ISLAMABAD (Agencies) — Pakistan on Friday observed “Kashmir Hour” to express “solidarity” with the Kashmiri people after India revoked the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
The entire Pakistan came to a standstill as the people across the country came out of their homes, offices, businesses to stand in solidarity with the people in Kashmir.
Sirens blared across the country as the clock struck noon and traffic signals turned red on all roads of the federal capital Islamabad.
President Dr Arif Alvi, Prime Minister Imran Khan, the entire government machinery and the masses joined hands at exactly 12 noon, while the national anthems of Pakistan and Kashmir were played. Large gatherings were held in every city, town, and village, and was participated by people from across the social and religious divide.
In the capital Islamabad, thousands gathered on Constitution Avenue in front of the government offices where Prime Minister Imran Khan addressed the nation and vowed to continue fighting for Kashmir until the Himalayan territory was “liberated”.
Large number of students, youth, women, men, elders and people from all walks of life have gathered here in #Islamabad on the call of PM @ImranKhanPTI to show solidarity with people of #Kashmir against Indian govt @narendramodi terrorism #KashmirHour #KashmirProtests pic.twitter.com/AroySlru1R
— Imran Ghazali (@ImranGhazaliPK) August 30, 2019
Khan has asked for weekly nationwide rallies until he leaves for New York next month to attend the United Nations General Assembly, where he vowed to raise the issue and to act as an ambassador for all Kashmiris.
Tensions have soared in the wake of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to strip Kashmir of its autonomy and bring it under Delhi’s direct rule.
Symbolic gesture all over Pakistan during #KashmirHour
The world should know; Kashmir is not just a territorial issue between Pakistan & India. It is an issue of Human Rights. And that is why the whole world must intervene. Let Kashmiris know, they’re not alone! pic.twitter.com/esF8woBJKd
— PTI (@PTIofficial) August 30, 2019
Earlier, Director-General of Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Major-General Asif Ghafoor has said the entire nation would participate in the Kashmir Hour by gathering at their nearby open areas or workplaces, ensuring an unwavering and full support to the people of Kashmir for their just cause.
At 12:00 noon on Friday, sirens would sound all across the country to formally mark the start of the Kashmir Hour. After sounding the sirens, the national anthems of Pakistan and Kashmir would be played and the entire nation would participate in the Kashmir Hour observance.
Ghafoor urged the youth, especially students, to ensure their participation for expressing unflinching support to their Kashmiri brethren.
Celebrities and cricketers have also appealed to the public to come out for “Kashmir Hour”.
Referring to the programmes chalked out for the National Defence and Martyrs Day being observed on September 6, the ISPR DG said the main theme of all functions would be “Kashmir will become Pakistan”.
He said that the initiative to meet family members of martyrs by visiting their respective dwelling places would continue in the current year.
“The last year’s response to the initiative was highly appreciable as the contribution of each martyr was recollected during the drive. Therefore, we will visit the house of every martyr this year too and repeat the activity of the last year.”
He asked the masses to visit the houses of the martyrs and pay thanks to their kin.