Pakistan observes 27 October as Kashmir Black Day to mark the anniversary of the day the Indian Army arrived in J&K to fight off the 1947 Pakistani invasion

New Delhi: Saudi Arabia has asked the Pakistan embassy in Riyadh to not hold any public event Tuesday to observe “Kashmir Black Day”, also telling them to keep activities held on the premises “low-key”.

According to Indian diplomatic sources, Pakistan had plans to observe and hold a significant public event to observe the anniversary of the day the Indian Army arrived in Jammu & Kashmir to fight off the 1947 Pakistani invasion. 

The army had landed in J&K a day after its erstwhile ruler, Maharaja Hari Singh, signed the instrument of accession that made it a part of India. India, meanwhile, observes 22 October — the day the invasion began — as ‘Black Day’. 

“The Saudi government generally does not support large-scale political programmes even if it is being organised by Pakistan. They have clearly told the Pakistani authorities to not to hold public events as those can create problems,” told a top diplomatic source.

The Saudi government has informed the Pakistani authorities in Riyadh that they want to hold programmes and talks on 27 October, then it has to be done strictly on the premises of the Pakistan Embassy there, as it has been doing at missions in other world capitals, including New Delhi, sources said.

India, the sources added, has also “sensitised” the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia against such an action by Pakistan that can “create issues” for the Indian expat community living there.

Strains In Pakistan-Saudi Arabia Relationship

The bilateral relationship between India and Saudi Arabia is at an all-time high even as tensions are beginning to emerge between Islamabad and Riyadh over the issue of Kashmir.

Although the Saudi Arabia-led Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) continues to pass resolutions on alleged human rights violations in Kashmir by India, and has cautioned against efforts to change “the demographic composition of the disputed region” after the scrapping of Article 370, Pakistan has criticised the body’s “delay” in convening a foreign ministers’ meeting on Kashmir.

“The Saudis have been quite conscious of balancing their relationship with India as well as with Pakistan. They do not want to do anything that might impact any of these bilateral ties adversely. On the issue of Kashmir and, especially post the scrapping of Article 370, tensions have been brewing between Islamabad and Riyadh on the stance each of them will take against India. It remains to be seen how this pans out in the long run,” said Zikrur Rahman, former ambassador and an expert on Gulf affairs.

In June last year, India had rejected the OIC’s plan to appoint a special envoy for Jammu and Kashmir, and said it has no locus standi on India’s internal matters.