Protests, candle light vigils and seminars across Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), Gilgit Baltistan and other parts of Pakistan are being held today to mark October 22 as `Black Day’.
It was on this day in 1947 that the Pakistan Army, disguised as tribal raiders, invaded the undivided state of Jammu and Kashmir.
Protests were reported from several places in Muzaffarabad, Rawalakot, Kotli, Gilgit, Rawalpindi and other areas. People came out on the streets in large numbers to register their protest on the 71th anniversary of the Invasion Day by Pakistani Tribal invaders.
In Rawalpindi, the Jammu Kashmir Awami Workers Party (JKAWP) organised a protest rally outside the Press Club to demand an end to Pakistan’s forceful occupation of Kashmir. They claimed Islamabad was exploiting the resources of Kashmir for the benefit of Pakistan by building dams on the Neelum-Jhelum Rivers.
Nisar Shah, Chairman of JKAWP, said it was Pakistan which violated the agreement and forcefully occupied Jammu and Kashmir on October 22, 1947.
“The tribal invaders not only massacred Kashmiris, but also disrespected the dignity of our women. When they reached near Srinagar, the Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir called India for help. The Maharaja signed an Instrument of Accession, a legal document with India on 26 October 1947. On October 27, Indian forces entered Kashmir. Since then, Pakistan continues to occupy PoK and Gilgit Baltistan,” he said.
The protesters blamed Pakistani media for spreading false information about Jammu and Kashmir. They said the United Nations resolutions on Jammu and Kashmir clearly asks Pakistan to withdraw its troops and citizens from the state. But since 1948, Pakistan has not complied with the UN resolutions.
“As per UN resolution, Pakistan must vacate its forces and its people from Jammu and Kashmir. It is only then that a Plebiscite could become possible,” said Nisar Shah of the Jammu and Kashmir Awami Workers Party.
The protesters also accused Islamabad of promoting militancy in Jammu and Kashmir. Nisar Shah said,”If you keep sending armed militants to Srinagar and keep raising Pakistani flags, the issue will never get resolved because Srinagar city doesn’t represent the Kashmir. It includes Gilgit Baltistan, Jammu and other parts.”
The Kashmiri activists also accused Islamabad of attempting to make Gilgit Baltistan its 5th province. This move is being widely resisted and opposed across Pakistan Occupied Kashmir.