Maqbool Butt’s vision of free Kashmir remains alive: Fai

NEW YORK:The Kashmiri-American community in Washington metropolitan area commemorated the 35th death anniversary of Kashmiri leader Mohammad Maqbool Butt with a renewed commitment to achieve his dream: Kashmiri self-determination as agreed by both India and Pakistan that was endorsed by the United Nations.

According to a press release, the Secretary General of Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, denounced Maqbool Butt’s hanging by India’s authorities for protesting their illegal occupation of Kashmir since 1947, after having been tortured and inhumanely imprisoned him in the disputed territory of Kashmir.

“His courage, however, demonstrated that such savagery would backfire, and intensify the Kashmiri resistance,” Fai said.

Since Butt’s execution, he said February 11 has been observed by all Kashmiris as a black day of mourning for the martyr of a brave Kashmiri leader.

“Maqbool Butt’s life has inspired countless Kashmiris to persist in the struggle for self-determination. His vision of a free and fair Kashmiri self- determination on its sovereign destiny did not die with his death. He gave his life for the cause because he believed in it with all sincerity and honesty.”

Fai, however, underscored that “Indian authorities could jail Maqbool Butt and silence him by execution but they could not silence his ultimate desire – the struggle for the people of Kashmir.

The spirit of Maqbool Butt is alive.

Today, he is an inspiration to millions of Kashmiris and those striving for human rights and human dignity.”

Sahibzada Imtiaz Zafar, who conducted the proceedings, said Maqbool Butt was undoubtedly, a selfless leader for whom the worldly luxuries meant nothing. He always preferred a day of freedom to a life of luxuries without any freedom, he said.

Ishaq Sharif, a friend of Maqbool Butt, said he was certainly a charismatic leader who gave his today for the betterment of tomorrow.

His dastardly execution will inspire living Kashmiris for ages.

Dr. Ikhlas Barlas, a well-known community leader, urged everybody to take a leaf from the long history of Kashmir which is full of trials and tribulations. Those who contemplate on the past will ultimately come closer to achieve their objective – the freedom for the people of the State of Jammu & Kashmir.

Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan said that the sacrifice of Shaheed Maqbool Butt will never be wasted. The blood of Kashmiri martyrs brings the goal for freedom and justice nearer.

Sardar Zarif Khan, the main organizer of the event quoted Maqbool Butt Shaheed as saying, “The children of oppressors are provided with all the luxuries and comfort of the world, but the children of resistance leaders are not attracted to these kinds of luxuries and comfort. They get satisfaction from struggling against the system of oppression.”

Sardar Zubair Khan said that the martyrdom of Butt Sahib would inspire generations of Kashmiris and freedom-loving people.

Sardar Aftab Roshan Khan said that Maqbool Bhat Shaheed had given us an important message: keep up the struggle until the liberation of Kashmir from the Indian yoke.

Other speakers included Sardar Shoaib Irshad; Sardar Kabir Khan; Shakeel Anjum; Sheikh Lateef; Khursheed Shaheen; Mohammad Farooq Khan; Professor Saeed Khan; Hafeez Shah; Sardar Tariq Khan.In conclusion, the meeting demanded that India return the mortal remains of Shaheed Maqbool Butt and Shaheed Afzal Guru to their relatives in Kashmir.