When the federal cabinet first announced it would observe July 19 as black day to express solidarity with the people of India-held Kashmir, many were surprised by the decision. The federal government was criticised over its “lack of proper information” on July 19, which is observed every year in renewal of the historical resolution of Kashmir’s accession to Pakistan passed by the people of the state. Commenting on the federal cabinet’s July 15 decision, Nadeem Afzal Chan – political adviser to Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman – said the cabinet secretary is responsible for institutional input. “The decision reflects the attitude of the government towards Kashmir,” he said. This shows that you are not serious. This reflects our foreign policy,” he said. Lieutenant General (retired) Amjad Shoaib said the federal cabinet is busy tackling the issue of Panama Papers. He added that the US also endorsed India’s statement in which New Delhi had claimed Pakistan was interfering in its internal matters. Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Dr Shireen Mazari termed the decision “unforgivable”, saying both Pakistan and India had agreed to a plebiscite in UN Security Council Resolution 47 of 1948. “The government is unaware about the significance of black day. They are unaware of Kashmir’s history, the state’s legal records pertaining to the dispute and the landmark event with respect to Kashmir,” she said. Commenting on the recent statement of Bilawal Bhutto in which the PPP chairman criticised Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi over Kashmir issue, Chan said his party wanted better ties with India but “not at the cost of Kashmir”. The federal cabinet in its Friday meeting had announced it would summon a joint session of parliament in order to raise the issue of India-held Kashmir. The decision regarding black day was also announced in the same meeting. However, the federal government on Saturday announced it would observe nationwide black day against Indian atrocities in the violence-hit Kashmir valley on July 20 instead of July 19.