WASHINGNTON: Kashmiri American community in Washington metropolitan area commemorated the 35th anniversary of the Kashmiri leader Mohammad Maqbool Butt with a renewed commitment to achieve the hero’s dream: Kashmiri self-determination as agreed upon both India and Pakistan.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness Forum 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.
Fai underscored that “Indian authorities could jail Maqbool Bhat and silence him by execution but they could not silence his ultimate desire ‑ the struggle for the people of Kashmir. The spirit of Maqbool Bhat 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. While paying tribute to Shaheed Maqbool Bhat, Imtiaz said that worldly luxuries meant nothing to Maqbool Bhat.
Dr. Ikhlas Barlas, Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan, Sardar Zarif Khan, Sardar Zubair Khan, Sardar Aftab Roshan Khan, 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 also spoke at the occasion.
At the conclusion of the event, it was demanded that the Government of India return the mortal remains of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat and Shaheed Afzal Guru to their relatives in Kashmir. It has been a sacrilege to have kept it in India for thirty-five and six callous years respectively.