Wednesday, 28 May 2008

JKLF leaders betrayed ideology of Maqbool Butt, Dr Shabir Choudhry

JKLF leaders betrayed ideology of Maqbool Butt, Dr Shabir Choudhry

JKLF organised a Seminar in memory of Martyr of Kashmir Maqbool Butt in Luton, England which was chaired by Abbas Butt and addressed by speakers from different political parties. The Chief Guest of the function was Luton Town Deputy Mayor Riaz Butt, and moderated by Nawaz Majid.

Dr Shabir Choudhry said Maqbool Butt became a symbol of the Kashmiri nationalism. He went across to the Indian side of Kashmir to wage an armed struggle. He was arrested, accused of being a Pakistani agent and imprisoned. After digging a tunnel he fled the prison and reached Azad Kashmir where he was accused of being an Indian agent and imprisoned. He had to go through very demeaning treatment and brutal torture.

Agencies of both countries gave him same treatment. We are not against Pakistan and for that matter we are not against India or its people. Our fight with them is about our identity and independence. They have encroached our rights and our independence. Once we achieve our independence our fight them is over and we can live in peace and harmony in South Asia and work together to make the region peaceful and worth living.

Dr Shabir Choudhry said our attitude and response depends on the policy and at the response of Pakistan government. People of East Pakistan were loyal Pakistanis but wrong policies of Pakistani government made them rebellious and the end result was break up of Pakistan. People of Balochistan, FATA and Frontier were loyal Pakistanis but now they are fighting Pakistan because of wrong policies of the Pakistani government. He said innocent Muslims are being killed on both sides.

So don’t be too shocked when you see that more than 70 thousands people have been killed on the Indian side of the LOC. Whenever a group or community has challenged policies of a government and have become rebellious that is what governments do- they crush them with full force whether it is the Indian or Pakistani government.

JKLF leader said People of Jammu and Kashmir, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit and Baltistan are not against Pakistan but their future response could be determined by attitude and sincerity (or lack of it) of Government of Pakistan. Unlike Indian policy we find duplicity in Pakistani policy on Kashmir. Whether we like it or dislike it India has declared that Kashmir belongs to India and that India will not grant independence to people of Kashmir. Now it is up to us to formulate a policy or our response in light of that claim.

He said Pakistani governments on the other hand deceive us. They tell us they are fighting for our rights and independence yet pursue policies which deny us of our basic rights and right of self- determination. Their policies lead to division of the State and deprive us of independence.

Take example of solidarity day which was celebrated by Pakistan on 5th February, and apparent aim was to highlight the Kashmir cause, and show solidarity. Best way to show solidarity is to grant full rights to people of Gilgit and Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. If Musharaf was sincere with its aim of highlighting the Kashmir cause then he could have spoken about it when he was on nine day European tour. The international media was making note of everything he said, but he did not utter a single word about Kashmir, and when one journalist asked him a question on Kashmir, he said in the present scenario Kashmir dispute is not ‘concurrent’.

Dr Choudhry said Kashmir dispute might not be relevant to him because he has other priorities, but it is very relevant to us as it is to do with our future and our national identity. He said apart from respective governments of Pakistan we are also let down by senior leadership of JKLF, as they have abandoned the ideology of Maqbool Butt. He said these leaders have become tools in hands of Indian and Pakistani agencies, and they have ensured that the JKLF remains divided in many small groups and keep on fighting each other.

He said now retired Pakistani officials and writers agree that 1965 war was not fought to liberate Kashmir, and we are also told that the present armed struggle was started to ‘keep India engaged’ and ‘keep India bleeding’. If that was the hidden agenda then why they have used us and got so many thousands of innocent people killed. As a result of this in Kashmir today we find gun culture and destruction. We also find thousands of graves, thousands of widows and thousands of orphans with no future.

Dr Shabir Choudhry said we are the main party to the dispute, and India and Pakistan cannot decide our future. We must be part of the peace process, and any decision made by them would not be accepted by the people of Jammu and Kashmir. He said our struggle will continue until we get right of self – determination, an opportunity where people of Jammu and Kashmir can decide their future without any intimidation or fear.

Chief Guest, Deputy Mayor Riaz Butt said, Maqbool Butt died for a cause, but his cause has not died yet. All Kashmiris highly regard him and pay tribute to him. He said at one time he also belonged to the school of an independent Kashmir and he helped to organise a massive rally in Kotli Azad Kashmir for which he was beaten by the local police with sticks.

He said, after coming to UK and taking part in the British Politics, he thought issue of Kashmiri identity was divisive, but now he feels it is a good idea and must be supported. He said he would with help of other councillors support this move to get the Kashmiri identity recognised in UK. He said we must have unity among the Kashmiris because if we remain divided we will not make much progress on the issue of Kashmir. He said we must not do anything which can strengthen the hands of India, or create further divisions in the Kashmiri community.

Shiraz Khan a leader of Muslim Conference also paid very high tribute to sacrifices of Maqbool Butt. He said, however we must not take India and Pakistan on same level. On one hand we can see cruelty and imprisonment of Kashmiris, and on the other hand we see negligence, ignorance and lack of sincerity. We have complains from Pakistani rulers. We must be made part of the peace process.

Nawaz Majid a leader of the JKLF explained brief history of Maqbool Butt and what he did for the Kashmiri nation. He told the audience that both governments treated him badly and accused him of being an agent, but he was agent if his nation. He lived and died for his nation, and his name will be remembered in history. He said we must continue our struggle to complete his mission.

Asif Masood of NSF and Anwar Baig of JKNLF also addressed the audience and gave details of Maqbool Butt’s struggle and sacrifices. They explained what Pakistani agencies did to him when he arrived back in Azad Kashmir, and they treated other nationalists in Azad Kashmir.

Abbas Butt, President of the JKLF thanked the audience and explained what had happened to the unity talks among the JKLF groups. He said these leaders were not serious and sincere, and it looks that he will have to launch a party on both sides of the LOC in order to project true ideology of Maqbool Butt which so called nationalist leaders have tarnished and hijacked.

He said for the sake of unity he was the first one to leave his post. But you cannot have unity with those who are not sincere with the cause and the JKLF ideology. He said, one can impose a fight on the other party, but cannot force unity or friendship, because for unity and friendship sincerity and consent from both sides is necessary. He said senior leaders (who have become Chairmen) of JKLF have too big ego and selfish attitude and that is the biggest hurdle in the way of unity. END

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