Protests in PaK to seek right to self-determination for Kashmiris

TARIQ NAQASH
Muzaffarabad, Publish Date: Dec 10 2017 11:24PM | Updated Date: Dec 10 2017 11:24PM
Protests in PaK to seek right to self-determination for Kashmiris

People across Pakistan administered Kashmir (PaK) took to the streets on the International Human Rights Day on Sunday, calling upon the United Nations (UN) and international community to play their role in granting strife-torn Kashmiris their inalienable right to self-determination, without further delay.

Of many events held to mark the day, the distinctive one was a rally organised by Jammu and Kashmir Peace and Justice Forum (JKPJF), an organisation led by Tanvir ul Islam, a former chairman of United Jihad Council, an alliance of Kashmiri militant groups.

Participants of the rally were carrying a 16x8 feet panaflex banner, whereon portraits and names of 10 prime ministers of the Western countries “holding the best human rights record” were printed.

They included Erna Solberg of Norway, Justin Trudeau of Canada, Charles Michel of Belgium, Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg, Juha Sipilä of Finland, Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Denmark, Bjarni Benediktsson of Iceland and Jacinda Kate Laurell Ardern of New Zealand. Of them,  Benediktsson has been succeeded by Ms Katrín Jakobsdóttir on November 30.

The banner also carried digital image of a letter addressed to these leaders, which JKPJF chief later told reporters would be separately sent to them through their embassies and missions in Islamabad.

Many participants were also holding placards with catchy slogans. 

Speaking on the occasion, Shaukat Jan Bachh, a former president of the PaK officers’ association, said Kashmiris expected an early intervention from the UN and all other champions of human rights from across the globe to play their role in ending their plight.

“Observance of a day is not enough. There must be practical steps to ensure a peaceful and violence free world for all human beings, regardless of their race and religion,” he said.

Separately, a sit-in was also staged outside Central Press Club Muzaffarabad, under the aegis of another organisation - International Forum for Justice and Human Rights – to mark the day. It was followed by a rally to Garhipan Chowk. Similar events were held in other parts of PaK.