MUZAFFARABAD: Kashmir’s Iconic freedom movement leader Amanullah Khan Astori passed away on Tuesday in Rawalpandi after a protracted illness at the age of 82.
According to Kashmir Media Service, Amanullah Khan breathed his last early Tuesday morning at a hospital after fighting a year-long battle against chronic lung disease. He leaves behind a daughter, Asma Sajjad Lone, and numerous followers to mourn his death.
Born in Gilgit-Baltistan’s (G-B) Astore valley in August 1934, Amanullah received his early education from SP College and later Amar Singh College, Srinagar. He migrated to Pakistan in 1952 and did his graduation from Karachi’s Sindh Madrassatul Islam College in 1957. In 1962, he completed his law degree from Karachi.
Amanullah co-founded the Jammu and Kashmir National Liberation Front (JKNLF) with Maqbool Bhat, a freedom movement leader who was hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail in 1984. In 1976, he went to Britain and formed the Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) by renaming the England branches of JKNLF.
The UK government arrested Amanullah in September 1985 and deported him in December 1986.
An iconic figure of the resistance movement, Amanullah in 1988 supported the armed struggle in Indian-held Kashmir. He remained committed to the cause of Kashmir throughout his life and was declared this year supreme leader of the JKLF.
Apart from being a political activist, Amanullah was also a writer who penned down two books.
His death was widely condoled in Pakistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said sacrifices of Amanullah Khan for Kashmiris would be long remembered. His funeral prayers will be offered in Rawalpindi’s Liaqat Bagh on Wednesday (today) at 11am.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 27th, 2016.