The Chairman of the Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) Mohammed Yasin
Malik wrote the following article earlier last year before his arrest by the
puppet state government. He is currently held in Johdpur jail in Rajistan.
It is now available on jklf website

Maqbool Butt Shaheed - My leader my mentor
By Yasin Malik
I have never met Maqbool Butt. I have never seen him, except for his
photographs. But still he has always remained an inspiration for me. On
February 11, every year, spring comes to me with renewed inspiration to
continue with his struggle.
When I was arrested on August 6, 1990, I was bleeding profusely,
blindfolded, tired and had not slept for two nights. Within another two days
later I was shifted to an unknown destination out of Srinagar. On August 8,
when the policemen removed the bandage from my eyes I was told that I was in
Tihar Jail's death cell. Lucky for me, that’s where Maqbool Butt lived for
years. A middle aged Jail constable made sarcastic remarks to me in his
comparison of me to Maqool Butt.
"You look so depressed and week when your leader was like an iron man,
determined to do anything and always hale and hearty", he remarked in Hindi.
His comments touched my soul. My exhaustion and weakness vanished. I pledged
there and then to follow our great leader's example.
Just like any Kashmiri prisoner I wanted to see the grave of Maqbool Butt
Shaheed who was buried within the jail. I remember the very first thing I
asked for in Tihar jail was to be shown his grave. I was merely shown the
iron-fenced area in the backyard of the jail from a distance. I asked the
Jailer if I could go near and touch the grave. The officer stood up and
refused permission in a coarse language. I insisted that I wanted to visit
the grave to pay my obeisance to my leader but he cruelly ordered his
subordinates to take me away.
Sometime later some of the inmates took me near the fenced area. Desperately
wanting to touch the grave, I preyed to God for the opportunity to be near
it. As I stood there, where no one was allowed to go, heavens opened and
water hammered down. Rain became heavy and the water flowed toward me. I
felt the eerie air and hissing of nearby trees made me feel as if Maqbool
Butt was standing in front of me. I don't know why but I started crying.
Tears rolled out of my eyes and mixed with the rainwater. I just kneeled
down and offered Fatiah. When I went back to my cell and wept loudly. As I
cried made my second pledge. I vowed not to rest until his dream of
independent Kashmir was realised. I pledged not to surrender at any cost.
During my time in that prison, I acquired information about what Maqbool
Butt did in Jail, how friendly he became with inmates and prison officers.
One of the senior employees in the Jail described him as a perfect man who
was meaningful in his ideas and actions. I was told he spoke very little and
therefore newcomers usually took a while to notice his presence even when
they were in the same barrack. At meal times he ate very little and his food
used to remain in front of him for hours, which irritated the jail
authorities. For strangers, he was numb as he remained in thought process
most of the time, but those who knew him knew well how uneasy he was in
Maqbool Butt was a realist who understood the enormous odds against him. He
was a romantic, ready to embrace death for what he believed in.
A 10 years old girl, Mehak, once asked me when we would achieve our goal of
freedom. Mehak was one of millions of children from across Jammu-Kashmir who
posed this question every day. When I was her age, the same question would
float in my mind repeatedly and keep me restless.
I couldn’t find an answer then but when I joined the movement it came clear
to me. Let me share that secret with you, today. I believe the date for our
national freedom was written on the day the father of the nation, Shaheed
Maqbool Butt, was hanged to death in Tihar Jail by India.
I have set a goal for myself to discover that date. I am clear in my mind. I
have no doubt about our destiny and the date for our independence.
The oppressor may continue to divert your attention and attempt to weaken
our movement through false propaganda. But the resolute determination,
supreme struggle and sacrifices of Shaheed-e-Kashmir, Maqbool Butt and
thousands of his followers who died for the sacred cause of independence
will bear fruit. It is our job to make sure that their goal is achieved
sooner or later.
When I think of earlier generations who preceded us and the ones who will
follow, I am reminded of the progression of water waves moving towards the
shore. As one crests another falls, almost in anticipation of its turn. We
have arrived here because of those who have gone before us, and the same
will be true for the next generation. This natural phenomenon suggests that
we too must fallow those who laid the foundation of the revolution in our
country for the betterment of our people. Mabool Butt started alone but
today hundreds of thousands of Kashmiris are with him. Tomorrow we will
achieve his goal and set new goals for progress into the next century as a
free nation.
Today, Maqbool Butt lives in every Kashmiri's heart and soul. He shall
continue to occupy that place for the centuries to come. He was and always
will be a legend and a hero to the patriotic people of Jammu-Kashmir no
matter which side of the divide they live in.
For me, great men like martyr Maqbool Butt, who made millions wakeup from
deep slumber and made us learn how to lead life with self-respect and die
with dignity, their message will never fade. We will hear their message loud
and clear every year until victory.

Yasin Malik, Chairman JKLF, Srinagar