This holiday is a national holiday in Pakistan celebrated annually on February 5th.
Kashmir Solidarity Day, also known as ‘Youm-e-Yakhjehti-e-Kashmir’ has been observed in Pakistan since 1990 as a day of protest against Indian control of part of Kashmir.
History of Kashmir SolidarityDay
Renowned for its scenic beauty, Kashmir lies in the northernmost part of the Indian sub-continent, bordered by the Himalayas. At the time of the partition of India, the region was a princely state under the British Raj. The state was divided into three, now controlled by India (Jammu and Kashmir), Pakistan (Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan), and China (Aksai Chin).
The split of Kashmir between India and Pakistan has led to enmity and bloodshed with three wars between India and Pakistan over the region – in 1947, 1965 and 1999.
Pakistan considers the issue of control of Kashmir as the core issue between India and Pakistan, which has led to three wars and means that Pakistan feels they need to devote a significant portion of their national income to military budgets.
A non-working day to highlight the issue of Kashmir was first suggested by Qazi Hussain Ahmad of the Jamaat-e-Islami party in 1990. The idea was supported by Nawaz Sharif, Punjab Chief Minister at the time, and the Prime Minister at the time, Benazir Bhutto. The Pakistan People’s Party then declared February 5th as a public holiday.
On Kashmir Day, all government, semi-government and private offices across Pakistan will remain closed. The State Bank of Pakistan will also remain closed.
The day is marked by political rallies, marches, and speeches about Kashmir. A human chain is formed on the major route from Pakistan to the Kashmir.
A one-minute silence is observed at 10 am local time in honor of the dead. Radio Pakistan broadcasts a special marathon transmission focusing on different aspects of the Kashmir dispute.