“Freedom Fight for Kashmiri’s hopeless people”
#Kashmir Solidarity Day is a national holiday in Pakistan celebrated on February 5th annually. Kashmir Solidarity Day, also known as ‘Youm-e-Yakjehti-e-Kashmir’ has been observed in Pakistan since 1990 as a day of protest disagreeing with Indian control of a part of Kashmir. It is to convey the country’s identification with the civilians of Indian-administered Kashmir who want self-determination. It is also a day of remembrance to commemorate those Kashmiris who have died.
“Kashmir Solidarity Day” is the day to highlight the issue of Kashmir, it was first suggested by Qazi Hussain Ahmad of the Jamaat-e-Islami party in 1990. The idea was supported by Nawaz Sharif, Punjab’s Chief Minister at the time, and the Prime Minister at the time, Benazir Bhutto. The Pakistan People’s Party then declared February 5th as a public holiday. On Kashmir Day, all government, semi-government, and private offices across Pakistan remain closed. The State Bank of Pakistan also remains closed. The day is marked by political rallies, marches, and speeches about Kashmir. A human chain is formed on the major route from Pakistan to Kashmir. A one-minute silence is observed at 10 am local time in honor of the martyred. Radio Pakistan broadcast a special marathon transmission focusing on different aspects of the Kashmir dispute.
#Kashmir is famous for its scenic beauty, Kashmir is in the northernmost part of the Indian subcontinent, bordered by the Himalayas. At the time of the partition of India, the region was a significant state under the British Dominion. The state was divided into three, now controlled by India (Jammu and Kashmir), Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan), and China The split of Kashmir between India and Pakistan has led to enmity and bloodshed with three wars between India and Pakistan over the region – in 1947, 1965 and 1999. Pakistan considers the issue of control of Kashmir as the core issue between India and Pakistan, Pakistan feels they need to devote a significant portion of their national income to military budgets.
The entire world is in a state of mourning in the wake of the indiscriminate destructiveness of the Covid-19 pandemic. But in places like Kashmir, the devastation of the virus is coupled with the ongoing torment of the crackdown in the region.
Before the #word ‘lockdown’ became a part of our everyday vocabulary, it was already a reality in Jammu and Kashmir. Since late 2019, its people have witnessed communication blackouts, detentions of activists and politicians, the prevention of foreign journalists entering the region, and the use of pellet-firing shotguns which contravene human rights standards, among other violations. On the 30th of January 2021, the Economic Times reported that 1,933 Covid-related deaths have been recorded in Jammu and Kashmir. It is hard to determine the population of the region, but it is likely to be somewhere between 13 and 16 million based on projections after the 2011 census. Relative to more developed areas of the world, the number of deaths proportionate to the population is not too high. But it is not only the number of deaths because of Covid-19 which solely determines the extent to which the region has been affected. Though the economies of many countries have been hit hard by the prevention of tourism, among other restrictions, as a measure to disrupt the transmission of Covid-19, the Kashmir Valley had an unfortunate head start. As soon as its special status was revoked, tourists were told to leave after suggestions of an increase in terrorist activity. International organizations have grown quiet on the Kashmir conflict since September 2020, after concerns were raised on the 5th of August, a year on from the revocation of the special status of Jammu and Kashmir by the Indian government. Such organizations have been crucial in raising awareness of the human rights abuses carried out against the Kashmiris, but their recent silence emphasizes the importance of Kashmir Solidarity Day.
While the conflict in #Jammu and Kashmir remains unresolved, its people will suffer needlessly and lives that need not be lost will continue to be lost. As outsiders looking in, we cannot determine the exact state of things in Jammu and Kashmir. The communications blackout still restricts the freedom of the press, with independent platforms like The Kashmir Walla continuing to report despite their lack of resources and the constant state of threat to their very existence by security forces. So, on this year’s Kashmir Solidarity Day, the voices of the censored Kashmiris will be heard through others. Various events will be held which will see politicians and activists discuss the injustices facing the region and what more can be done internationally to bring a peaceful resolution to a crisis that has lasted over 70 years.
As #Kashmir is renowned for its scenic beauty, the God-gifted natural beauty of Kashmir is very attractive to the tourist, now because of the above-mentioned crises the loss of the tourism industry contributed to high economic losses. According to estimations by the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industries, around half a million jobs were lost and the region suffered a loss of around $5.3 billion between August 2019 and June 2020. Another significant cause for concern is the state of peoples’ mental health. A report published in the Elsevier Public Health Emergency Collection suggested that the lockdown and the pandemic have caused a sharp increase in mental health conditions which cannot be treated sufficiently due to the limited mental health services available in the Kashmir Valley.
Kashmir is famous for its scenic beauty:
#God gifted the Natural Beauty of Kashmir: