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Thousands rally against Indian brutalities in IHK

28 October, 2013

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MUZAFFARABAD: Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world over observed October 27 as "black day" to reject India's illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and demand right to self-determination.

Thousands of Kashmiri people observed a "black day" in Azad Kashmir on Sunday, rallying at an event against Indian brutalities and occupation of the Himalayan region. The rally was set up by the United Jihad Council (UJC), which consists of 16 Islamic groups, militant outfits and political parties, and was attended by jihadi groups including Hizbul Mujahidin and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (LeT). A crowd of around 3,000 people shouted "Al-Jihad", "Allahu Akbar" (Allah is Great) and "We want Freedom" as they gathered in Muzaffarabad, the capital of Azad Kashmir, said an AFP reporter at the scene.

"Diplomacy, talks and negotiations spanned over several decades have not worked," said Syed Salahuddin, chairman of the UJC. "The only way to liberate Kashmir is jihad and armed struggle because India does not understand the language of dialogue," said Salahuddin, who also leads Hizbul Mujahedin, a militant group fighting Indian rule in Kashmir. The protesters waved black flags and shouted: "Our struggle will continue till Kashmir is freed," and condemned Indian "brutalities", as Salahuddin appealed to the government and people of Pakistan to fully support Kashmiri independence.

Kashmiri people observe October 27 as "black day" every year to protest the arrival of Indian troops and their invasion of the Himalayan region in 1947. Kashmir has been the cause of two of the three wars India and Pakistan have fought since independence from Britain more than half a century ago. Muslim separatists have fought a 20-year insurgency against New Delhi's rule in Indian-held Kashmir. Kashmiris on both sides of the border want Islamabad and New Delhi to agree to a referendum on self-determination.

Azad Kashmir Prime Minister Chaudhry Abdul Majeed also addressed a separate gathering in Muzaffarabad in connection with the "black day", and urged the international community to stop India from committing serious human rights violations in the mountain region. "A durable solution to the problem is possible only if Kashmiris are allowed to exercise their right to self-determination under the UN resolutions," he added.

Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world over observed October 27 as "black day" to reject India's illegal occupation of Jammu and Kashmir and demand right to self-determination. The day was marked with anti-India and pro-freedom rallies in all major cities and towns in occupied Jammu Kashmir and Azad Jammu and Kashmir. All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and veteran senior Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Gilani had given the call to observe the Black Day.

Meanwhile, in occupied Kashmir, complete shutdown was observed to protest against Indian occupation. Call for the shutdown had been given by the All Parties Hurriyet Conference and Hurriyet leaders including Syed Ali Gilani, Shabbir Ahmed Shah and Muhammad Yasin Malik and supported by other pro-freedom organisations and the High Court Bar Association of the occupied territory. The day was marked with total shutdown in the held state and a march towards the United Nations Observers Office in Srinagar to draw the world attention towards the fact that India continues to deny the Kashmiri people their inalienable right to self-determination.

End.

Reader Comments:

Self Determination

Let Pakistan take the initiative by allowing Kashmiris for self determination in Azad Kashmir, which Pakistan wont allow. Azad Kashmir has President and Prime Minister, so why not allow them to represent Kashmir in United Nations and other world forums. Will Pakistan allow? Those demonstrations held for "Black Day" are none other than Punjabi Pakistanis. Pakistan has always accused Omar Abdullah as puppet Cheif Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. Then who are the President and Prime Minister of Azad Kashmir? They dont have any powers at all, simply installed by Pakistan. Pakistan itself has made joke about Kashmir, that is why world does not care and does not believe.

Sunil Sinha, United States - 28 October, 2013

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