Celebrated on the 5th day of February every year in Pakistan, Kashmir Day is a holiday that is a national holiday all throughout Pakistan and is also observed by Kashmiri separatists. It observes Pakistan’s unit with and support of the people of Kashmir and their efforts to secede from India.
The split of Kashmir between Pakistan and India has led to considerable hostility and bloodshed over the last 7+ decades with wars occurring in the region in 1947, 1965, and finally, in 1999. It’s a day that’s usually observed with rallies and speeches about Kashmir. This holiday is also known as Kashmir Solidarity Day.
The History Of Kashmir Day
This day was first proposed in Pakistan in 1990 by Qazi Hussain Ahmad of the Jamaat-e-Islami Party. The following year, Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan at the time, called for a Kasmir Solidarity Day Strike. It was then declared a public holiday by the Pakistan People’s Party to be observed on February 5th annually.
Facts About Kashmir
Kashmir is a country that’s 86,000 square miles and is located in the northern portion of the Indian subcontinent. It’s also a country in which India and Pakistan have been fighting over since both of these countries gained their independence in 1947. Between 1989 and 2008, more than 47,000 people were killed in separatist violence and between 2008 and 2019, over 4,400+ people were killed in separatist violence. On October 31, 2019, India downgraded the status of Kashmir and it was officially stripped of statehood and turned into a union territory with Jammu.
Kashmir has more going for it than the strife that has consumed it over the past 70+ years. It’s also an area that’s rich in culture and history. To show just a small sample of some of the things that Kashmir has to offer to visitors, we’ve listed some of the most interesting facts about it.
- Kashmir is often spelled as Cashmere.
- The staple crop of Kashmir is rice, but corn, wheat, and other cereal crops are grown as well.
- Due to Kashmir’s climate, beetroot, asparagus, and cabbage all grown well here.
- Kashmir has been called Paradise On Earth.
- Kashmir remains one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
- The ruins of Martand Sun Temple is located in Kashmir, it was built during the 8th century.
- One of the largest freshwater lakes, Wular Lake, is located in Jammu & Kashmir.
- The Floating Market In Srinagar is the third most popular tourist attraction in Asia.
- Chenab Bridge is a railway bridge that can withstand temperatures as low as -20-degrees Celsius.
How Is Kashmir Day Observed?
In Pakistan and the AJK, both federal and provincial government offices are closed on this day, as are educational institutions and banks. Some businesses in these areas may also close on this day, but many multinational corporations continue to do business as normal. Public transportation is also usually available on this day, but roads may be blocked due to Kashmir Day processions and/or parades.