Proud mother of Butt laments indifference of separatist leadership

Trehgam remembers its hero away from camera flashes and TV crews
Faisul Yaseen
Kupwara, Feb 11. 2004: While people remembered Maqbool Butt on his 20th death
anniversary as 'the national hero' and 'the son of revolution', Butt's
mother, Shah Mali said that if she had more sons she would have loved to
see them all sacrifice lives for Kashmir's independence.
Shah Mali wife of Ghulam Qadir Butt of Trehgam Kupwara told IMAGES that
she felt proud of being mother of Maqbool Butt. She said Butt believed
complete independence of Kashmir was the only solution to the vexed
issue of Kashmir.
Shah Mali said that apart from Maqbool, her another son, Manzoor Ahmad
Butt was killed by the security forces in 1994. Butt's another brother
Ghulam Nabi died in a road accident in 1995 while as the third brother
Habibullah's whereabouts were not known. Habibullah had left for Bombay
in 1970 and is missing till date. Maqbool's younger brother, Zahoor is
presently in Pakistan working for JKLF.
"I am happy that at least three, and may be the fourth one too,
sacrificed their lives for Kashmir," she said. She, however, said that
she felt disappointed as all these years no leader had come to express
solidarity with her.
Shah Mali also expressed hope that the long-standing dispute of Kashmir
would be solved by the earliest so that bloodbath in Jammu and Kashmir
comes to an end.
Shah Mali also said that the troops and the different government
agencies didn't spare her even after hanging her son. "Troops and STF
harassed our family all these years. Only recently DSP of STF, Gul Badan
Singh interrogated me. I was hung upside down and interrogated for four
hours," she said.
Butt's mother lives in a mud house, which was constructed in 1920. Butt
spent most of his childhood in the same house.
Butt has two sons, Showkat Maqbool Butt currently living in Muzaffarabad
and Javed Maqbool Butt living at Peshawar besides daughter Fariyaal who
lives at Karachi.
One of Butt's family members at Trehgam Kupwara while pleading anonymity
said Butt sacrificed his life for the nation and not for personal gains.

"Though Butt was a peace lover, he, however wasn't averse at taking up
arms. He once said that even if Israel supports our struggle we should
accept it," he said. "But situation then was different and situation now
after 9/11 is different," Butt's family member said.
"When he was only in the 8th standard he gave a speech at his school and
in subtle words indicated that he would struggle for getting freedom.
Being a student of literature and religious studies Butt had developed a
desire for freedom," the family member said.
A childhood friend of Maqbool Butt, Ghulam Mohuiddin Sheikh of Trehgam
Kupwara, said he played with Butt and grew up alongside him. "We played
together and exercised regularly," Sheikh said.
He said that Butt never believed in aggression. "There can't be a
parallel character like him. I don't have a tongue to sing his praise,"
he said.