Article: Kashmir Solidarity Day: A call for international recognition and action

Faiqa Khalid

Kashmir Solidarity Day, observed on the 5th of February every year, holds great significance for Pakistan. This national holiday serves as a platform for the country to demonstrate its unwavering support and unity with the people of Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. The day is dedicated to paying homage to the brave Kashmiris who have lost their lives in the ongoing struggle for independence.

Kashmir has a rich and complex history that dates back centuries. It has been a region of great cultural and religious diversity, with influences from Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. In the 13th century, Islam became the dominant religion in the valley, and Muslims ruled the region for over five centuries. However, during the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947, Kashmir became a disputed territory between India and Pakistan.

Since then, Kashmir has been a hotbed of conflict, with both India and Pakistan claiming sovereignty over the entire region. The people of Kashmir have been caught in the crossfire, enduring violence, human rights abuses, and a denial of their right to self-determination. The conflict has resulted in the loss of thousands of lives and has left a lasting impact on the region’s socio-political landscape.

Pakistan’s policy towards Kashmir

Pakistan has consistently supported the Kashmiri people’s struggle for self-determination and has called for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. The country has raised the Kashmir issue on various international platforms, highlighting the human rights abuses committed by Indian forces in the region. Pakistan’s stance is based on the principles of justice, international law, and the right of Kashmiris to decide their own future.

The significance of Kashmir Day

Kashmir Day holds immense significance for Pakistan as it provides an opportunity to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir and raise awareness about their plight. The day serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by Kashmiris in their quest for freedom and independence. It is a time for reflection, remembrance, and renewed commitment to supporting the Kashmiri cause.

On Kashmir Day, solidarity rallies are held across Pakistan, where people from all walks of life come together to condemn the Indian occupation of Kashmir and express their unwavering support for the Kashmiri people. Political and religious leaders deliver speeches, highlighting the human rights abuses committed by Indian forces and calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Mosques and other religious institutions organize special prayers and Quran readings for the well-being of the Kashmiri people and regional peace.

International Recognition and Support

The Kashmir issue has garnered international attention, with various countries and organizations recognizing the need for a peaceful settlement and the protection of human rights in the region. In 2021, the New York State Assembly passed a resolution calling on the Governor of New York to recognize February 5th as Kashmir American Day. This resolution aimed to champion human rights, including the freedom of religion, and recognize the contributions of the Kashmiri community in New York.

The Kashmir conflict remains one of the most protracted and unresolved disputes in the world. It is a complex issue with deep-rooted historical, political, and religious dimensions. The international community has a crucial role to play in facilitating a peaceful resolution and ensuring the protection of human rights in the region.

The revocation of Article 370 by the Indian government in 2019 further escalated tensions in Kashmir. This move not only violated the rights of Kashmiris but also undermined the UN resolutions that called for the region’s final disposition to be determined through a plebiscite. The international community must hold India accountable for its actions and push for a peaceful settlement that respects the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

Kashmir Day serves as a powerful reminder of the ongoing struggle for freedom and self-determination in Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir. It is a day of solidarity and support, where Pakistan stands united with the Kashmiri people in their quest for justice and peace. The international community must join hands in finding a just and lasting solution to the Kashmir conflict, one that respects the rights and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

In my opinion, Kashmir Day holds immense significance not only for Pakistan but for the international community as well. The Kashmir conflict is not just a territorial dispute; it is a struggle for the fundamental rights and freedoms of the Kashmiri people. The human rights abuses committed in the region cannot be ignored or overlooked.

It is essential for the international community to recognize the gravity of the situation and take concrete steps to address the issue. Diplomatic pressure, dialogue, and mediation efforts should be intensified to facilitate a peaceful resolution that respects the will of the Kashmiri people.

Furthermore, the suffering of the Kashmiri people should not be confined to a single day of solidarity. The international community must continue to raise awareness about the ongoing human rights abuses in Kashmir and advocate for justice and accountability.

Kashmir Day serves as a powerful reminder that the struggle for Kashmiri independence is far from over. It is a day to reaffirm our commitment to supporting the Kashmiri people in their quest for justice and peace. Let us not forget the sacrifices made by the Kashmiris and work towards a future where they can exercise their right to self-determination.

From an analysis perspective, the Kashmir conflict remains a complex issue with no easy solutions. The historical, political, and religious dimensions of the conflict make it challenging to find a peaceful resolution. However, it is essential to continue diplomatic efforts and engage all stakeholders in meaningful dialogue.

The international community has a crucial role to play in facilitating a peaceful settlement. The United Nations, in particular, should take a more proactive approach and ensure the implementation of its resolutions on Kashmir. The human rights abuses committed in the region must be thoroughly investigated, and those responsible should be held accountable. Furthermore, all parties involved in the conflict should prioritize the well-being and aspirations of the Kashmiri people. Their voices should be heard, and their right to self-determination should be respected. Only through a genuine commitment to peace, dialogue, and justice can a lasting solution to the Kashmir conflict be achieved.

(The writer is a student of International Relations at International Islamic University, Islamabad and is currently serving as an intern at Kashmir Institute of International Relations.)

Source – https://www.kmsnews.org/kms/2024/02/01/article-kashmir-solidarity-day-a-call-for-international-recognition-and-action.html