Black day being observed today to slam Indian brutalities in Occupied Kashmir - PM urges India to grant right to self-determination to Kashmiris as pledged by it before the world community

Black Day is being observed across Pakistan today to express solidarity with Kashmiri brethren and protest grave human rights violations by the Indian forces in Occupied Kashmir. Rallies and functions will be held all over Pakistan and Azad Kashmir to draw attention of the world community towards the burning issue of Kashmir. Kashmiris in Occupied Valley will also observe Black Day. All officials of federal and provincial governments will wear black arms band while on duty to express political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris. Special prayers will also be held after Zohar prayers for martyrs of Kashmir. Pakistani diaspora will lodge strong protests in front of the national Parliaments of their respective host countries and the United Nations organizations. Pakistani missions abroad will also sensitize the local media as well as various caucuses in different regions on the Kashmir issue. On July 15th, Cabinet meeting which took place in Lahore decided to mark 20th July as Black day.

Message of PM on Black Day

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged India to grant right to self-determination to Kashmiris as pledged by it before the world community. No state can be allowed to trample human rights in the name of political interests and state strategy. Kashmir cannot be considered internal affair of India as the United Nations has declared it a dispute India itself made a commitment to hold plebiscite to determine will of the Kashmiri people. If the issue of human rights violations in other countries can be raised at UN and other forums, then why not the issue of human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan cannot remain oblivious to Indian atrocities against people in Occupied Kashmir. Pakistan stands firmly with Kashmiri brethren at this hour of trial and would fight their case vigorously on diplomatic, political and human rights fronts.

Pakistan sensitizing world community about need for Kashmir dispute solution

Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has said that Pakistan is sensitizing the world community about the need for solution of the Kashmir dispute to prevent human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir. He was addressing a function held in connection with Black Day in Islamabad. Pakistan is also trying to mobilizing the public opinion in different countries to get support for right of self-determination of Kashmiri people. He has addressed letters to heads of important organs of UN and OIC urging them to bring Indian atrocities against Kashmiris to the notice of human rights organizations and protest against them. India has been evading taking up seriously the issue of Jammu and Kashmir under the composite dialogue equating it with terrorism. Whole world knows now that it is not an issue of terrorism but the question of right of self-determination for Kashmiri people.

The polling for the AJK legislative assembly will be held on 21st July, 2016

There are 22, 37, 058 voters including 12, 11,842 men and 10, 25,216 women in AJK’s ten districts. For Refugees 12 constituencies, a total of 4,44,634 voters will be entitled to exercise their right to franchise. New voters’ lists have been prepared with the cooperation of NADRA for 2016 elections and bogus votes have been removed. Complete ban on promotion, transfers of government employees and put a ban on new schemes, inauguration or foundation stone laying ceremonies of new development schemes. AJK elections will be held under Judiciary while in 12 constituencies in Pakistan, these would be held under the supervision of Election Commission of Pakistan. In the 48-seat Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly, elections are being held on 41 direct seats, of which 12 seats of Occupied Kashmir refugees are in Pakistan Nine of these seats are in Punjab, which the PML-N is eyeing to secure, including two seats in Rawalpindi district and one each in Islamabad, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Sialkot, Narowal and Multan. Meanwhile, there are two seats in Sindh (Karachi) and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Peshawar). Army deployed for security during forthcoming elections in Azad Kashmir. All political parties included PPP, PMLN, PTI, MC, AJK PPP, JI, APML and others are preparing to contest for the legislative assembly elections. Pakistan People’s Party has announced 39 candidate out of 41 candidates,  two seats are still vacant. While Tehreek e Insaf and Mulim Conference has also announced seat adjustment on number of Constituencies. Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PMLN) has issued final list of candidate in 36 constituencies out of 41 constituencies

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The Hindu

A total clampdown

The disruption of normal life in the Kashmir Valley after the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen “commander” Burhan Wani was conveyed most poignantly by a photograph of a half page of advertisements in a Kashmiri newspaper. One personal ad after another announced the cancellation of wedding functions on account of what one of them called the “prevailing situation”. By the weekend, after curfew, violent clashes, and mobile, cable TV and Internet disruptions, the morning newspaper too disappeared. In a move as ill-advised as it was vicious, the police prevented the printing and distribution of local newspapers. It highlighted how suffocating the effort to control the narrative has been, cutting off oxygen to all avenues for Kashmiris to voice their anger and to exchange information. The cc issued a statement condemning the clampdown, terming it “a direct assault to the freedom of the press”. The ban was to be reviewed “after July 19” — but the government reacted to the criticism a day earlier, contending that there had been no ban at all, and that it was the result of a “miscommunication”.

This is not the first time the authorities have cut off communication links to thwart collective mobilisation, or to inhibit the circulation of information. And this is not the first time they will shrug off criticism with the familiar justification for the information freeze: to cool the air, to stop impressionable young people from being drawn out on to curfew-bound streets, to counter the signalling from Pakistani TV channels. What is forgotten is that such a clampdown reinforces the sense of siege that has kept anger in the Valley on a slow boil. The protests after Wani’s death were, by all accounts, spontaneous. Instead of engaging with the range of reasons that drew young Kashmiris out to the streets in the full knowledge that they risked injury, even death, the governments at the Centre and in the State took refuge in platitudes and evasion. The death toll has crossed 40, thousands are injured, many of them with sight-threatening eye injuries from indiscriminately fired pellets. After days of curfew, residents are running low on essentials, especially food and medicine. To disrupt channels of communication is to turn away inhumanly from the first responsibility of a civil administration — to mobilise resources to rush aid and succour to the ailing and distressed. And to stem the free flow of information and views, even on a “miscommunication”, is to admit something yet more worrying — that the authorities could no longer countenance the prospect of people getting updates on the situation around them.

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