Muhammad Raza Malik
Islamabad, May 18 (KMS): In Indian illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir, people observe Martyrdom Week in May, every year, to commemorate the martyrdom anniversaries of prominent liberation leaders, Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq and Khawaja Abdul Ghani Lone, as well as the martyrs of Hawal. Through the observance of the Week, the Kashmiri people reaffirm their resolve to continue their ongoing freedom struggle and the mission of their martyrs till complete success.
Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq was shot dead by the agents of Indian agencies at his residence in Srinagar on May 21, 1990. Seventy mourners were killed when Indian troops opened indiscriminate fire on his funeral procession in Hawal area of Srinagar. On the same day in 2002, Khawaja Abdul Ghani Lone was also martyred by the agents of Indian agencies when he was returning from addressing a gathering at Mazar-e-Shuhada in Srinagar.
Like every year, the Chairman of Hurriyat forum, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, and the All Parties Hurriyat Conference have announced various programmes to commemorate the martyrdom anniversaries of Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq, Khawaja Ghani Lone and the martyrs of Hawal. As per the programme announced by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, an extensive campaign would be launched on social media from 18 to 21 May to highlight the Kashmir cause and the Indian machinations against the Kashmiris. Posters and banners will also be displayed all across the occupied territory. The Mirwaiz has appealed to the people of IIOJK to observe complete strike and keeping in view SOPs of Covid-19 hold a march towards Mazar-e-Shuhada in Srinagar on 21 May. He said that prayer meetings will be held all across the territory on this day. He urged the people in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan and all across the world to hold protest rallies and prayer meetings from 18-21 May. The APHC has also called for complete shutdown on May 21.
Mirwaiz Molvi Muhammad Farooq rendered unforgettable services for the people of Kashmir in the field of religion, knowledge, propagation of Islam, education, reformation and social uplift. His life is an important chapter of the political history of Jammu and Kashmir. He showed exceptional qualities of leadership during the movement against the theft of hair of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in December 1963. He constituted another organisation under the name of Awami Action Committee in 1964 to accelerate the struggle of Kashmiri Muslims for their birthright the right of self-determination. The organisation is still playing an effective role in the ongoing freedom struggle.
Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq always stressed upon the dialogue between India and Pakistan with active participation of the Kashmiri people to settle the Kashmir dispute in accordance with the Kashmiris’ aspirations. During the Pak-India war in 1965, he was arrested from Srinagar on October 10 and was shifted to Banihal. He was subjected to severe torture during detention that permanently impaired his eyesight and digestive system.
After his release, Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq resumed his political activities by launching a campaign against Indra-Abdullah accord, which was singed against the wishes of Kashmiri people in 1975. He organised a huge and historic procession and condemned the Indra-Abdullah Accord. He was a great exponent of communal harmony, brotherhood, equality, justice and tolerance.
Mirwaiz Molvi Farooq was martyred at his home in Srinagar on May 21, 1990. His martyrdom brought to an end a glorious chapter of Kashmir’s history.
Khawaja Abdul Ghani Lone was a visionary leader. He contested his first election in 1967 and with the start of political career in 1969 was taken as education minister and did several reforms in education system of the territory. Due to differences with the then puppet chief minister and Indian Government on anti-Kashmiri policy he resigned. Then he propounded his own manifesto, which was totally Kashmir-centric and challenged colonial rule of India. He defended the case of Shaheed Maqbool Butt, demonstrated and protested against his illegal hanging. He also challenged notorious Indra-Abdullah Accord. After the Kashmiris intensified their freedom struggle in 1989, Khawaja Lone warmly welcomed youth and rendered every type of support to the resistance movement.
Khawaja Lone played pivotal role for the formation of All Parties Hurriyet Conference in 1999 and represented the Kashmir case at various forums vociferously. Before his assassination, he was an active and effective member of Hurriyet Conference. Khawaja Lone spent several years in India’s illegal incarceration particularly in Jodhpur jail. He was subjected to persecution for raising his voice in favour of Kashmiris’ right to self-determination.
There is no denying the fact that the Kashmir liberation movement has a different status as compared to other freedom struggles around the world due to the nature of the sacrifices rendered by the Kashmiri people. It is a fact that Kashmiris from all age groups and from all sections of the society have rendered their lives for the Kashmir cause. The Kashmiri people are determined to take their liberation struggle to its logical conclusion at all costs.
(The author is senior editor at Kashmir Media Service)