Pakistan is marking Kashmir Siege Day on August 5 in remembrance of the annexation of Indian-Administered Kashmir.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will address the Legislative Assembly of Azad Jammu and Kashmir to highlight the Kashmiri people’s struggle for freedom. President Dr Arif Alvi will lead a rally, while all the chief ministers will speak to their respective legislature assemblies to condemn Indian brutalities on the people of the held valley.
What is the annexation?
On August 5, 2019 India revoked Kashmir’s special status by repealing two articles of its constitution—35A and 370.
Jammu and Kashmir is the only predominantly Muslim state in India.
The government also decided to bifurcate the state into two union territories – Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The former will have a legislature while the latter won’t. By doing this, the state no longer remains predominantly Muslim and allows other Indians to buy property and relocate to the region.
Article 35A allowed the Jammu and Kashmir State Assembly to define who is and isn’t a permanent resident of the state. It also allows the assembly to determine who gets state grants, who has the right to purchase land and property and who can permanently settle in the region. It also granted the assembly the power to restrict the rights of anyone who wasn’t a permanent resident.
Article 370 of the Indian Constitution granted special autonomy to the area. It allowed the state’s assembly to make its own Constitution and gave it autonomous state power.
The move came hours after India imposed a curfew in the valley, cutting off internet and telephone services, putting senior leaders under house arrest and deploying thousands of additional troops to the region.
Why is Pakistan talking about it?
Pakistan has long stood with the people of Indian-Administered Kashmir. It wants them to be able to choose, through a referendum, what they want to do.
It has also raised its voice against human rights violations in Kashmir.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has spoken about Kashmir in the UN General Assembly (to watch the full video click here), on Twitter, in televised addresses to the nation, at rallies, in interviews to foreign press, and to other heads of state.
The government has spoken to multiple foreign government representatives about the annexation of and human rights violations in Kashmir and urged them to raise their voices for the rights of the people.
Several Pakistani celebrities have also spoken about it and Hadiqa Kiani even released a song on Kashmir.
The ISPR, the media wing for the army, also released a song for the people of Kashmir.
Pakistan decided to mark Kashmir Siege Day in solidarity with the people of Kashmir, to show them that they are standing by them.