Group image of Pakistan Ambassador to Cairo Mushtaq Ali Shah and attendees - photo by Nourhan Magdi-EgyptToday Group image of Pakistan Ambassador to Cairo Mushtaq Ali Shah and attendees - photo by Nourhan Magdi-EgyptToday

Pakistani embassy observes Kashmir “ Black Day”

Fri, Oct. 27, 2017
CAIRO – 27 October 2017: Every year on October 27 Kashmiris observe what they call their “Black Day,” recalling India’s occupation of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947 and the subsequent violence that erupted in the disputed area.

On Thursday, the Pakistani embassy in Cairo held a seminar to mark the day, inviting Pakistani students and their Egyptian fellows studying Urdu at Azhar University in Cairo, senior journalists reporting on Indian-Pakistani conflict, Urdu language professors and former Egyptian ambassadors to Pakistan.

Side of the seminar held in Cairo to mark Kashmir Black Day-Photo by Nourhan Magdi - Egypt Today

Attendees were given a brief on the history of the conflict, which resulted in almost 100,000 Kashmiris killed and thousands of families injured by the non-lethal pellet gun. This weapon was used by Indian forces leaving thousands of blinded civilians in Jammu and Kashmir.

The ambassador of Pakistan to Egypt, Mushtaq Ali Shah, expressed his delight for the Egyptian participation and their show of solidarity to the Kashmiri people in their struggle for self-determination.

A banner of the seminar marking Kashmir Black Day - Photo by Nourhan Magdi - Egypt Today

“We are commemorating today the Kashmir Black Day which marks the 70 years of occupation by India soon after independence. Over the past 70 years the Kashmiri people have been suffering. It is now the new generation which has seen only torture, killing and humiliation,” ambassador Shah told Egypt Today on the sidelines of the seminar.

He added, “We are very happy that there are a lot of great Egyptians participating in this event. Pakistan and Egypt have common challenges, interests and perceptions and they share many things together and we are very glad today for their participation.”

Shah also criticized the fact the Kashmiri issue remains unsolved on UN agenda, while “no action was taken to stop Indian atrocity against Kashmiris.”

“What makes Kashmir different is that you can conquer the land but not the people. Kashmir is people and Palestine is people,” he continued.

For his part, former Egyptian ambassador to Pakistan Fathy Youssef said the “Indian government has not implemented any of the resolutions of the UN Security Council on Kashmir.”

Pakistani Ambassador to Cairo Mushtaq Ali Shah delivering speech during Kashmir Black Day seminar - photo by Nourhan Magdi - Egypt Today

Youssef recalled Mahatma Gandhi’s last words on Kashmir crisis when he said “they should be left free to decide the question for themselves.”

“We assure our support to Kasmiri people to gain their rights. We urge both governments of India and Pakistan to normalize relations…and we call on international community to act,” Youssef added.

After India gained independence from British rule in 1947, the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir had the option to join either India or Pakistan or to choose to remain independent.

On October 26 1947 Hari Singh, the last ruling Mahraja of the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, signed the Instrument of Accession joining the whole of his Muslim-majority princely state to the dominion of India, which was followed by Indo-Pakistan war.

Former Egyptian Ambassador to Pakistan Fathy Youssef taking the floor to commemorate Kashmir Black Day in Cairo - Photo by Nourhan Magdi - Egypt Today

Deputy editor-in-chief of the state-run Al-Gomhoriya newspaper, El-Sayed Hany, condemned extra-judicial executions and violence committed against people in Kashmir, calling on India to abide by UN resolutions that grants Kashmiris the right to self-determination through democratic method of a free and impartial plebiscite.

Although economic and diplomatic ties between Egypt and Pakistan are not well-developed, they share deep military and cultural relations. They are both members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Egypt’s Al-Azhar, a world’s prestigious Islamic body, sends lecturers to Pakistani universities on a regular basis and also hosts many Pakistani students willing to study Islamic rulings and Arabic.

During mutual visits between both countries, Egypt expressed its keenness on promoting defense cooperation with Pakistan, to benefit from the latter’s experience in fighting terrorism.

Egypt is also committed to deepening cooperation with India in different aspects. Egypt has maintained a neutral official position regarding Kashmir crisis and it did not break from the OIC’s critical stance over Kashmir.
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