JKLF To Petition GOI For Return of Maqbool’s Remains

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Urges Pak To Halt Annexation Of Gilgit-Baltistan
London, Nov 01: Britain chapter of the pro-independence, Jammu & Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) today launched a parliamentary petition to seek return of the remains of party founder, Maqbool Bhatt from Delhi’s Tihar Jail.

Group will seek signatures of the members of Commons and Lords and the decision in this regard was taken at the meeting of All Party Parliamentary Group on Kashmir in London last night, a JKLF statement sent to Kashmir Observer said.

The meeting was chaired by Lord Ahmed, who himself hails from Kashmir. The meeting discussed many Kashmir related issues including the issue of unmarked graves, forced disappearances and extra-judicial killings and imprisonment of minors as well as the constitutional issue of Azad Kashmir including Pakistan’s annexation of Gilgit-Baltistan territories, the statement reads.

It was decide that the APPG would support the move to launch a parliamentary petition to be sent to the President of India to ask for the return of mortal remains of Kashmiri independence leader, Maqbool Bhat, who was hanged in Tihar jail in 1984 and buried inside the jail premises.

Indian government has been refusing to return his mortal remains for burial in Kashmir for all these years.

A JKLF delegation led by its president in UK, Azmat A Khan, gave a briefing at the meeting on several issues and asked for the group to take up action points.

The members of the All Party Parliamentary Kashmir group who signed the petition during the meeting include, Lord Ahmed, Lord Husain, Sir Gerald Kaufman MP (Manchester Gorton), David Ward MP (Bradford), Debbie Abrahams MP (Oldham), Gavin Shuker MP (Luton), Lady Sarah Ludworth (Walthamstow Peer). Six more MPs added their names to the petition later overnight, the statement added.

JKLF also raised concerns with constitutional issues in Azad Kashmir assembly elections where pro-independence candidates are barred from contesting elections and also demanded that Pakistani government should halt its program of illegally annexing Gilgit-Baltistan. The issue of Kashmiri ethnic identity in United Kingdom was also raised in the meeting, the statement said.

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