Islamabad observes "Black Day" to mark 75th anniversary of Kashmir dispute, while New Delhi celebrates first landing of its troops in the region, split between both South Asian neighbours since their independence from Britain.

Rallies were held in several Pakistani cities to protest the
Rallies were held in several Pakistani cities to protest the "illegal occupation" of Kashmir and demand the UN implement its relevant resolutions on Kashmir. (AA)

Pakistan has marked "Black Day" to express solidarity with the people of Kashmir on the 75th anniversary of the dispute over the Himalayan region, while India threatened to "reclaim" Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan regions from Pakistan.

Special morning prayers were offered in Pakistani mosques on Thursday for those who lost their lives in the conflict in India-administered Kashmir, where many rebel groups have been fighting nearly half a million Indian troops since 1989.

President Arif Alvi in a message said the entire Pakistani nation reaffirms its unwavering support to their Kashmiri people.

"We observe Kashmir Black Day to remember the sacrifices of our Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their just struggle for their right to self-determination by condemning the ongoing atrocities of Indian occupation forces over the last seven and a half decades," he said.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also paid a tribute to Kashmiris and vowed to keep standing by them in their resistance.

"The world should not turn a blind eye to Indian human rights abuses in IIOJK (Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu & Kashmir), which is a heavily militarised valley. Urge for freedom cannot be suppressed for long," he tweeted.

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Political, social, and human rights activists held rallies in major cities such as Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Muzaffarabad to protest the "illegal occupation" of Kashmir and demanded the UN implement its relevant resolutions on Kashmir.

Meanwhile, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation or OIC in a statement reiterated "its full solidarity with the people of Jammu and Kashmir in their quest for the right to self-determination."

It called on the international community "to step up its efforts to resolve the issue of Jammu and Kashmir in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions."

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UN-recognised dispute

On October 27, 1947, Indian troops landed in Kashmir's main city Srinagar, after India and Pakistan gained their independence from British colonial rule. Both sides entered into a military conflict in the same year that saw Kashmir become a UN-recognised dispute and divided by a de facto border called the Line of Control or LoC. 

The anniversary of this Indian action is observed by Pakistanis and Kashmiris as "Black Day," while India commemorates it as "Accession Day." 

Kashmiris in the India-administered portion of the region would shut shops and businesses on this day until August 5, 2019, when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a Hindu nationalist, stripped the Muslim-majority region of its historic autonomy, annexed it, and opened the way for Indian citizens to settle there.

Pakistan rejected the move and said India was trying to change Kashmir's demographics from majority Muslim to majority Hindu.

Most Muslim Kashmiris support the rebel goal of uniting the territory, either under Pakistani rule or as an independent country.

India says the Kashmir revolt is funded and backed by Pakistan, which denies the allegation and says it only offers moral, political and diplomatic support to Kashmiris. 

Tens of thousands of civilians, rebels and Indian forces have been killed in the conflict.

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India threatens to 'reclaim' Pakistan-administered Kashmir

Meanwhile, Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said India's story will be completed the day it "reclaims" Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan regions from Pakistan.

Singh was speaking on Thursday at a gathering in Srinagar to commemorate the first landing of the Indian troops in Kashmir.

"I want to ask Pakistan what rights it has given to the people in the areas it has occupied. Pakistan sheds crocodile tears in the name of human rights and we are aware of how concerned it is for the people of these regions," Singh said.

He said "our journey will be completed" with the implementation of a resolution passed by the Indian parliament on February 22, 1949, which claimed that Pakistan-administered Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan were parts of India.

"With the help of the people of this place and the armed forces, the day is not far that these promises will be fulfilled soon," Singh said.

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Source: AA