MUZAFFARABAD: As Pakistan reiterated its firm resolve on Thursday to continue its support to Kashmiri people in their just struggle for the right to self-determination and the settlement of the longstanding dispute in accordance with the UN Security Council resolutions, hundreds of people from different walks of life organised events in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) to pay homage to young Kashmiri freedom fighter Burhan Muzaffar Wani on the occasion of his fifth martyrdom anniversary.
The anniversary was observed as “resistance day”.
In a statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said this day should serve as a reminder to India to end its egregious human rights violations in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK), and take concrete steps towards the resolution of the dispute.
“We also call upon the international community to play its due role in this regard,” he said, adding that Mr Wani, through his sacrifice, had come to rightly symbolise the indigenous Kashmiri struggle against the illegal Indian occupation.
Tribute paid to Burhan Wani on fifth martyrdom anniversary
In Muzaffarabad, hundreds of people paraded through a main thoroughfare to express their allegiance to Burhan Wani, who was martyred along with two associates by the Indian army in a fake encounter in the Kokernag area of IIOJK on July 8, 2016.
His martyrdom had triggered a sustained wave of anti-India protests which had claimed the lives of at least 100 Kashmiris.
The participants of the rally in Muzaffarabad were holding a big banner and placards inscribed with slogans highlighting the supreme sacrifices of Kashmiris for freedom of their motherland.
“Burhan Muzaffar Wani Shaheed is our hero,” read a big banner from the Hizbul Mujahideen group, of which Mr Wani was the top commander in occupied Kashmir.
In his telephonic address to the participants, Hizbul Mujahideen supreme commander Syed Salahuddin said the mission of the martyrs of Kashmir would be continued at all costs till its accomplishment.
“India should bear in mind that its wickedness, military repression and state-sponsored terrorism will not subdue us into giving up our just demand,” he said, adding that freedom of Kashmir from Indian subjugation was the aim and objective of every Kashmiri.
He called upon the AJK government to fulfil its responsibilities with regard to the ongoing anti-India struggle in IIOJK for being the ‘base camp of freedom movement’.
In Athmuqam, district headquarters of Neelum valley, a contingent of young boys, attired in white T-shirts inscribed with anti-India and pro-freedom slogans, staged a march while holding mock swords.
After presenting a salute to a large portrait of Burhan Wani, amid anthems of AJK and Pakistan, they swore an oath to realise the dream of Mr Wani and tens of thousands of other Kashmiri martyrs.
“Whatever atrocities India may unleash on our brethren, we will never give up our struggle to overthrow its illegal occupation,” said Usman Ali Hashim, a migrant from occupied Kashmir, on the occasion.
In a special message on Burhan Wani’s martyrdom anniversary, AJK President Sardar Masood Khan said the martyred commander would always be remembered on both sides of the divide for his courageous struggle against oppressor India.
“The history of Kashmir will remain incomplete without the chapter of Burhan Wani because he is a hero and a glittering star of the liberation struggle which has been continuing for the last seven decades,” he added.
Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2021