MIRPUR: People across Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) observed the martyrdom anniversary of veteran Kashmiri freedom fighter Afzal Guru and Maqbool Butt on Sunday as they renewed their pledge to continue the struggle for Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
Processions were taken out and rallies were held in all small and major towns of AJK to pay tribute to Butt who had been executed by India in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail in 1984. New Delhi had claimed that Butt had committed the “offence” of demanding the right to self-determination for the people of the disputed Himalayan state of Jammu Kashmir state under the spirit of the international norms and commitments to this direction.
In Mirpur, special functions were organised to observe the anniversary of the Kashmir freedom struggle leader. A joint demonstration was staged coupled with a large procession taken out by various social, political and student organisations.
Protesters marched through major city streets chanting anti-India and pro-freedom slogans hailing the sacrifices of Butt, Dr Guru and other Kashmiri martyrs.
The procession converged into a mammoth rally at the central Shaheed Chowk.
Addressing the rally, former Jammu Kashmir Plebiscite Front leaders including former president Muhammad Azeem Dutt and others paid rich tributes to Butt.
They reiterated the resolve to continue their mission for bringing the Kashmir freedom struggle to its logical end and called upon the international community to exert pressure on India to immediately hand over the mortal remains of Butt and Dr Guru to their respective families and friends for a proper burial with traditional religious respect and honour.
Speakers said that February 11, 1984, the day Butt was executed, is a black day in the history of the Kashmir freedom movement.
They said that Butt’s sacrifice had infused a new spirit and resolve among Kashmiris to accelerate their struggle for their fundamental right of self-determination which has been constantly denied by India for the past 71 years.
“The best way to pay rich tributes to late Butt is to continue the mission of the departed founder leader of the freedom struggle until the goal is achieved,” they said.
They added that the supreme sacrifice by Butt was a beacon for the Kashmiri people in their indigenous struggle for freedom.
Paying rich tributes to Kashmiri freedom-fighter Dr Guru, who had been hanged in the Tihar jail three years ago, speakers stated that Dr Guru was wrongly implicated in the case since he was already behind bars on the day of the Indian parliament’s building in New Delhi was attacked in 2001.
Speakers called on the International court of justice to institute an inquiry commission to probe into the judicial murder of Guru.
They further urged the United Nations as well as international human rights organizations, especially Amnesty International, to immediately move against the continued genocide of innocent Kashmiris in Indian-held Kashmir.
Rallies, protests mark Kashmiri separatist Afzal Guru's death anniversary
Speakers lamented that India was constantly acting upon its traditional policy of aggression against Kashmiris and demanded the inclusion of the Jammu Kashmir people, major stakeholders to the Kashmir dispute, in the dialogue between India and Pakistan for the early and peaceful resolution to the Kashmir issue as per the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.
They reminded the UN of its responsibility to find an early, peaceful settlement to the Kashmir problem according to the wishes of Jammu and Kashmir people with special attention to save the region from the threat of any nuclear Indo-Pak conflict.
Speakers also demanded immediate demilitarisation of occupied Kashmir, the unconditional release of all political detainees, and repeal all black laws in the Indian-held territory.
Earlier, a large number of the activists of JKNLF, JKLF, Plebiscite Front, NSF and other social and political organizations took out a torch-bearing procession at Shaheed Chowk on Saturday night to eulogize the contribution of the martyred Kashmiri leader to the freedom struggle.
The participants of the rally lit candles in memory of the Kashmiri martyrs.
Speakers called upon the comity of nations to help stop massive human rights abuses in occupied Kashmir - which India has literally turned into a garrison with continued nefarious and abortive moves to suppress Kashmir’s indigenous struggle for freedom.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2018.
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