Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Why Azad Kashmir is called Azad?

Tuesday, 27 April 2010 13:57
Written by Dr Shabir Choudhry

United Kashmir Peoples National Party arranged a seminar in London, titled: Challenges, options and role of Kashmiri Diaspora. The Seminar was attended by around 150 people from various walks of life; and addressed by many important leaders among them were pro independent prominent Kashmiris, Pakistani leaders, Pakistani analysts, Baloch and Swiss leaders.

The topic was important and all the speakers made valuable contribution to enrich the debate, but what caught my attention and attention of many other people was the remarks of Baloch nationalist leader and a former Provincial Minister, Sardar Hyrbayar Mari, son of Sardar Khair Baksh Marri and a brother of Balaj Marri who was killed by the Pakistani forces after the cold blood murder of Nawab Akbar Bugti.

In his written speech which was carefully delivered by Sardar Hyrbayar Mari, he paid glowing tribute to the struggle of the Kashmiri people which was in many ways similar to the struggle of the Baloch people. He said like Balochistan, Kashmir was also an independent country, but it was soon occupied; and now Kashmir is divided and occupied. He said one part of Kashmir which is occupied by Pakistan is called Azad Kashmir.

He said: There are hundreds of independent countries in the world, but no country write independent with its name, as it is understood that they are all independent. However with Kashmir Pakistani authorities have included azad (independent), it clearly means there is something wrong – daal main kuch kala hai – something sinister is at play; and they have something to hide. This word is included to fool people of Jammu and Kashmir, just to give them false sense of independence.

He further said: all oppressed and occupied people should unite and coordinate their activities to fight forces of occupation. We have no other choice, but to fight for our rights and our national independence.

One can disagree with the kind of politics promoted by Sardar Hyrbayar Mari, but no one can dispute that he is very committed to his cause and is sincere nationalist Baloch leader. Furthermore his observation on Azad Kashmir truly represents the situation in Azad Kashmir. Of course Azad Kashmir is not Azad or independent. It is a ‘colony’ of Pakistan, in which they have established a political set up that is more interested in promoting and protecting national interests of Pakistan than the interests of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Read the rest of the article: http://australia.to/2010/index.php?op ... habir-choudhry&Itemid=140

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