23RD MARCH A MILE STONE IN SOUTH ASIA’S HISTORY: REHMANI

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The Chairman of Jammu and Kashmir People’s Freedom League, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani, has paid glowing tributes to great fore-runners of the Pakistan movement who sacrificed everything under the charismatic leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah to create an independent homeland for the Muslims of South Asia in 1947.

According to Media sources, Muhammad Farooq Rehmani in a statement issued in Islamabad remembered the great historical struggle of the Muslims of the former British India, and princely states of the sub-continent, for the achievement of freedom from foreign rule according to the Lahore Resolution of 23 March, 1940. He reminded that besides Dr Allama Muhammad Iqbal’s AllahAbad presidential address to the All India Muslim League in 1921, it was also the educational philosophy of Sir Syed Ahmad Khan,  Maulana Hali’s Musaddas, Ali brothers’ indomitable faith and struggle against British, Chowdhry Rehmat Ali’s visionary booklet “Pakistan – Now or Never” and other scores of Muslim luminaries, whose philosophy of freedom and Islamic awakening cemented bond of love and unity among different Muslim schools of thought in times of great trials and tribulations in the 19th and 20th century of the Indian sub-continent.

Muhammad Farooq Rehmani said that today Pakistan faced not only economic, political and social issues, but also horror of terrorism and sectarianism. Besides, Kashmir is a long standing issue with India, whose relation with the partition of India and right of self-determination could never be ignored. Under the present circumstances to achieve the country’s political and economic goal Pakistan required internal peace and a neutral foreign policy in line with the vision of its founder and brave freedom fighters to lead the road to success. He hoped that the country’s future lied in a strong democracy and public economy, peace and tranquility at all levels. 

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HURRIYET LEADERS FELICITATE PAKISTANIS ON EVE OF PAKISTAN DAY

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In occupied Kashmir, the All Parties Hurriyet Conference leaders, Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Yasmeen Raja, Javed Ahmed Mir and Mukhtar Ahmed Waza, have felicitated the government and people of Pakistan on the eve of Pakistan Day to be observed tomorrow.

According to Media sources, Shabbir Ahmed Shah in his message in connection with the Pakistan Day highlighting the role played by Pakistan with regard to the freedom movement of Kashmir said that the Kashmiris were extremely grateful and indebted to the Islamic Republic for its unrelenting political, moral and diplomatic support to their struggle for freedom from Indian occupation.

Shabbir Ahmed Shah commenting on the significance of Pakistan in the Muslim world said that Pakistan was not only the centre of hopes of Kashmiris but also the fortress of whole Islamic world. “I believe that a strong Pakistan can play a crucial role in bringing peace in South Asia,” he added. He expressed the hope that Pakistan would continue its every possible support to the Kashmiris’ resistance movement till they achieved their birthright, the right to self-determination.

Yasmeen Raja in her message said that the 23rd March was a historic Day for Pakistan. She said that the Kashmiris highly regarded the sacrifices of Pakistani people for the Kashmir cause and were thankful for the steps being taken by the government of Pakistan at the international level for resolution of the Kashmir dispute. She said that the Kashmiris would continue their struggle till the liberation of Kashmir from Indian bondage and its accession with Pakistan. She also appealed to the people to completely boycott the forthcoming so-called elections in the occupied territory to frustrate the nefarious designs of India that always exploited the polls in its favour at the international level.

APHC leaders, Javed Ahmad Mir and Mukhtar Ahmad Waza, in their messages congratulating the Pakistani nation prayed for stability and prosperity of the country. They said that from last over six decades Pakistan as a strong nation continued to support the peaceful freedom struggle of Kashmiris and ever since advocated a peaceful resolution of Kashmir dispute according to the aspirations of Kashmiri people for which Kashmiris were indebted to Pakistan.

Meanwhile, the General Secretary of Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Political Movement, Muhammad Shafi Reshi, addressing a function at the party headquarters in Srinagar congratulated the Pakistani government and people on the eve of Pakistan Day. He said that Pakistan was the strong fort of entire Muslim Ummah. He maintained that a strong and stable Pakistan was a guarantee for prosperity and stability of the South Asian region and its inhabitants. He said that Pakistan was the country that had been extending its all out support to the Kashmiris’ just struggle for securing freedom from Indian bondage. 

KASHMIRIS URGED TO BOYCOTT FORTHCOMING SHAM POLLS

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In occupied Kashmir, the Patron of Jammu and Kashmir Mahaz-e-Azadi, Muhammad Azam Inqilabi, has appealed to the Kashmiri people to completely boycott the forthcoming farcical elections in the territory.

According to Media sources, Muhammad Azam Inqilabi in a statement issued in Srinagar said that the Kashmiris, through peaceful and complete boycott, could force the Indian rulers to adopt a realistic stand regarding the Kashmir dispute. He said that after poll boycott, Indian rulers would certainly abandon the path of intransigence and obduracy on the Kashmir dispute and seek its early and peaceful settlement.

“It is the democratic and constitutional right of Kashmiris to launch poll boycott campaign. So Indian army and police personnel should not do anything to sabotage the peaceful campaign of resistance leaders,” he said.

