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Fahim, Zafar to attend Muzaffarabad rally

December 13, 2004

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MUZAFFARABAD, Dec 12: Arrangements have been completed for Monday's public meeting here of the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy.

President of the People's Party Azad Jammu and Kashmir Sahibzada Ishaq Zaffar told Dawn that the public meeting would be massive and it would "reinforce the people's demand to allow genuine political leadership to return home for restoration of true democracy in the country."

MLA Sahibzada Zafar said that the freedom movement in the occupied Kashmir had entered a critical phase which warranted complete solidarity and reconciliation in Pakistan more than ever.

"But, you cannot achieve this goal if you keep the country's popular leadership out on flimsy grounds," he said. The public meeting, he said, would be addressed by Makhdoom Amin Faheem, Raja Zafarul Haq and other ARD leaders who would be received at Kohala Bridge, some 35 kilometres from here, on Monday morning.

PPAJK workers were seen finalizing arrangements at the Club Hall Ground off the bustling Bank Road, the venue of the public meeting. Camped in the MLA hostel for nearly two weeks, Sahibzada Zaffar had been addressing corner meetings to ensure maximum participation in the public meeting. Besides, he had also formed area committees for the very purpose.

While an undeclared grouping in the PPAJK was believed to keep some of supporters of former party president Barrister Sultan Mahmood away from the Monday's gathering, PPAJK's Secretary General Chaudhry Yasin was confident that the gathering would be 'unprecedented'.

"It would be the biggest-ever public meeting of Azad Kashmir where the ARD leadership will raise its voice against the conspiracies aimed at the division of Kashmir and in favour of the return of Ms Benazir Bhutto and Mr Nawaz Sharif," Mr Yasin said.