Washington, February 13 KMS): Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum has said that liberation leader, Muhammad Maqbool Butt was hanged by India’s authorities for protesting their illegal and iron-fisted occupation of Kashmir since 1947.

Dr Fai said this while addressing members of Kashmiri American community in Washington who had gathered to commemorate the 35th martyrdom anniversary of Kashmiri liberation leader, Mohammad Maqbool Butt in Washington. The community renewed commitment to achieve the hero’s dream: Kashmiri self-determination as agreed upon both India and Pakistan.

Dr Fai explained that Maqbool Butt was hanged by India’s authorities for protesting their illegal and iron-fisted occupation of Kashmir since 1947. He had previously been tortured and inhumanely imprisoned in the disputed territory of Kashmir. His courage, however, demonstrated such savagery would backfire, and intensify the Kashmiri resistance.

Dr Fai added since his execution, February 11 has been observed by all Kashmiris as a black day of mourning for the martyr of a brave Kashmiri statesman. 11 February is a somber day but at the same time a day of remembrance and a day to revitalize our resolve to be true to the mission of Martyr Maqbool Butt. This year, the observance featured seminars, debates, and prayer meetings around the world to advance the Kashmiri cause of freedom and justice, he added.

Dr Fai 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, the emcee of the event said Maqbool Butt was undoubtedly, a selfless leader and we, the people of Kashmir miss him dearly. Ishaq Sharif who knew Maqbool Butt personally quoted him saying, “We faced every form of torture with the belief that this (new) challenge we are facing will ultimately bring revolution to our thinking.”

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. Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan said that the sacrifice of Maqbool Butt would never be wasted. Sardar Zarif Khan, the main organizer of the event quoted Maqbool Butt 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 the lesson of the martyrdom of Butt is that we should be consciously ready to give sacrifices for the cause as was demonstrated by our leader. Sardar Aftab Roshan Khan said that Maqbool Butt taught us that the partition was not the beginning of an end of sacrifices of our nation but it still continues.

At the conclusion of the event, it was demanded that India return the mortal remains of Maqbool Butt and Afzal Guru to their relatives in Kashmir. 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 and others.

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