Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday paid respect to Kashmir at Youm-e-Shuhada-e-Kashmir (Martyr’s Day Martyrdom) for “their valiant struggle and rebellion against the Hindutva supremacy regime”.

In a tweet, the prime minister named 22 Kashmiris martyred 89 years ago in a protest against the autocratic rule of a Hindu Maharaja in a Muslim-majority country as “the ancestor of today’s Kashmir resistance”.

“Their descendants, generation after generation, gave their lives for freedom and today they continue to fight bravely & oppose the Hindutva Supremacy regime which is determined to demographically engineer to eliminate the Kashmiris & their identities,” tweeted Khan.

He said Pakistan had always stood with Kashmir in their struggle for self-determination and would continue to stand with them in their “fair struggle” until the valley occupied by India was free from illegal occupation, adding that the day was “not far away”.

Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, when paying tribute to the martyrs, said that their courage had “legalized the decades-old struggle for self-determination in 1931”, which he said was “the right of the Kashmiris irrevocably to continue to die today” .

He added that there is no work that can “conquer [the brave] the spirit of Kashmir “.

In a statement, he said that there had been ups and downs in Kashmir’s “exemplary struggle” from 1931 to 2020 but that it did not “dampen their spirits”. He said that India had brought new laws and had used every kind of tactic. India even tried to “buy” the Kashmiri leadership, Qureshi said, but failed.

He assured the people in the valley that despite facing “problems and pain”, they were not alone. “Today, every child in Pakistan and all political leadership and defense stand with you in your struggle for self-determination and will continue to stand with you until that is achieved.”

He added that the prime minister had raised the Kashmir problem at every international forum, saying that he was aware that “some of Pakistan’s allies could not raise their voices [on Kashmir] because of their economic conditions “.

“The world community remains silent when thousands of people are killed in Serbia. Will this repeat the same mistakes in occupied Kashmir?” he asked, adding that the world must learn from slaughter.

Read: The world must not allow massacres like Srebrenica to take place in occupied Kashmir: PM Imran

The foreign minister said that India was being “exposed” to the world as demonstrated by the recent clashes between India and China in Ladakh.

He urged all Muslims to become the voice of the people in occupied Kashmir and use social media to make their voices heard “even in deaf parts of the world”.

The Inter-Director General of Inter-Service Relations (ISPR) Major General Babar Iftikhar, in a tweet, said Kashmir Martyrs Day “reminded of the best price paid for freedom by courageous Kashmiris”.

He said “decades of Indian atrocities have failed to suppress the insuperable spirit & legal struggle for freedom” of Kashmir, which is “destined to succeed”.

PML-N Chair and Opposition Leader at the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif said 22 Kashmiri martyrs in 1931 had “written a history of courage”.

“In spite of the intensification of the post-5 August violence by India, Kashmiris of all ages & between genders challenge Modi’s fascism today with their blood. They are the hope of the future!” he tweeted.

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari said since the martyrdom of 22 Kashmirs, “the Kashmir generation has continued their struggle to be free from illegal Indian occupation” and thousands of them have been martyred.

Read: Occupied Kashmir saw 229 murders in the first half of 2020: report

He added that the struggle continues to this day “when the fascist Modi government tried to annex IOJK illegally & sought to change the demographics of occupied territories against all international law including[uding] The Fourth Geneva Convention “and pay tribute to the” commitment and courage “of the people in the occupied valley.

Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar said every Kashmiri martyr was the reason “we can never ignore the fate of our Kashmiri brothers”.

“Kashmir has fought against Indian atrocities and led the struggle for independence for decades. The harsh, extremist & racist Indian government has slaughtered their rights,” he added.

It happened on July 13, 1931, when tens of hundreds of Kashmiris gathered outside the Central Prison sites in Srinagar where Abdul Qadeer, a British Indian resident, was being tried on charges of incitement, for inciting Kashmiris against the Dogra authorities. at a meeting in Khanqah-i-Nausea on June 21, the same year.

During midday prayer, one member of the crowd stood up to make a call to pray and was shot dead by the police. He was replaced by another member who suffered the same fate. In all, 22 men rose to complete the call to prayer and all were shot dead.

Interestingly, until last year Kashmir Martyrs’ Day was also observed in occupied Kashmir. However, in December 2019, four months after revoking the special status of occupied Kashmir, the BJP government today was removed from the region’s official holiday list.

Occupied Kashmir saw 229 murders in the first half of 2020: report

The occupied valley has seen at least 229 murders during more than 100 military operations since January, according to the recently released report by the Jammu and Kashmir Civil Society Coalition (JKCCS).

From January 1 to June 30, the region witnessed unlawful executions of at least 32 civilians and the killing of 54 armed forces personnel, the report said.

He also saw 55 internet closures and the destruction of 48 structures.

The report said three children and two women were also killed, while at least “107 security and search operations and custody and destruction operations were carried out in the region”.

The Indian government on 5 August 2019 revoked Article 370 of its constitution, leaving behind the special status of occupied Kashmir. It also divided Jammu and occupied Kashmir into two united territories; one Jammu and Kashmir, and the other a Buddhist-dominated plateau region, Ladakh. Regional divisions took effect on 31 October last year.

Strict communication lockouts and blackouts have taken place in occupied Kashmir since August last year, with reports suggesting limited cellular data services and the internet were temporarily restored in the region in January.


Additional reporting by Naveed Siddiqui.

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