Pak-occupied J&K Kashmiris to observe First Black Day on 5 Feb

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prRoTESt in POJK
Protests In POJK (Photo: News Intervention)

For the past thirty years, every year on 5 February, Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) and Pakistan occupied Gilgit-Baltistan (POGB), observed a day of solidarity with Kashmir, referring to it as “Kashmir Day.” On this day, government offices remain closed, and both official and unofficial events are held in all major cities of Pakistan, POJK, and POGB. The Kashmiris from POJK, who were living abroad also protested against India in front of Indian embassies, portraying leaders of the freedom conference as heroes while condemning their own Indian government and military as oppressors.

One of the main reason for this was the lack of awareness among the Kashmiris of POJK and POGB. Also, the propaganda of Pakistan played a key role in keeping them alienated. In the nineties, during the ongoing conflict in Sri Nagar under the banner of jihad, the Jamaat-e-Islami, a jihadist partner of the Pakistani establishment, led by Qazi Hussain Ahmed, declared 5 February as a Black Day on the official calendar, aligning with their demands. In the nineties, without the presence of social media, the people of POJK and POGB relied on Pakistan-controlled television to understand the Kashmir conflict.

The narratives presented on controlled media portrayed Islamabad as heaven, Muzaffarabad and Gilgit as paradise, while Srinagar as hell. Over time, with the advent of social media, perceptions shifted, and common people in Pak controlled territories, began to understand that Sri Nagar was progressing more than Muzaffarabad, and Delhi was considered a better place than Islamabad. Slowly, the hollow significance of the 5th of February began to fade.

How perceptions evolved in POJK regarding 5 February

This notion became more fervent in 2023. Throughout the year, 2023 the non-governmental organization in POJK protested against electricity bills, increased wheat flour prices, taxes, and abolition of subsidies. The historical protest continued for a year. Seeing no redressal of their demands, the Joint Action Committee, in its latest meeting this month, announced a complete shutdown and wheel jam strike from Nilam to Bhimber on the 5th of February. This announcement posed a significant challenge to the Pakistani establishment. Pakistan never thought it would witness such a day. For years, on the 5th of February, people carried away with the emotions of Kashmiri Jihad, observed a Black Day against India. However, this time, Kashmiris chose to observe a Black Day against Islamabad instead of Delhi. Times are changing, and perceptions are evolving.

Apparently, the expected protest on the 5th of February is likely to resonate globally against Pakistan. Accordingly, those who have been lying to people for years will now have their mask of empathy removed, and Pakistan will be exposed to the world.

Protests are intensifying in Pakistan-occupied Jammu and Kashmir. People have been withholding electricity bill payments for eight months. Sit-ins are ongoing in various cities. Hatred against Pakistan is escalating. Today, the non-governmental Azadi group from Pak occupied Jammu and Kashmir is demanding facilities similar to those in Srinagar. Whether understood or not, this is Pakistan’s worst defeat.

Now, Kashmiris have realized the reality of Pakistan. The connection between Pakistan and the people of Kashmir is weakening. Those who once considered Muzaffarabad as paradise and Sri Nagar as hell are now demanding facilities similar to those in Sri Nagar for Muzaffarabad.

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