Kashmir Solidarity Day: A Recurring Drama put up by Pakistan Army
It is good to remember the Kashmiri who have died fighting for a cause they believed in. But who will remember the hundreds of Kashmiris who were killed by the goons of Jamaat and other Pakistan Army agents during the armed struggle?
Each year, the Pakistan government declares the 5th of February a national holiday as "Kashmir Solidarity Day". This practice was started by former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif towards the beginning of the three-decade long insurgency in the Kashmir Valley, which was hugely supported and guided by the Pakistan Army and its surrogate Jamaat e Islami.
The aim of this "Solidarity Day" is ostensibly to remember the martyrs who have given up their lives for the cause of Kashmir's accession to Pakistan. In reality, it is an effort by the Pakistani establishment to ensure that public interest in the Kashmiri insurgency does not fade away. It is one attempt to keep the Pakistani public constantly stirred up and tensed.
In truth however it is only the Islamists and the supporters of the military establishment in Pakistan who remain passionate about the so-called "Kashmiri Cause". The real interest in the streets of Karachi, Lahore and smaller towns is tepid at most. Whoever has been there knows this.
Five years ago, the number one English newspaper of Pakistan, The Dawn, which is published out of Karachi, ran an article titled "What does Kashmir Day mean to the average Pakistani?" The newspaper posed this question to many citizens of Karachi and recorded their responses. The results were amazing and an eyeopener.
Many people said they did not know anything about the Kashmir struggle! Others went further, saying ""..abhi to hum khud langde luley hain". Another said: "I support every holiday...."
One person pointed out: "Observing Kashmir Day is nothing more than one more trick to divert attention of our people from the pathetic state of affairs in Pakistan, a doing of the ruling class of Pakistan." A Kashmiri in Pakistan lamented: "Very sad and disheartened to see the response from many people in Pakistan who don't care about the situation of Kashmiris, thanks to those who support us."
Someone called "True Pakistani" observed: "More important than Kashmir is Pakistan, we have million problems more grave than Kashmiris are facing, first let us make it the priority to make Pakistan a safe place where all are equal irrespective of their religion and then equally distribute wealth to all Pakistanis ,stop corruption and violence , then make peace with Afghanistan and India, stop encouraging Taliban in Afghanistan and work with current govt ,change our policy from one of confrontation to that of adjustment and vision towards peace and sustainable growth and development."
There were many who reacted like him. It should amply be clear to all Islamists in India and Pakistan that people in the two countries are basically the same and do not support violence, barbarism and killing for any cause. They want to live decent, dignified lives and wish their children get good education and better life. Their religion cannot be furthered by further violence or political manipulations.
The Pakistan Army however still has not read the writing on the wall. They continue to believe in the myths of their own creation. "Solidarity Day", it must be emphasised is not for the freedom or liberation of Kashmir Valley but accession to Pakistan. This means another form of subjugation for the Kashmiri people and nothing else.
The Pakistan Army promoted this tamasha every year in collaboration with the Jamaat which has killed every true Kashmiri freedom fighter or made them leave politics. The other group that supports this Solidarity Day are the Mirpuris of England who have themselves been thrown out of Pakistan because of Mangla Dam. They have nothing better to do and still believe they are more Kashmiri than the Kashmiris.
Prime Minister Imran Khan's government also announced on 21 January this year that Kashmir Day on 5th February will be observed as a public holiday. A one-minute silence will be observed on February 5 in solidarity with the Kashmiris.
It is good to remember the Kashmiri who have died fighting for a cause they believed in. But who will remember the hundreds of Kashmiris who were killed by the goons of Jamaat and other Pakistan Army agents during the armed struggle? For them there is no "Solidarity" or honour.
The Solidarity Day will therefore remain a hoax perpetrated on the people of Pakistan by the Pakistan Army and their Jamaati thugs.
30 January 2021