MUZAFFARABAD: A large number of people, most of them young boys, took out a rally on Friday to pay tributes to young Kashmiri commander Burhan Wani as both parts of the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir marked his sixth martyrdom anniversary as ‘Resistance Day’.
The rally began from a roundabout, named after the martyred commander, and ended after 500 metres at Garhi Pan Chowk, with its emotionally-charged participants vociferously chanting pro-freedom and anti-India slogans.
They were also holding banners, placards and flags of Pakistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).
Earlier, a contingent of 313 youths presented a salute to the portraits of Mr Wani, veteran Kashmiri leader (late) Syed Ali Shah Geelani and other martyrs. The portraits, with Pakistan and AJK flags on either side, were printed on a large banner, displayed on the retaining wall of the district headquarters complex across the local press club.
Most participants of the rally were wearing white t-shirts and white headbands, inscribed with the words ‘Azadi and Shahadat’ (freedom and martyrdom).
The gathering was addressed by a number of people, prominent among whom were Hizbul Mujahideen deputy chief Saifullah Khalid, Pasban-i-Hurriyat leader Uzair Ahmad Ghazali, Jamaat-i-Islami’s acting chief Shaikh Aqeelur Rehman, PPP’s Shaukat Javed Mir and Kashmir Liberation Cell director Raja Sajjad Latif.
The speakers vowed that they would not let the sacred blood of Kashmiri martyrs, including Mr Wani, go in vain and the struggle against India’s unlawful occupation would continue at all costs.
According to them, the evil designs of Narendra Modi’s fascist Indian government could be thwarted only by organising and activating a “state wide military movement”.
They said it was not possible that while India continued its killing spree across the Line of Control, people on this side of the divide behaved as silent spectators.
Urging the government of Pakistan to respond to India in the same manner, they pointed out that it was Islamabad’s constitutional and national obligation to save the identity of Kashmiris and force India to hold a plebiscite.
AJK PM’s message
In his message on the occasion, AJK Prime Minister Sardar Tanveer Ilyas reiterated Kashmiris’ resolve to take the ongoing liberation struggle to its logical conclusion.
“Burhan Wani will always be remembered in the annals of Kashmir as a symbol of courage and resistance. In fact, he has imbibed a new spirit in the resistance movement by sacrificing his life,” he said.
The AJK premier asserted that the Kashmiri nation would continue the mission of Mr Wani and other martyrs, adding that, “the more you employ brute tactics to eliminate leadership of freedom seeking Kashmiris, the more our motherland will produce courageous and determined anti-India leaders”.
He said it was high time the international community realised that peace in the restive region would remain a distant dream unless the lingering dispute was resolved in line with the wishes and aspirations of Kashmiri people.
Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2022