Kashmir-Black-Day-1280x720Kashmiris on both sides of the Line of Control and the world over observed India’s Republic Day as Black Day on Tuesday to send a loud and clear message to the world and India that the Kashmiris reject Indian illegal occupation and struggling to secure their right to self-determination. The call for Black Day was given by the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz-led Hurriyat forum and other Hurriyat leaders and organizations, the Kashmir Media Service reported. The day was marked by a complete strike and shutdown in occupied Kashmir and anti-India demonstrations and rallies in Azad Kashmir, Pakistan and world capitals. All shops and business establishments were closed while traffic remained off the road. The practice of observing January 26 as Black Day by Kashmiris keeps reminding the world that India is a usurper and the sufferings and miseries of the Kashmiri people will only end when the last Indian soldier leaves Kashmir. The day will remain a dark day in the history of Kashmir as India had been trampling every right of Kashmiris since illegally and forcibly occupying IIOJK in 1947. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said in India’s ‘so-called democracy’, the secularism was on decline with black law being imposed aimed at targeting minorities in the country. “Instead of strengthening democracy, more black laws are being implemented across India as Hindutva ideology emerges stronger with each passing day,” the Foreign Minister said in a statement on India’s Republic Day. Foreign Minister Qureshi asked India to explain why it has been fearful of dialogue if it has a strong stance on the Kashmir issue. “India did not pay heed to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s offer of peace talks,” he said. “The country instead took measures that further escalated the situation in Indian Occupied Kashmir.” The foreign minister said January 26 is observed as ‘Black Day’ all over the world as protest against the heinous policies of Bharatia Janata Party (BJP) government. He said the amendments in India’s constitution denied the identity of Kashmiris. “Kashmiris in India and across the globe are marking the Black Day because India has taken away their basic constitutional rights,” he said. Qureshi said foreign media and international human rights organizations had started exposing the atrocities of Indian security forces in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir. He said on India’s Republic Day, tractors and not tanks were seen at the Republic Day parade as farmers strongly protested against the local laws. He said India’s economy was further deteriorating due to negative policies of the BJP government. The foreign minister said minorities in today’s India felt insecure, particularly Muslims, Bengalis and Dalits. Besides Pakistan, Qureshi said India’s attitude towards the neighbouring countries including Nepal, China and Bangladesh had worsened the diplomatic ties. Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to address a public rally in Kotli, near the Line of Control (LoC), on February 5, in honour of the Kashmir Solidarity Day, it emerged on Tuesday. According to a statement from the PTI, PM Imran Khan met his party’s chief organiser Saifullah Niazi and former premier of Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Barrister Sultan Mahmood Chaudhry. The PTI’s statement said Barrister Chaudhry, who is also the president of the party’s Azad Jammu and Kashmir chapter, and Niazi called on PM Imran Khan at Islamabad for a detailed meeting wherein the premier announced to visit Kotli LoC on February 5 and will address a gathering. The groundbreaking ceremony of a housing program for Azad Jammu and Kashmir would be held soon, it added, and the premier would visit the Kotli portion of the LoC as well.