ELECTIONS IN IOK MERE A MILITARY OPERATION: GILANI FORUM

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In occupied Kashmir, while terming the authorities’ crackdown on pro-freedom leaders ahead of upcoming election drama as ridicules, the forum led by veteran Hurriyet leader, Syed Ali Gilani, has said that the action testifies their stand that the elections in the territory are merely a military operation rather than a democratic process. 

According to Media sources, in a statement issued in Srinagar, said, “Elections in Jammu and Kashmir are actually a joint operation of Indian Home Ministry, Army and secret agencies by which sometimes National Conference, sometimes PDP and sometimes Congress are made successful and the candidates are selected for the posts.”

While challenging the authorities, the forum said, “If Syed Ali Gilani and other pro-freedom leaders are allowed to reach people and let them run an election boycott campaign, the majority of people will boycott this election drama and will stay away from this military operation.” 

The ailing leader’s forum termed the move to further restrict the movement of 367 persons and issuance of non-bailable warrant against 957 persons as an act of state terrorism and lawlessness by the state administration. 

“These persons do not hold any weapon and neither are they going to forcibly stop the people from casting votes nor are they any threat to the law and order, but they only want to present their view before the people and inform them that how India use their vote which is begged for electricity and water, as a tool against our sacred movement and how India justifies its forced occupation and how this vote harms the Kashmir cause,” the statement added.  

“These operations made the entry of Kuka Parray like persons into the so-called assembly,” the statement further said. 

UN EXPERT ENDORSES KASHMIRI FEMALE ACTIVIST TESTIMONY

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Alfred de Zayas, United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of Equitable and Democratic International Order, endorsed the statement delivered by Kashmiri human rights activist, Shaista Safi, which she delivered via Skype from Islamabad, Pakistan.

According to Media sources, the UN official appeared moved by the statement, where Safi, who is in her twenties, recounted how her family escaped from Indian-occupied Kashmir when she was four-year-old. 

Safi joined an international panel discussion on the sidelines of the 25th session of UN Human Rights Council on Geneva on Thursday. The topic was Rights of Women and Children in Conflict.  After listening to Safi’s statement, De Zayas turned to diplomats and international NGO representatives and said, “Shaista Safi’s story is a real story from Kashmir.”

 “Children of Indian-occupied Kashmir live under constant crackdowns, curfews and military occupation, afraid of even playing outside due to the presence of Indian forces,” she told the audience.  “94,000 Kashmiri martyrs belong to 94000 Kashmiri families. Imagine the impact of this on the nation and children of that nation.” 

 “Being a part of separated family and a female,” she said, “I feel the pain of every child and women suffering and want every person in this hall to just experience this feeling for a moment to realize what it feels like to live under [Indian] occupation.” APHC leader Altaf Hussain Wani chaired the UN panel discussion. He said women and children face the brunt of war. They are either directly harmed or are forced to flee and become refugees, he said. Two international treaties, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms Discrimination Against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Child, deal with these issues. 

In Kashmir, Wani said, India refuses to implement juvenile justice system. Sixty percent of schools in Kashmir are occupied by the Indian Army. Kashmiri children have no playgrounds or parks. Kashmiri children grow up robbed of a normal life or sporting and entertainment activities. 

APHC leader Ishtiyaq Hameed talked in detail about the suffering of Kashmiri women and children under Indian military occupation and recounted his and his family’s experience as Kashmiris who were forced to escape their homes and lives because of the threat of torture and killings by Indian occupation soldiers. Apart from the UN official, Princess Michelline Djouma of Cameron, Chairperson of OCAPROCE, an international NGO accredited with the United Nations in New York and Geneva, said she has been working on Kashmir for a long time. 

The human rights situation in Kashmir, she said, is not satisfactory. Moroccan rights activist Malaninie Saadani said the people of Morocco support the just struggle of the people of Kashmir for their rights and for their freedom from Indian military occupation and forcible annexation.  

JKPL CONCERNED ABOUT HARASSMENT OF YOUTH IN IOK

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In occupied Kashmir, the Jammu and Kashmir Peoples League has expressed grave concern over the arrest and harassment of youth by Indian army and police on fake charges. 

According to Media sources, the JKPL at a meeting, which was presided over by its Chairman, Mukhtar Ahmad Waza in Srinagar, said that by such tactics India was trying to intimidate the people into submission. However, the party maintained that genuine movements for freedom could not be suppressed by the dint of force. 

Those who attended the party meeting included Nazir Ahmad Khan, Farooq Ahmad Dar, Mohammad Ashraf Vaid, Ghulam Qadir Rah, Imtiaz Ahmad Reshi, Shakeel-ul-Rehman, Shabbir Ahmad Butt, Engineer Fayaz Ahmad Bhat, Tahoor Ahmad and others. 

Party Chairman, Mukthar Ahmad Waza while addressing the meeting said that the freedom movement had entered its important stage and stressed leaders and activists to intensify their efforts to reach out maximum people to join the freedom cause.

‘WE ARE FACING DISCRIMINATION FOR FREEDOM SENTIMENTS’

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In occupied Kashmir, the residents of Pahallan in Baramulla have said that they are being subjected to discrimination by the puppet authorities for pro-freedom and anti-India sentiments among the people in the area.

According to Media sources, the residents while protesting against the anti-people policies of the regime said, “We are facing discrimination because of our love for freedom. We want freedom from Indian occupation.”

Meanwhile, people also staged anti-India protests in Saderkoot in Bandipora against the arrest of several youth.