Springfield, Virginia: Kashmiri American community in Washington metropolitan area paid glowing tribute to Marhoum Amanullah Khan Sahib, Chairman, Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front. “Amanullah Khan Sahib, an iconic and charismatic leader was a symbol of sacrifice, humility and decency who struggled tirelessly for the right of self-determination of the people of Jammu & Kashmir” said Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, World Kashmir Awareness.
Aman Sahib’s message to the Kashmiri Diaspora was to disconnect themselves from Kashmiri political parties and become Kashmiris and Kashmiris alone to gain their right of self-determination, Fai added.
Fai stressed that Aman Sahib’s straightforwardness and selfless contribution to the cause of Kashmir will inspire generations to come. Marhoum’s demise is a colossal loss for the entire nation of Kashmir. We will continue the mission of Aman Sahib till the people will achieve their internationally recognized right of self-determination.
“Pakistan has more right over Kashmir than India under the principles governing division of the Sub-continent but the will of the people of Kashmir must prevail,” Fai quoted from the letter which he received from Aman Sahib.
Ishaq Sharif of JKLF said that Aman Sahib has always tried to highlight the international dimension of the Kashmir issue by writing to the head of the states of various countries and reminding them that the Kashmir issue was the bone of contention of the nuclear confrontation between India and Pakistan. Aman sahib has made it clear to the government of Pakistan that the recent moves to integrate Gilgat Baltistian into Pakistan will have serious political implications. Such moves will undermine the peaceful struggle of the people for their right to self-determination.
Sardar Imtiaz Khan, New Jersey mentioned that Aman Sahib always stressed that unprejudiced resolution of Kashmir was not only in the best interest of the people of Kashmir but also in the interest of both India and Pakistan who are spending billions of dollars on their military might. Imtiaz Khan informed the audience the role Aman Sahib played in internationalization of the Kashmir dispute. Aman Sahib’s formula suggested the demilitarization of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, ceasefire from all parties, reunification of the whole State, formation of an independent form of Government and a referendum, supervised by the United Nations.
Sahibzada Imtiaz Zafar quoted Aman Sahib who said, “Kashmiris are a nation with our distinctive culture and civilization. We have sacrificed over a hundred thousand lives for the liberation of our homeland, nobody should even think of ignoring us.” Sahibzada stressed thatthe people of Jammu and Kashmir on both sides of the Ceasefire Line should be given the choice whether they want to join India or Pakistan or remain independent. The popular verdict of the people should be acceptable to all parties concerned – India, Pakistan and the people of Kashmir.
Sardar Zulfiqar Roshan Khan, while paying rich tribute to the deceased soul reminded that Aman Sahib had proposed an eleven member “International Kashmir committee” including five Permanent Members of the Security Council, who would explore the different options to solve the Kashmir dispute. Aman Sahib proposed that the divided State of Jammu & Kashmir must be re-united as an independent nation which will have friendly relations with both India and Pakistan. According to the Aman Sahib, the independent Kashmir must have the international guarantees and its soil must not be used against the interests of any neighboring country.
Professor Irshad, Maryland said that Aman Sahib has always emphasized that the involvement of the people of Kashmir in any talks was imperative. Professor underlined that his Kashmir formula was a workable and realistic roadmap to resolve the long-standing international conflict of Kashmir.
Sardar Zarif Khan, while thanking the people for their participation said that India and Pakistan should let the people of Kashmir decide their own affairs as they wish. There will be no peace between India and Pakistan without resolving the Kashmir dispute, Zarif continued.
Sardar Zubair Khan said that Aman Sahib has always rejected the status quo as an option.Aman Sahib familiarized the Kashmir cause to the political and government leaders across the globe as an issue which has the international legitimacy according the Charter of the United Nations. Zubair Khan underscored that the interests of the people were always important to Aman Sahib than his personal interests.
Among others who expressed their grief and sorrow on the occasion included: Dr. Atif Malik, Mohammad Akbar, Junaid Bashir, Malik Hamid, Zahid Hamidi, Akram Butt, Saeed Khan, Sardar Zahid Khan, Sardar Asghar Khan, Ashraf Gulshan, New Jersey, Sardar Sabir, New Jersey.
The event was concluded by praying for the eternal peace of the departed soul.