Kashmiri diaspora

International webinar held in Texas on Maqbool Butt’s martyrdom anniversary

Dallas, Texas: An international webinar was held in Dallas, Texas, on the martyrdom anniversary of prominent Kashmiri liberation leader Muhammad Maqbool Butt.

According to Kashmir Media Service, various topics were discussed during the webinar in the webinar which was participated by more than 120 persons and hundreds attended it via social media.

Among others who contributed on the theme included Shoukat Maqbool Butt (son of Shaheed Maqbool Butt), Engineer Farooq Siddiqui, Dr Toqeer Gilani, Barrister Asif Khan, Ms. Laura Schhrmans, Dr Esa Shahab, Mr. Akram Suhail, Professor Azmat Khan, Sardar Mumtaz Khan, Mr. Ershad Malik, Mrs. Iffat Farooq Haider, Nasir Wani, Azad Muzaffar, Shoukat Majid Malik, Advocate Gibran Nasir, Shams Rehman, Shoukat Javaid, Barrister Hameed Bashani, Sardar Aftab Khan and Mohammad Ashfaq Qamar.

Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Chairman of World Forum for Peace & Justice was unable to present his paper via zoom link due to the delay in the flight. He, however, sent his paper for the consideration of the participants of the webinar.

He extended his heartfelt gratitude to Raja Muzaffar Sahib for the invitation to pay tribute to the iconic Maqbool Butt. He said as we commemorate the 40th anniversary of his passing, I am honored to reflect on “Maqbool Butt: His Vision, Its Impact, and Our Responsibilities.” Maqbool Butt was more than just a leader; he was a symbol of integrity, decency, and unwavering dedication to the just cause of Kashmir.

He added that Maqbool Butt played a central role in the Kashmiri resistance movement for many years until 1984 when Indian authorities executed him for his protests against their long-standing and oppressive control of Kashmir since 1947.

“Since his execution, February 11 has been solemnly observed by all Kashmiris as a day of mourning for the brave Kashmiri statesman, marking it as a black day. However, amidst the sorrow, it serves as a day of remembrance and a call to renew our commitment to Martyr Maqbool Butt’s mission. This year, the commemoration will include seminars, webinars, like this one, debates, and prayer meetings worldwide to further the Kashmiri cause of self-determination, as mandated by international law, and uphold the principles of justice,” Fai maintained.

He emphasized that Maqbool Butt possessed a clear and unwavering vision for the future of Kashmir. His approach left no room for uncertainty or ambiguity. He boldly proclaimed that the only resolution to the Kashmir dispute was the establishment of an independent state in South Asia. His vision encompassed a democratic, independent Jammu and Kashmir, organized as a federation of five provinces. This envisioned state would maintain amicable relations with its neighboring regions and the global community at large. Butt believed this solution to be the most practical and capable of fulfilling the aspirations of the majority of the people in Jammu and Kashmir. Maqbool Butt ardently desired independence for his beloved homeland from India. In his own words, he expressed, “That freedom and independence is the fate and destination of Kashmiris.”

“Today, Mohammad Yasin Malik, incarcerated but unwavering in his leadership of the JKLF, embodies the legacy of Maqbool Butt. Taking the reins of leadership at a young age, Malik elevated the resistance movement to a prominent position, fulfilling Butt’s vision for his right-hand man. Mohammad Yasin Malik’s commitment to nonviolence and democratic principles in his fight for Kashmir’s freedom has garnered widespread support from the Western world. Embracing a path of nonviolence, Malik demonstrated immense courage and resilience in advocating for the rights of the Kashmiri people through peaceful means. His unwavering dedication to democratic values and his tireless efforts to pursue freedom through dialogue and peaceful resistance have earned him admiration and solidarity globally. Despite the unjust imprisonment imposed by the Indian state in a fictitious trial aimed at stifling his freedom struggle, Malik’s steadfast belief in nonviolent resistance remains a beacon of hope for the Kashmiri cause. His advocacy for freedom and democracy continues to inspire countless individuals worldwide, underscoring the power of peaceful resistance in the face of oppression, Fai added.”

Ghulam Nabi Fai suggested that “Remembering Maqbool Butt at this crucial juncture of Kashmir’s history means also to remember his trusted colleague, Mohammad Yasin Malik. Today Kashmiri Global Diaspora (KGD) must become the voice of Yasin Malik. It must advocate for the release of Mohammad Yasin Malik and strive for peace through diplomatic channels. By honoring the sacrifices of leaders like Maqbool Butt and supporting their associates, like Yasin Malik, the GKD can advance the cause of Kashmir’s peaceful settlement and independence.”

He appealed to the United Nations and the global community, particularly the Western world, to urgently persuade India to release Mohammad Yasin Malik. Malik’s embrace of nonviolence, akin to the principles of Dr. Martin Luther King and Gandhi, serves as a potent example of peaceful resistance in the pursuit of freedom and justice. His unjust incarceration not only stifles the Kashmiri struggle for freedom but also risks fueling further violence and instability in the region. By advocating for Malik’s release, the international community can send a powerful message in support of nonviolent conflict resolution. In a world grappling with conflicts like those in Ukraine, Israel, and Palestine, upholding individuals like Yasin Malik who champion nonviolence offers a beacon of hope for dialogue and peaceful resolution of disputes. It is imperative that world powers recognize the importance of promoting peaceful activism and work towards securing Malik’s freedom as a step towards fostering a culture of nonviolence and dialogue on the world stage.

“The people of occupied Jammu Kashmir will forever remember Maqbool Butt’s selfless contributions to the freedom struggle, which remain a defining milestone in their history,” concluded Dr. Fai.

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