ISLAMABAD: AJK President Sardar Masood Khan has said that Shaheed Sheikh Abdul Aziz has kept the flame of freedom alive with his blood. “He was great Kashmiri leader who struggled for the freedom of Kashmiris and ascertaining their right to self-determination”, he said.
He made these remarks while addressing a memorial service marking the martyrdom of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (APHC) leader Sheikh Abdul Aziz who laid down his life on 11 August 2008 while leading a freedom rally towards the Chakoti crossing. The conference was also addressed by Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob, former President AJK; Abdul Rasheed Turabi, Member AJK Legislative Assembly; Ghulam Muhammad Safi, Convenor APHC; Faiz Naqshbandi, convenor APHC; Sheikh Tajammul Islam, Executive Director Kashmir Media Service; and Sheikh Yaqoob, brother of Sheikh Abdul Aziz.
President Masood Khan said that today marks a historic day when Sheikh Abdul Aziz led a demonstration against the illegal economic blockade enforced in J&K. It was during this rally that Indian forces used live weapons against the participants. While paying rich tribute to Sheikh Abdul Aziz, the President said that Sheikh Abdul Aziz was a strong advocate of the right to self-determination of Kashmiri people and believed that an independent plebiscite under UN supervision is the only solution to this long-standing issue.
He also praised the sacrifices of Shabbir Shah for his support to Sheikh Abdullah. He said that Shabbir Shah has led a large portion of his life behind bars for his demand for a free Kashmir.
The President on the occasion also commended the efforts of UN Commissioner on Human Rights Zaid Ra’ad Al Hussein for releasing a comprehensive report on the gross human rights violations taking place in IOK. He said that it was also pointed out in the report that after the martyrdom of Burhan Wani, the freedom struggle has been spearheaded by the youth of Kashmir. “The Kashmir movement is alive because of the fact that that now young Kashmiris are leading the freedom movement. The people of Kashmir will never be intimidated by Indian machinations into forgoing their right to self-determination”, he said.
He condemned New Delhi’s move towards repealing Article 35-A and trying to change the demography of IOK and creating a Hindu majority. He said that this move is not only a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and Additional Protocol-I but also the rulings of the International Criminal Court.
The President said that the people of and Government of both Pakistan and Azad Kashmir fully endorse the stance of the APHC leadership and the people of Jammu and Kashmir against the abrogation of Article 35-A and manoeuvres towards changing the demographic balance in IOK.
Sardar Muhammad Yaqoob Khan, former President Azad Kashmir in his speech said that every individual must play an active role in raising the issue of Kashmir. He praised the APHC for playing a positive role in advocating a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue and raising the voice of our brothers and sisters living in the Occupied Territory.
Faiz Naqshbandi also paid tribute to Sheikh Abdul Aziz for his struggle for the freedom of Jammu and Kashmir and laying down his life for this great cause. He said India is using varied tactics in subduing the freedom struggle especially by targeting the youth and illegally arresting and harassing the Kashmiri leaders to create despondency among the masses.
Sheikh Yaqoob, brother of Sheikh Abdul Aziz said that our struggle will continue and we will continue to sacrifice our blood for this great cause. The resolve of the Kashmiri people is unbreakable, he said. He asked for developing a national consensus on the issue of Kashmir and adopting concrete steps for resolving this matter.