Prime Minister Imran Khan announced to observe ‘Kashmir Hour’ on every Friday earlier this week to protest India’s abrogation of special status for Kashmir, and in solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Government authorities across the country are set to blow sirens and play the national anthem at 1200 local time.
In a major push to attract the attention of world leaders to the Kashmir issue, Pakistan plans to observe Kashmir Solidarity Hour on Friday by taking to the street between 12 noon and 1230 local time.
‘Kashmir Hour’ is being observed at the behest of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who asked all education institutions, government and private offices, banks, traders, lawyers, and military authorities to take part in Kashmir Solidarity Day events. As per the plan, vehicular traffic including railway and government machinery will come to a standstill.
Khan will attend a gathering outside the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and later address the nation from there.
“I want all Pakistanis to come out tomorrow at 12noon-12.30pm to show solidarity with the Kashmiri people and send the Kashmiris in IOK a clear message that the entire Pakistani nation stands in solidarity with them and against Indian fascist oppression and the inhumane 24-day curfew,” Prime Minister Khan tweeted.
Khan has been stirring up religious sentiments during speeches this month after the Indian government revoked the special status of the state of Jammu and Kashmir on 5 August. Imran Khan said that the Modi government is bent upon “cleansing of Muslims” through alleged atrocities and communication restrictions in the state.
“The daily injuring and killing of Kashmiri civilians, including women and children – all part of the ethnic cleansing agenda of the Modi government and its illegal annexation of Kashmir. The plan to change the demography of Kashmir is a war crime under 4th Geneva Convention,” Khan said.
Nevertheless, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday categorically stated that Pakistan has no locus standi and the disputed Kashmir region has ‘always’ belonged to India.
“I want to ask Pakistan why it always keeps crying over Kashmir when it was never its part,” Singh said at a defence-themed meeting in Ladakh.
Pakistan claims that India has violated several international conventions by abrogating article 370 of the Indian Constitution unilaterally and Prime Minister Khan has vowed to go to any extent to seek justice for Kashmiris.