Protest Against ISI In Muzaffarabad

7 December 2009
Dr Shabir Choudhry

London: People of Muzaffarabad today once again protested against clandestine activities of Pakistani secret agency ISI which kidnapped four Kashmiris from the city about two weeks ago. One of the four was released after many days of torture and inhuman treatment, but the remaining three are still kept in a secret location by the ISI. People of the city have been holding protest marches since the kidnapping of these people. These people were taken by the ISI from a local police station where they were kept for some questioning. People of the area demand that the detainees should be released without any delay otherwise they will have no choice but to continue their protests and expose injustice of the Pakistani agencies. These protests have been organised by Ifzal Suleria, Zonal President of KNP and Mahmood Baig, leader of NSF. A large number of women and people from the business community took part in the demonstration. The demonstration started from the Bank Road and ended at Central House of Journalists, where leaders of the campaign addressed the gathering. While condemning this act of ISI female speakers took off their bangles that they could present them to the local government officials and local police who could not even protect life and liberty of their citizens; and Pakistani secret agency in a day light violate human rights of local people and detain them against the law. While talking to Dr Shabir Choudhry, Ifzal Suleria said ‘While we were busy arranging protests everyday, some political parties have been taking credit for these protests and sending wrong news on internet and to other media people. He said reality is that those who claimed credit for these demonstrations were not even present in these protest marches. They didn’t even send a single person to these demonstrations, but they were quick to send news to claim credit for this. Ifzal Suleria said, ‘Our main concern is the release of the detainees. People of Muzaffarabad know who have been making sincere efforts to get the detainees released’. He further said, among the arrested were: Raja Shahid Qayyum, a fourth year student from Centre Plate, Faizan Butt first year student from Centre Plate, Ali Rathore from Madina Market and Shafiq Butt from Centre Plate Muzaffarabad. Dr Shabir Choudhry said, ‘while attention of the world is focussed on war against terrorism and what happens in FATA and to some extent in Srinagar, secret agencies of Pakistan have a free hand to oppress and intimidate those Kashmiris who challenge Pakistani rule in Azad Kashmir’. Dr Shabir Choudhry said, ‘human rights of people in Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan must also be respected and non Kashmiris must not be allowed to disrupt peace and tranquillity of the area’. He said, ‘all non local people in whatever capacity they are there must be made to leave our territory that we can manage our matters without any outside interference’. KNP leader said, ‘violence and terrorism must be opposed in all its manifestations and one must not be selective in this regard. All those who espouse terrorism must be condemned and opposed and those who try to justify it in name of religion or under any other banner, for example, strategic asset are not sincere in this matter.’ Writer is a Spokesman of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.