Clip_236Mr. Sardar Arif Shahid, Chairman of the National Liberation Conference (NLC) and the Chairman of the All Parties National Alliance (APNA), was assassinated by unknown persons in the late evening of May 13, when he approached his house. According to his driver, Rizwan Khan, when they reached Sardar’s home the driver went to open the gate of the house and suddenly he heard the sound of gun shots. As he turned towards the sound he saw Sardar had fallen in a pool of blood. Sardar was quickly taken to the military hospital in Rawalpindi where he succumbed to wounds.

Sardar was a prominent writer and human rights activist and had written two books on the peoples’ struggle of the Kashmiris of both sides — India and Pakistan. The APNA of which he was chairman has links in both Kashmirs. The APNA was a campaigner for the independence of Kashmir from India and Pakistan. This organization was developed in parallel with the All Parties Hurriayat Conference of Indian Jammu and Kashmir which was patronised by the Pakistan government.

Sardar was a vocal critic of Pakistan’s alleged role in sending militants to fight a “proxy war” against India in Indian-administered Kashmir.

He also criticised Pakistan’s policy of treating Kashmir as its “colony” and was opposing the occupation of Pakistan in Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The Pakistani government banned him from travelling abroad in 2009, and later confiscated his passport and other identification documents. The Ministry of the Interior told a court in December 2012 that his documents had been confiscated due to his “anti-state activities and on the recommendation of the director-general of the ISI intelligence service”.

Three months ago, police in Rawalpindi registered a case against him for publishing a monthly magazine which is alleged to have contained anti-Pakistan material. He was given pre-arrest bail by the court in that case.

Some months ago a delegation of non Muslim leaders of Indian held Jammu, came to visit Pakistani Kashmir (Azad Kashmir). Sardar received the delegation at Mirpur, his native place in Pakistani Kashmir, where he was arrested by the ISI and held in jail. After he was released he went back to Rawalpindi, Punjab, where an Anti-Pakistan case was lodged against him. His activities were not liked by the state intelligence agencies as he was opposing the policies of Pakistani establishment against Kashmir.

After his assassination protests against his killing was observed in both the parts of Kashmir and other parts of the world where Kashmiris are residing.

From: Salman Laasi