Shutdown on August 15 shows which side Kashmiris are on, says pro-freedom camp

Shutdown on August 15 shows which side Kashmiris are on, says pro-freedom camp

SRINAGAR: The pro-freedom groups on Saturday said that by observing shutdown on August 15, people of Kashmir showed that they don’t “endorse the Indian claims”.
They said that the hoisting of Pakistan flags on August 14 and observance of shutdown on August 15 should serve as an “eye-opener” for India and the International Community.
Kashmir on Saturday observed a complete shutdown on Saturday, the Independence Day of India.
“The complete and statewide shutdown in Jammu & Kashmir on the Independence Day of India and hoisting of Pak flags everywhere in Kashmir on the Independence Day of Pakistan, despite curbs and restrictions imposed by the administration, should serve as an eye-opener for India and the whole world,” a Hurriyat Conference (G) spokesman said in a statement.
“Kashmiri nation has, once again, announced their decision about which side they want to be with,” he added.
The spokesman said that India to shun the “traditional rigidity and stubbornness and accept the mandate of the people of Kashmir”.“Kashmiris should be given a chance to decide their future by holding independent referendum.”
He said that when India was celebrating its 69th Independence Day, Kashmir was reeling under curfew. “And by boycotting the government functions, the Kashmiri people have given a silent message to the India and the whole world that they do not accept and endorse the occupation and they oppose this illegal control,” the spokesman added.
He said that there has been no change in the stand of people here since 1947 regarding the Kashmir issue.
Despite trying different tactics, India has been unsuccessful in molding the opinion of the people of Kashmir.On one hand Kashmiris openly express their attachments with Pakistan and hoist its flags here  and on the other hand observe shutdown as a mark of protest against holding of Indian Independence Day celebrations here,” he added.
“Instead of expressing anguish over the issue, India should try to understand the reality and should respect the wishes and aspirations of the Kashmiri people.” he added.
Hurriyat Conference (M) spokesman, in a statement, too said that by observing complete shutdown, people here “have proved their resolve and commitment towards the Kashmir movement”.
“The strike should send a clear message to Indian leadership and the world community that Kashmiris would not accept preponderance of any nation.”
He said that no nation can be suppressed by means of military might forever. “The Indian government should accept the reality that Kashmir was a political dispute which needs to be resolved on urgent basis,” he added.
The spokesman stated that world community should come forward and play its dutiful role to resolve Kashmir dispute according to the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiris.
Dukhtaran-e-Millat chairperson Syeda Asiya Andrabi, in a statement, hailed people of the valley for observing shutdown.  “It doesn’t suit India to celebrate its independence while it has occupied the state of Jammu Kashmir illegally,” she added.
She claimed that by celebrating the August 14 and by observing August 15 as “black day”,  Kashmiris have “made it clear that they do not want to be with India”.
She said that general strike observed throughout the Valley on Saturday was “no less than a referendum” against India.
“India has held this part of land for decades now but it has miserably failed to win hearts and minds of the people here,” she added.
World has seen how August 14- the Pakistan Independence Day-was celebrated here and how August 15 was observed as a “black day”.
“Instead of accepting this reality, India is forcing the government employees, students and even paying some laborers to attend the Independence Day ceremonies in the fortified stadiums just to give a false impression that Kashmiris participate in such functions,” she claimed.
She said that many government employees were forced to attend the ceremonies and their attendance was marked at the venues of these ceremonies. “We have reports that employees were threatened of dire consequences for not attending the ceremonies and so were the students, but this way India can befool its people for some more time but cannot change the reality of Kashmir.”

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