India should hold plebiscite in Kashmir: Sharif

Islamabad:Kashmir is not an internal matter of India, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said today and asked it to hold a plebiscite there to respect the rights of Kashmiris as Pakistan observed a ‘Black Day’ to express solidarity with the people of the Valley.

In his message, Sharif said, “Today we are observing Black Day to express solidarity with Kashmiris and are giving a strong message to the world that Pakistanis are with them (Kashmiris) for their struggle to get their rights.”

“India cannot suppress the voice of Kashmiris through force as they will eventually get freedom. The United Nations has declared Kashmir a disputed territory and India should hold plebiscite to respect the rights of Kashmiris. Terming Kashmir issue internal matter of India is not justifiable,” he said.

Sharif said India was committing human rights violation in the occupied territory which is a matter of great concern for the world community. The Prime Minister has earlier directed all relevant departments to highlight the Kashmir issue at international fora.

To observe the Black Day, rallies and events are being held across the country and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to draw attention of the world towards the Kashmir issue.

All officials of federal and provincial governments were wearing black band on duty to express “political, moral and diplomatic support” to Kashmiris.

Special prayers will be held for those killed in Kashmir after the death of Hizbul commander Burhan Wani. On the government’s order, Pakistani missions abroad will hold ceremonies there to draw world’s attention towards Kashmir.

Mastermind of the 2008 Mumbai attack, Hafiz Saeed-led Jammaat-ud-Dawah’s ‘Kashmir Caravan’, which yesterday left for Islamabad from Lahore, will hold a “large” public meeting here.

Saeed yesterday vowed to march towards Jammu and Kashmir “till Kashmiris get freedom”. Over 40 people have been killed in Kashmir in the clashes since Wani’s killing on July 8.