Kashmir ‘Ambassador’ Yusuf Buch Passes Away in NY

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Srinagar: Former senior advisor to the Secretary General of the United Nations and prominent Kashmiri intellectual, Ambassador Yusuf Buch, has passed away in New York.

Buch (98), who was best known as an eminent expert on the Kashmir dispute, also ran a Free-Kashmir Centre in New York from 1957 to 1972.

Hurriyat Conference (M) chairperson Mirwaiz Umar Farooq announced Buch’s death and tweeted: “Grieved to hear about the death of Ambassador Yousuf Buch in US, a legend and a living encyclopaedia on #Kashmir who dedicated his life to the Kashmir cause. He was a close aide of Mirwaiz Yousuf Shah in Muzzafarabad who later served as advisor to UN Sec Gen for 18 years. Praying for the magfirah of this illustrious son of Kashmir.”

Former Pakistan journalist and senior minister Mushahid Hussain said that Buch was a living encyclopedia on Kashmir.

“Ambassador Buch was a living encyclopedia on Kashmir. He lived an illustrious life of courage and dedicated his life for the cause of Kashmir.”

The Secretary General of Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, in an emailed statement said the funeral prayers of Ambassador Yusuf Buch will be held at Makkah Masjid in Brooklyn, New York.

Adding that the body of the deceased will be transported to Pakistan where he will be buried in Muzaffarabad, capital of the part of Kashmir under Pakistani control.

Born in old city’s Shamswari locality in 1922, he was one among the three iconic brothers, who had distinction in their respective fields.

Ambassador Buch, at the end of his scholastic career, passed a competitive examination to win a place in what was called the government’s superior service. But the radical overhaul which was the sequel to the liquidation of the colonial order affected him directly; from being a privileged government official, he became a political prisoner as he was vocally among the opponents of the Maharaja Hari Singh’s so-called accession to India and New Delhi’s invasion in Jammu and Kashmir. This led to his being exiled to Pakistan through a compulsory exchange of war and political prisoners in 1949.

Ambassador Buch came to the US in 1953 as a winner of an International Essay Contest sponsored by the United Nations. Later, he worked as a correspondent at the United Nations. He also, ran a Free Kashmir Centre in New York from 1957 to 1972. He remained a Senior Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General for over 18 years.

Ambassador Buch was also the Minister for Information in the cabinet of late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Switzerland.
 


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