As Pakistan celebrates its 73rd Independence Day in solidarity with Kashmir, President Dr Arif Alvi reiterated the nation’s commitment to always stand with its Kashmiri brethren in their just right to self-determination.“We are for Kashmiris and they are for us. Their plight and affliction affect us,” the president said while addressing a flag-hoisting ceremony in Islamabad. Condemning India’s unilateral steps, Alvi maintained that Pakistan “does not accept the efforts” to change the demographic composition of the occupied territory.He said immediately after India revoked Article 370, stripping occupied Kashmir of its autonomous status, the government of Pakistan suspended bilateral trade with India, downgraded diplomatic relations and decided to take the issue of Kashmir to the UN Security Council. The president said the joint resolution of parliament condemned the unilateral and illegal steps taken by India to change the disputed status of Kashmir.“India has not only violated the UN resolutions on Kashmir but also threw the Simla Agreement in the dustbin. The Indian act of changing the status quo contravenes the Simla Agreement,” he stated. He said the presence of 900,000 Indian troops had made Kashmir the highest militarised zone.“The blocking of communication and freedom of expression is a serious violation of human rights of Kashmiris.” Alvi urged India to stop its brutal treatment of Kashmiris, grant communication access to people and restore civic and social liberties of the people of the occupied territory.“India has also been violating the ceasefire agreements by firing and shelling on civilian populations along the Line of Control,” he said. “Pakistan is a peace-loving country and wants a message of peace in love. It wants to resolve the issue of Kashmir through negotiations and dialogue. However, India should not misunderstand our policy of peace as our weakness,” he stressed.Alvi underscored that Pakistan did not wish to go to war but was fully prepared to defend if a war was imposed on it. “The war will not be limited to the [two] countries; rather its impact will be felt in the whole world,” he said, and urged India to be reasonable.The president also asked the nation to fully utilise social media to expose the heinous crimes committed by India against Kashmiris.He urged the UN and the OIC to constitute an inquiry commission to probe the human rights violations in Indian-held Kashmir (IHK) and also made an appeal to the youth to devote themselves to the development and reconstruction of the country.The president paid rich tributes to sacrifices and dedication of armed forces of Pakistan for protection of the country through their courage and professionalism.Various political leaders, including National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser, Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani and Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan were in attendance. Mushaal Hussein Mullick, the wife of detained Kashmiri leader Yasin Malik, also addressed the event during which she shared a poem she wrote about the freedom struggle of people under Indian occupation in Kashmir.