Kupwara, Feb 11: Jammu and Kashmir Democratic Liberation Party chairman Hashim Qureshi on Sunday said that Muhammad Maqbool Bhat, the JKLF founder, was pushed to gallows because he demanded an independent Kashmir.
Speaking to a public rally in Kupwara town on the death anniversary of Bhat, Qureshi said, “Unlike present leaders, Bhat’s motive was not Chief Ministership but freedom of Kashmir. He was a public leader and his only crime was that he sought justice for hundreds and thousands of Kashmiris. Bhat and his mission of independence will always remain alive in the hearts of people and the only way to pay tribute to this great leader is to see through his dream of an independent Kashmir.”
Qureshi said, “There are leaders in Kashmir who associate the mission of Bhat with violence and are bent upon dividing the people in the name of religion. They are the worst enemies of our nation, they send their sons and daughters abroad for higher education and jobs, while civilians are used as scapegoats in the name of Jihad.”
He said, “In 1970 when gun would have solved the Kashmir issue, the movement was crushed, and now when we have got another chance to resolve the Kashmir problem by common voice, we must not let this opportunity go.”
“Me and Maqbool Bhat were the first Kashmiris in 1970 to take gun and fight for the cause of our nation, but Pakistan crushed our moment,” Qureshi claimed.
“People who are nowadays saying no to gun are the same ones who supported it earlier. The recent proposal suggested by Mirwaiz Umar Farooq is no different but the same I suggested 15 years ago in a local daily newspaper,” he added.
Claiming to be the lone companion of Maqbool Bhat, Qureshi said, “Bhat Sahib belonged to a rich family and could have led a luxurious life but instead he chose a path that only a brave man does, and now it is our duty to accomplish his mission.”
Amid pro-freedom slogans by the people, Qureshi said, “Jammu and Kashmiri is not only the land of Muslims but every one living from Gilgat to Lakhanpur, and these people have the right to decide their own fate and rule their own land.”
He demanded that “hundreds of Kashmiris who went missing in the custody of security agencies should be released and culprits severely punished.”
“J&K police consists of some honest officials but there are elements in the police who have given a bad name to the institution. They should be identified and brought to the book. And STF should be merged in state police,” he added.