For the last seven decades Kashmir has driven Pakistan’s foreign and security policy. Pakistanis have the right to believe that Kashmir should form part of Pakistan. But the first priority of every Pakistani government should be to provide for the average Pakistani citizen, not some cause that may take decades to be fulfilled.
The Interior Ministry issued a notification today that October 27 would be observed inside Pakistan as Black Day “throughout the country to express support and solidarity with Kashmiri people in their unprecedented peaceful struggle for their right to self determination. According to the interior ministry notification Thursday, the government has urged the public to wear black arm-bands, observe one minute silence at 1000 hours, besides offering Fateha for martyrs of Indian occupied Kashmir on the day.”
Just two days earlier, Federal Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari stated at a seminar at Republic University College on the occasion of Youm-e-Tasees Day of Azad Kashmir that “Pakistan needs to aggressively put forward concrete proposals for the resolution of the Kashmir dispute on the basis of the United Nations resolutions.”
The same day Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi spoke at a seminar on Kashmir at the National Press Club and stated that all of Pakistan “was united on Kashmir issue which was also a main component of Pakistan’s foreign policy.”
Army chief Qamar Javed Bajwa while on a visit to the Line of Control echoed these views and reaffirmed that “the Kashmir issue continues to be a “core unresolved agenda” and warned against “misadventure” against his country.”
This recent announcement of an additional Kashmir Day – we already celebrate Kashmir Solidarity Day on February 5 every year – is only aimed at raising the temperature within Pakistan. It will not result in Pakistan obtaining any international support, and will certainly not help the Kashmiris.