The Kashmiri-American community in Washington metropolitan area commemorated the 40th death anniversary of Kashmiri leader Mohammad Maqbool Butt with a renewed commitment to achieve his dream: freedom from the clutches and occupation of India.
Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman, World Forum for Peace & Justice said in the pages of history, nations often find themselves graced with exceptional leaders, guides, and activists whose influence transcends mere inspiration, leaving a profound and enduring impact on their societies.
Maqbool Butt stands as one such figure in the annals of Kashmir’s history. Revered in the annals of martyrdom, he looms large, characterized by brilliance, eloquence, and unwavering courage.
His extensive involvement in the Kashmiri freedom struggle rendered him an electrifying and captivating personality.
Throughout his endeavors, Maqbool Butt demonstrated selflessness in his dedication to the people of Kashmir, tirelessly advocating for their rights.
He remained steadfast in his commitment to resolving the Kashmir dispute, emphasizing the indispensable need for the consent of the Kashmiri people in any settlement.
Dr. Fai added that Maqbool Butt proved to be prophetic what Sunil Gupta, former public relations officer of Tihar Jail, wrote in his book, ‘Black Warrant: Confession of a Tihar Jailer’ that “As a last wish, Maqbool Bhat was allowed to leave a will.
A Sikh magistrate was called a day before the hanging. Bhatt got his will recorded in English. He exerted, ‘There will be many Maqbool Bhats that will come and go, but the freedom struggle in Kashmir should continue’.
The accuracy of his prediction has since come to fruition. Today, the entire nation of Kashmir follows in the footsteps of Maqbool Butt, marching forward in pursuit of the liberation of their homeland, Jammu & Kashmir
Today, Mohammad Yasin Malik embodies the legacy of Maqbool Butt. His commitment to democratic principles in his fight for Kashmir’s freedom has garnered widespread support from the Western world.
Embracing a path of nonviolence, Malik demonstrated immense courage and resilience in advocating for the rights of the Kashmiri people through peaceful means.
His unwavering dedication to democratic values and his tireless efforts to pursue freedom through dialogue and peaceful resistance have earned him admiration and solidarity globally.
Despite the unjust imprisonment imposed by the Indian state in a fictitious trial aimed at stifling his freedom struggle, Malik’s steadfast belief in nonviolent resistance remains a beacon of hope for the Kashmiri cause.
His advocacy for freedom and democracy continues to inspire countless individuals worldwide, underscoring the power of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression.
Dr. Imtiaz Khan, Professor at George Washington University Medical Center said that the nation of Kashmir remembers and pays tribute to the martyr Mohammad Maqbool Bhat on his 40th death anniversary.
He was the pioneer of the Kashmiri freedom struggle who exhibited deep understanding about nefarious designs of Indian government.
His commitment to the goal of liberation of Kashmir is exemplary and he did not demur to pay ultimate price to realize the dream.
He was a political warrior who had sagacity to discern the willful intentions of Indian establishment towards Kashmir and was cognizant of the fact that commitments made by India to UN or other international organizations was nothing but a ruse.
Dr. Khan added that while India was able to hoodwink some of the so-called Kashmiri leaders on the issue of self-determination, Maqbool Bhat was perceptive enough to see through their Machiavellian state of mind.
He kindled the fire of freedom in the hearts of Kashmiri youth. It is due to his unwavering devotion to the cause much to the chagrin of Indian occupation forces the flame has not extinguished.
Martyrdom of Maqbool Bhat generated a wave of new generation of freedom fighters like Ashfaq Majid, Abdul Hamid Bhat, Afzal Guru and Yasin malik. Majority of them took the forces of occupation head on and in the footsteps of Maqbool Bhat sacrificed their lives in the process of struggle.
Dr. Imtiaz Khan maintained that hanging of Maqbool Bhat was the murder of Indian democracy and judicial system.
The murderous act was carried out abruptly, five days after the killing of a junior Indian diplomat, Ravindra Mhatre, in the UK allegedly by an affiliate of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) in early 1984.
Majority of people with strong understanding of modus operandi of Indian government believe that this was stage managed by intelligence. Same pattern was followed about 30 years later when Afzal Guru was hanged on the orders of Indian Supreme court.
To the utter dismay of all judicial principals the judge stated that notwithstanding the lack of conclusive evidence the sentence was confirmed to fulfill the wishes of majority of Indian population.
To avoid the fury of Kashmiri people bodies of both Maqbool Bhat and Afzal Guru were not handed to their families but buried in the premises of Tihar Jail.
Evidently the hands of Indian authorities including judiciary are soaked with the blood of Maqbool bhat and their actions have put their democratic credentials to shame
Sardar Zarif Khan, Advisor to the President of Azad Kashmir said that Maqbool Bhat’s life has inspired countless Kashmiris to persist in the struggle for self-determination against India’s intransigence.
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.
He gave a lesson to the generations to come that it is a very hard but only choice to accept martyrdom instead of slavery.
While we must pay rich tributes to the memory of this great martyr, our true tribute will be emancipation of the Kashmiri people from under the Indian brutal occupation and senseless subjugation.
Sardar Zubair Khan, leader of Kashmiri American Welfare Association (KAWA) said 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.
Today, he is an inspiration to millions of Kashmiris and those striving for human rights and human dignity. Sardar Zubair added that the people of Kashmir, despite all the odds, have never lost hope in the right of self-determination.
Mr. Hamid Malik, a well-known community leader said that Maqbool Butt was certainly a charismatic leader who gave his today for the betterment of tomorrow. The sacred blood of Maqbool Butt, which the oppressor wanted to bury behind the high walls of Tihar jail, has taken rebirth in the form of slogan in every corner of the sub-continent. Malik added that the lesson of the martyrdom of Butt Sahib is that we should be consciously ready to give sacrifices for the cause as was demonstrated by our leader.
Sardar Mohammad Shaheen said that Maqbool Butt was undoubtedly, a selfless leader and we, the people of Kashmir miss him dearly. His dastardly death will inspire living Kashmiris for the ages, just as Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination did in the United States.
Sardar Shakeel Anjum said that the sacrifice of Shaheed Maqbool Bhat will never be wasted. The blood of Kashmiri martyrs brings the goal for freedom and justice nearer. Shakeel added that the spirit of Maqbool Butt is alive.