow, faith-based messages in the face of a Congress that, as recent state elections prove, is resurgent in many parts of India.
Meanwhile, addressing the media after the international conference on Kashmir, Qureshi thanked members of the British Parliament for tabling a joint resolution on the Kashmir issue — a development he termed as “massive”.
“Despite political polarisation in Pakistan, the country’s political parties have proved that we are all united on the issue of Kashmir,” the foreign minister said as he briefed the media.
“We gave a very solid message to the media and to the House of Commons.
“Both the Conservative and Labour Party’s representatives, as well as liberal democrats were there. The session went on for two hours in pin-drop silence and in front of a capacity audience.
“Everyone heard [each other’s] views and participated [in the debate] but above all, at the end — and even I was not expecting this — Lord Qurban, representing the British Parliament, tabled a resolution and it was read out.
“That resolution was [endorsed by] the members of the House of Commons as well as the representatives of the Pakistani parliament. A joint resolution, in the form of a mission statement, has come out of that.
“This is such a massive development, and a victory for Pakistan. This is a victory for those innocent Kashmiris whose cries were heard and felt in the House of Commons today. This issue has reached the centre stage by the grace of God.
“You also must have seen that some Indian people first tried to get this conference stopped, pressurised the members and the government, and after that some 15 to 20 people protested as well,” he said.
“I told them that ‘go on’ as protesting is their right. You can chant your slogans against us but stop the bullets and the use of pellet guns there.”