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Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday raked up the Kashmir issue on the occasion of what they call ‘Kashmir Solidarity Day’, a propaganda tool against India by expressing support for separatists in Jammu and Kashmir.
“Today the whole of Pakistan comes together to express its unflinching solidarity & support to Kashmiri brothers & sisters, who remain undeterred by the oppressive Indian occupation apparatus in the struggle for UN-sanctioned right to self-determination,” Sharif tweeted.
“People of [Kashmir] are waging a relentless struggle of epic proportions to realise their dream of freedom from the Indian yoke. Through their sacrifices, they have kept the torch of freedom burning. It is my faith that their dreams will soon see the light of day,” he claimed.
Pakistan foreign minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari also used the occasion to issue anti-India statement claiming that New Delhi has “opened a new chapter in suppressing” people of Kashmir. He claimed that India’s ruling dispensation aims to “Kashmiris into a disempowered minority in their own land” with fresh delimitation of electoral constituencies, issuance of millions of domicile certificates to non-Kashmiris, and addition of hundreds of thousands of non-Kashmiris in the voters lists.
Kashmir Solidarity Day, a national holiday in Pakistan, is observed on February 5 across the country and in cities around the world to express support for separatists in Jammu and Kashmir. The event is often marked by anti-India speeches by Pakistani leaders. Students from government and military-owned schools and government officials are coerced to organize rallies on the occasion, according to multiple reports. Non-compliance with the directive results in disciplinary action against them.
Kashmir Solidarity Day was first observed at the call of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif in 1991. Since then, anti-India groups and individuals have used Kashmir Solidarity Day to influence people in Valley and incite violence. Pak-sponsored agenda has, however, largely failed.