The nation stepped out to observe #Kashmirhour today, on Friday August 30th, 2019. This is the timeline of events that led to the outpouring of josh and jazba on the streets of Pakistan today!
The Indian right-wing government decided to repeal Article 370 of the Indian constitution that granted Kashmir & Kashmiris special status on the 5th of August.
Today, the clampdown is now on its 26th day. Since then, Kashmir has been under a security lockdown and communication blackout.
Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan, in a call to action tweet, asked Pakistanis to observe #Kashmirhour to send a strong message to India.
“I want all Pakistanis to come out tomorrow 12 noon-12.30pm to show solidarity with the Kashmiri people and send the Kashmiris in Indian-occupied Kashmir a clear message that the entire Pakistani nation stands in solidarity with them and against Indian fascist oppression, the inhumane 24-day curfew, the daily injuring and killing of Kashmiri civilians, including women & children — all part of the ethnic cleansing agenda of the Modi government and its illegal annexation of IoK. The plan to change the demography of IoK is a war crime under the 4th Geneva Convention. We must send a strong message to Kashmiris that our nation stands resolutely behind them. So I am asking all Pakistanis for half an hour tomorrow, stop whatever you are doing and come out on the road to show solidarity with the Kashmiri people”.
Pakistanis March For Kashmir
As soon as the #Kashmirhour began, images began to flood Twitter of people observing silence and traffic at a standstill on all major roads in Pakistan.
There were numerous videos of people coming outside of their offices, business, homes, schools, etc. and chanting slogans in support of Kashmiris.
Even the Pakistani men and women’s cricket team players and staff showed solidarity with Kashmir and observed a moment of silence.
“Went to pick up the kids from school and was so happy to see small gatherings at signals and roundabouts for #kashmirhour. Cynical Karachi folks also came out for this, shows what a simple message by a committed leader can achieve”, said another citizen in a tweet.
“Who can understand the value of freedom more than our senior citizens. Who have lived through the creation of a free nation. So much respect for them for stepping out today for #kashmirhour “, said @PTIofficial in a tweet.
Imran Khan Foreshadows Kashmir’s Independence
Hundreds gathered outside the Prime Minister’s Office in Islamabad today. People came out in droves from all over the country to hear Imran Khan address the public. Addressing the masses, Prime Minister Imran Khan foreshadowed the independence of Kashmir. This is what he had to say:
We will involve Human Rights Organisations, celebrities and politicians that believe in human rights. We’ll awaken their conscience… the world should know the atrocities being carried out in Kashmir. I’m thankful to the nation and everyone who came out to show solidarity with Kashmir today. I want to let the Kashmiris know that we stand with you.
Lastly, what Narendera Modi has done at the hands of his ego in Kashmir, will InshaAllah lead to Kashmir’s freedom.
Not All Happy With #KashmirHour
Many came out with appreciative posts on Twitter. However, there are always two sides to a story. There were a few who were skeptical and critical of the #KashmirHour.
“Mr. Prime Minister, with all due respect, you don’t need to convince Pakistanis. We have always been with the people of Kashmir. You need to convince the rest of the world. Please divert state resources towards the real cause and not symbolic gestures that only inconvenience Pakistanis”, said citizen Imaan Zainab in a tweet.
“Blocking roads and chanting slogans is not letting Kashmir free instead people including ambulances are getting frustrated while being stuck at schools pack up time”, tweeted author and journalist, Azaz Syed.
The “usuefulness” of the protests is debatable. Regardless, the nation-wide protests help highlight the injustices in Kashmir and will hopefully raise media awareness throughout the world.
Pakistani Celebrities Voice Their Opinions
“Now I hope and pray that along with mobilizing the international community, the next step of Government of Pakistan will be to immediately shut down Pak airspace for India. Cut off all direct trade routes from India to Afghanistan and halt all trade between Pak and India.”, tweeted actor and activist, Hamza Ali Abbasi.
“2500 girls of @ZindagiTrust adopted SMB Fatimah Jinnah Government school. Standing together in a form of a human chain. Making the slogan – ‘we stand with Kashmir’ “, tweeted singer and philanthropist, Shehzad Roy.
It remains to be seen if this social media frenzy coupled with a very real hype on the streets of Pakistan will translate into any real gains at PMIK’s UN assembly address on September 27th. 2019.
Till then, let us know if you stepped out to march for Kashmir in the comments down below.