Maqbool’s death anniversary observed
11 February 2007
Muzaffarabad: Nationalist groups across Azad Jammu and Kashmir observed the 23rd death anniversary of Maqbool Butt, one of the pioneers of the Kashmir freedom struggle, on Sunday with a renewed pledge to carry on efforts on all fronts to translate his dream of the region’s independence. In Muzaffarabad, the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) took out a procession from Upper Adda which concluded at the office of the United Nations military observers, where a memorandum was delivered.“It’s the day of rebellion of pro-state people against the conspiracies of division,” read one of the banners. The memorandum called upon the UN secretary-general to intervene in the catastrophic situation in Kashmir to ensure the sanctity of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, thereby providing the Kashmiri people their incontrovertible and unfettered right to self-determination as pledged to them in August 1948. The National Students Federation’ (NSF) held a public meeting at Upper Adda in collaboration with other nationalist groups, including the National Liberation Front led by the slain guerrilla leader’s son Shaukat Maqbool. Speakers at the public meeting, which continued for several hours despite heavy downpour, paid glowing tribute to the leader and said he had struggled throughout his life to see Kashmir as an independent state. The Kashmiris wanted to fulfill his dream at all costs, they said, asking India and Pakistan to quit the region to let them live as a free nation according to their own free will. They also demanded that the Indian government return the leader’s remains to be buried in Kashmir. Later, the participants visited the nearby grave of former NSF president Gul Nawaz Butt, who was killed in the October 2005 earthquake. APP adds In Mirpur, processions were taken out by various social, political and students’ organizations, including the Jammu and Kashmir National Liberation Front, Jammu Kashmir National Students’ Federation and Jammu and Kashmir Students’ Liberation Front. The speakers reiterated the Kashmiris’ resolve to pursue their mission for taking the Kashmir freedom struggle to its logical end. They urged the world community to play a positive role in resolving the Kashmir issue for the benefit, progress and prosperity of the people of the region. They demanded immediate demilitarisation of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, unconditional release of all political prisoners and repeal of ‘black laws’.