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PTI Holds Black Day Rally in Solidarity With Kashmiris in Capital

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf held a rally in the capital on Thursday as the country observed August 15 as Black Day to protest Indian atrocities in occupied Kashmir.

The leaders of the party including Asad Umar and Senator Faisal Javed were also part of the rally, where the majority of the participants wore black.

“Pakistan armed forces will not sit back while Kashmiris are being persecuted,” Asad Umar said while addressing the rally. “If the world does not want a third great war to take place and peace to be disrupted, this is the best chance” to raise its voice against Indian actions in occupied Kashmir.

He said that PTI leaders meant to submit a resolution in this regard at the Indian High Commission.

Pakistan’s largely symbolic Black Day comes amid growing concern in Islamabad at the lack of international response to India’s actions in occupied Kashmir.

Some newspaper issues carried black borders and politicians, including Prime Minister Imran Khan, replaced their social media pictures with black squares. Flags on government buildings flew at half-mast.

Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information Firdous Ashiq Awan, in a conversation with the media at Peshawar Press Club, also condemned India’s Hindu nationalist government and said that people across the world who believe that residents of occupied Kashmir are being persecuted, were observing Aug 15 as Black Day.

The SAPM said that expressing solidarity with Kashmiris was “in line with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision”.

“Pakistan’s independence celebration is incomplete until Kashmir is free,” she said. “The partition of India will remain incomplete until the region is free.”

She further said that the prime minister had taken a stand for oppressed Kashmiris on international forums and as a result, the United Nations Security Council had called a session to discuss the Kashmir dispute for the first time in 50 years.

Awan also highlighted Prime Minister Imran’s address in the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Assembly yesterday, where he had called out Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and warned that Pakistan will respond to “every brick with a stone”.

She said that the Hindu supremacist ideology followed by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh — that is believed to be the parent group of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party — had made it hard for minorities to survive in India.

“Today, there is no place for minorities in India, be it Muslims, Sikhs or any other group.”

The SAPM lauded journalists at the Peshawar Press Club for “echoing the nation” and expressing solidarity with Kashmiris.