In PaK motorcycle rally marks Bhat's martyrdom eve

Greater Kashmir

Muzaffarabad, Feb 10: Activists of pro-independence National Students Federation (NSF) took out a motorcycle rally here on Sunday, a day before the 24th martyrdom anniversary of Muhammad Maqbool Bhat, the pioneer of freedom struggle in Jammu and Kashmir.
 The rally began from Upper Adda and took round of various parts of the city with its participants hoisting the organisation’s red flags and carrying some portraits of Bhat who was hanged by the Indian government in New Delhi’s infamous Tihar Jail on Feb 11, 1984.
 “Bhat your caravan has neither stopped nor surrendered,” chanted the NSF activists vociferously during the rally along with other pro-independence slogans.
 The rally was also attended by guerrilla leader’s son Shaukat Maqbool Bhat, Arif Shahid, Prof M.A.R.K. Khalique, Wajahat Hussain Mirza and some other leaders of the pro-independence All Parties National Alliance (APNA).
 In Mirpur’s Chowk-e-Shaheedan “candles of freedom” were lit on Sunday evening to pay homage to Bhat.
 The NSF media coordinator Zulfiqar Baig told Greater Kashmir here that the organisation would hold a public meeting in Muzaffarabad on Monday and many similar programmes elsewhere in Pakistan administered Kashmir to mark the great leader’s anniversary.
 Apart from the NSF, almost all other pro-independence groups and organisations have also chalked out, separately as well as jointly, a number of programmes to pay homage to Bhat on his 24 th martyrdom day.
 The anniversary of Bhat, who was the founder of National Liberation Front (NLF), is being observed at a time when demands on the other side of the Line of Control are growing that India should return his body, buried somewhere on the premises of Tihar prison, for its burial in the territory of Kashmir. 
 On Saturday, scores of All Parties Hurriyat Conference (Mirwaiz faction) activists were arrested in Srinagar as they took out a procession to deliver a memorandum to the UN military observers, seeking the intervention of Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for return of mortal remains of Maqbool Bhat to the Kashmiris.
 The memorandum said the denial of proper burial of the great Kashmiri leader was painful for the entire Kashmiri nation in general and his relatives in particular.
 Meanwhile, United Jihad Council, an alliance of Kashmiri militant groups, has also paid rich tributes to Bhat on the eve of his death anniversary, terming him a “hero of Kashmir freedom movement.”
 “He dedicated his life to achieve freedom for his oppressed nation and accepted the gallows but did not compromise with India,” said a spokesman for the UJC in a statement.
 He pointed out that the body of Bhat was not given back to his dependants – the Kashmiris – and instead buried in Tihar Jail only because the “despotic Indian rulers knew that the handover had potential to give a fresh impetus to the freedom struggle.”
 The UJC spokesman said before and after the martyrdom of Bhat, nearly 500,000 Kashmiris had sacrificed their lives for their noble cause and hence it was binding upon every Kashmir to carry forward this struggle at all fronts so as to take it to its logical end at the earliest.
 The UJC spokesman also pointed out that the sacrifices and martyrdoms in Kashmir were not offered for the sake of “contesting elections or forming puppet governments or agreeing to any solution to the problem under Indian Constitution but only for (achievement of) right to self determination.”
 These sacrifices, he said, demanded of the Kashmiris to comprehend the Indian ploys and reject and completely boycott the forthcoming elections in Jammu and Kashmir.
 The UJC spokesman called upon the Kashmiris to observe complete strike on the martyrdom day of Bhat on Monday to pay tributes to him and all other martyrs on the one hand and once again express their unflinching commitment to the freedom struggle on the other.