Arsenalist

The Toronto Raptors Blog with an Arsenal touch

23rd Death Anniversary of Maqbool Butt

Posted by Arsenalist on February 8, 2007

February 11th marks the 23rd death anniversary of Shaheed Maqbool Butt who was hanged in New Delhi’s Tihar jail in 1984. His body was never released. The following excerpt from a this great article at Chowk.com gives some idea about who Maqbool Butt was and why he should be remembered:

What did Maqbool Butt stand for? He stood for a united, independent and secular Kashmir, something which was unpalatable to the two countries that are laying a claim to it. India chose to crush him, while Pakistan saw Kashmir as a good enough cause to divert the Islamist fighters created to fight the godless Soviets in Afghanistan. The result Kashmir is a greater mess than ever before. The great irony of our times is that what was once a great secular freedom movement is now being portrayed as an Islamist insurgency. Indeed Maqbool Butt, a revolutionary at par with Che Guevera, has been forgotten by both sides.

In 1968, the government in Islamabad also imprisoned this great man, but back in the day, the Supreme Court of Pakistan had a conscience. It released Maqbool Butt and his comrades as ‘true patriots of Kashmir’. Through out the 1970s Maqbool Butt laid the ground work for an indigenous Kashmiri independence movement, which ultimately led to his imprisonment and judicial murder by Indira Gandhi’s government in New Dehli. What the father had started, the daughter completed. That too was a great drama of the last decades of the 20th century. A mysterious group kidnapped an Indian diplomat and called for the Maqbool Butt’s release. Then without warning they killed the diplomat. Making this a pretext, the Indian government sent Maqbool Butt to the gallows. If Kashmir ever had a Yasser Arafat, it was Maqbool Butt. It seems however that much like Israel, India too is scared of genuine freedom fighters, and would rather fight ‘armed insurgents’ involved in ‘cross border terrorism’. Maqbool Butt died because he was a genuine Kashmiri freedom fighter, and revolutionary and not the sort propped up by intelligence agencies.

You can sign a petition for the proper burial of Shaheed Maqbool Butt on the JKLF website.

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