Pakistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, announced on January 23 that Kashmir Solidarity Day will be observed on Tuesday, February 5. The day will be a public holiday and related events are scheduled to be held in major urban areas across the country, including Karachi and Multan. Political parties, including Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), are also organizing rallies and seminars nationwide to support the self-determination of the people of Kashmir. According to media reports, a human chain of Pakistani and Kashmiri citizens will be formed on all six bridges linking Pakistan to Kashmir. Various Pakistani lawmakers are also planning to visit the UN offices in Islamabad to discuss the ongoing dispute over Kashmir. Heightened security measures and traffic disruptions are expected around all related events.
Insurgents have been fighting Indian rule in Kashmir since 1989. Some 70,000 people have died and many more have been injured in related violence, uprisings, and military crackdowns. Recently, the Indian government has conducted several security operations in the region amid rising tensions and sporadic violence.
Individuals in Pakistan are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all political demonstrations as a precaution, obey all instructions issued by the local authorities, and avoid discussing sensitive political topics in public.
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