Defence Day to be commemorated in solidarity with Kashmiris

The government has decided to commemorate this year’s Defence Day on September 6 (Friday) as “Kashmir Solidarity Day” to send a message of camaraderie to the oppressed people of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir.

The residents of the occupied valley are living under a strict curfew and other crippling restrictions since August 4, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government abrogated Article 370, revoking the special status of India’s only Muslim-majority state.

“All office throughout Pakistan will be closed at 15:00 (3pm) to commemorate the Defence Day of Pakistan, observe solidarity with the people of Kashmir and visit families of martyrs and monuments,” said a notification issued by the Ministry of Interior on Wednesday.

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Last month, the nation also celebrated its 73rd Independence Day as Kashmir Solidarity Day to express full support to Kashmiri brethren in their just struggle for right to self-determination.

Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly (AJKLA) on August 14, while rallies were taken out in all small and major cities of the country and seminars organised to highlight the plight of oppressed people in IOK.

The Indian government flooded the Kashmir valley with troops, introduced movement restrictions and cut off most communication ahead of its illegal Kashmir move last month.

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The communication blackout, including severing of mobile phones and internet connections, has now entered its 31st day. Hundreds of political leaders and workers, including three former chief ministers, have also been detained.

By stripping IoK of its special status, New Delhi blocked its right to frame its own laws and allowed non-residents to buy property. Delhi said the change would help Kashmir’s development, to the benefit of all, but its move angered many residents of the region and has received widespread condemnation.

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