Srinagar, January 24: In occupied Kashmir, the All Parties Hurriyat Conference Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, and senior APHC leader, Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai, have asked the Kashmiris across the world to observe Indian Republic Day on the 26th January as Black Day.
Syed Ali Gilani in a statement issued in Srinagar said, democracy means respecting the aspirations and opinion of the people but India has always suppressed the just democratic voice of the Kashmiri people through oppression in the name of democracy and has kept them under military occupation for the last over 72 years. He strongly denounced the lockdown imposed by India in occupied Kashmir for the last over 173 days. He also said that the massacres carried out by Indian troops in Gaw Kadal, Handwara, Sopore, Kupwara and Ganderbal areas during the month of January in 1990s were a blot on India’s democratic face.
Muhammad Ashraf Sehrai in a statement in Srinagar said, India claims to be the largest democracy of the world but its democratic credentials stand badly exposed in occupied Kashmir where it is denying all the democratic rights to the Kashmiri people for the past over seven decades. He said that the Kashmiris were neither against the people of India nor against their celebrations of Republic Day but they wanted the Indian leadership to fulfill its promises of giving them the right to self-determination.
On the other hand, the visiting Indian ministers in their outreach programme received a cold response from the people of the territory. Five Indian ministers have been visiting different parts of the Kashmir Valley during the past few days as part of the Narendra Modi government’s mission Kashmir to reach out to the Kashmiri people to garner support for its recent anti-Kashmir moves. The ministers could not draw crowds as repeal of Kashmir’s special status and its division into two union territories weighed heavy on the minds of the masses.
The APHC-AJK chapter at a meeting in Islamabad, today, expressed serious concern over the prevailing situation in occupied Kashmir.