Kashmir Solidarity Day- FACTS AND FIGURES
Kashmir Solidarity Day has been observed on 5 February each year since 1990 in Pakistan as a day of protest against Indian control of part of Kashmir. It is a national holiday in Pakistan. Kashmir Day was first appealed by Qazi Hussain Ahmed of the Ameer-e-Jammat-e-Islami party in Pakistan in 1990. Since then on 5Feb it is a national holiday in Pakistan.. Pakistan considers Kashmir as the core issue, between India and Pakistan, leading to three wars and devoting a major portion of their national incomes to defense budgets. World leaders have stressed the need to resolve the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan to avoid an eventuality that may cause a catastrophe in the region. Kashmir is the nuclear flash point of South Asia, surrounded by three nuclear powers.
It is Pakistan’s view that the international community in general, and governing world bodies in particular, should intervene and force India to stop shedding innocent Kashmiri blood. However, most of the international community except China refuse to interfere in the Conflict maintaining that it is matter between India and Pakistan best resolved bilaterally. India claims to maintain like Pakistan, that the people of Kashmir should have the right to decide their fate. Accordingly it has held elections in the state at various times. Elections held in 2008 were generally regarded as fair by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, had a high voter turnout in spite of calls by militants for a boycott, and led to the pro-India Jammu & Kashmir National Conference forming the government in the state.
Pakistan and members of the separatist community in Kashmir continue to claim that atrocities are being committed by the Indian state in Kashmir a claim which India denies, laying a reverse charge on Pakistan for backing insurgency, terrorism and stoking communal passions in he state. In the middle of 2010 there were widespread protests and unrest on the streets of Jammu and Kashmir against the killings of civilians by Indian security forces. The security forces in India and the Indian Army however claimed that the deaths were accidental while trying to control hundreds of protesters out on the street who were pelting stones at the security forces. Nevertheless the protests against the security forces spiraled out of control and within a couple of months more than a 100 civilians had lost their lives. During the Kashmir uprising in the summer of 2010 which saw scores of protesters killed by Indian security forces and complete shutdown of Kashmir for over a month, Syed Ali Shah Geelani, a key separatist leader, said “We want end to Indian occupation here and have already laid out our proposal for initiating a dialogue,”
The purpose of Kashmir Solidarity day as per Pakistan is to provide sympathetic and political support to the kashmiri separatists people who they believe are struggling for their freedom from the Indian rule. Pakistan calls the part of Kashmir that it occupies as Azad Jammu & Kashmir (Independent Jammu & Kashmir), while the part occupied by India is called Maqbuza Kashmir (Occupied Kashmir). The Indians call the area under Pakistan as Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK).