JKLF To Exhibit Freedom March In Pakistan

23 May 2008

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chairman Yasin Malik is leaving for Pakistan on Monday to hold an exhibition of his Safar-e-Azadi (Freedom March), a 114-day long journey which was carried by his party across the valley last year. Earlier, the JKLF organized a similar exhibition on March 19 in New Delhi, which was attended by diplomats of different countries including US, Britain and Pakistan, prominent intellectuals, writers, lawyers, journalists, political leaders, doctors, university and college professors, human rights activists, former advisors and students. Later the JKLF organized another exhibition at Srinagar on March 29. Malik is expected to meet several high profile dignitaries of Pakistan to discuss Kashmir issue with them. Besides hundreds of photographs related to the march, a documentary on the campaign would be screened at Islamabad in the first week of June. “The aim of Safar-e-Azadi was to educate the people about the Kashmir dispute and finding a solution as per their aspirations. It was transparent democratic exercise in which hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris participated,” Malik told Greater Kashmir. “The aim of my Pakistan visit is to make the world aware that if Kashmir is to be solved through a dialogue process, Kashmiris should be the main party in decision making. It isn’t a border dispute between India and Pakistan, but question of future of 12 million people of J&K,” he said. The JKLF chairman claimed that Safar-e-Azadi was one among the biggest non-violent political exercises carried in the world. “Safar-e-Azadi is the mandate of people and we will exhibit it before everybody. Government of India has been projecting so-called elections as people’s acceptance of the present political set-up, which was not true. I started Safar-e-Azadi to let the world know what the aspirations of Kashmiris are,” Malik revealed. The 114-day long march kicked off from a remote south Kashmir village of Matigawran on May 21 last year and it traveled across the Valley including border areas of Uri and Tanghdar. The second part of Safar-e-Azadi in Jammu division was stopped by the authorities after Hindu organization Shiv Sena threatened to use force against JKLF activists.