KNP condemns Killing of Kashmiri leader Arif Shahid
Condemning the brutal murder of Kashmiri nationalist leader Arif Shahid on May 13 the Kashmir National Party (KNP) will observe a five-day long hunger strike outside Pakistani High Commission in London from May 20.india Updated: May 17, 2013 13:45 IST
Condemning the brutal murder of Kashmiri nationalist leader Arif Shahid on May 13 the Kashmir National Party (KNP) will observe a five-day long hunger strike outside Pakistani High Commission in London from May 20.
Shahid, who led the All Parties National Alliance (APNA), was killed by unidentified men outside his home in Rawalpindi, Pakistan.
In a press release sent to ANI, Shabir Choudhry of the KNP said, "He spoke for the oppressed and victimised people of Jammu and Kashmir, and strongly advocated for rights of the people of Gilgit Baltistan as well. He was elected the chairman of All Parties National Alliance which opposed the Pakistani occupation of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan; and wanted closer ties between people of these two regions."
In a show of solidarity with the deceased and his family, the KNP leaders including Abbas Butt, Shabir Choudhry, Zubair Ansari and others have decided to observe 5 days hunger strike outside Pakistani High Commission in London.
"All necessary arrangements have been made," said the release.
Angry at the killing of a pro-independence Kashmiri leader, protesters have also taken to the streets in various parts of Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Pakistan.
Sources reveal that protesters carried banners with slogans against the army and Pakistani spy agency, the ISI, which they blamed for the killing.
International rights groups, including the Brussels-based South Asian Democratic Forum have condemned the killing of Kahsmiri leader Arif Shahid.
In a statement released by Paulo Casaca, the executive director of SADF said, "The news of the assassination of Arif Shahid, the most important figure of Pakistan's Kashmiri independence movement and widely respected chairman of the All Parties National Alliance which opposes the Pakistani occupation of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, came as a big shock."
It also blasted on the Pakistan authorities for not protecting leaders like Arif Shahid. It stated, "It is unlikely that the murder of the most prominent figure of Kashmiri nationalism in Pakistan could have been done without the consent of Pakistan's highest 'de facto' authorities and it sends a very negative message on the prospects for peace in this country".
International human rights groups have already raised issues concerning the targeted killings of nationalist leaders in PoK, Gilgit Baltistan, Balochistan and Sindh province by the Pakistani agencies.
All Parties National Alliance told the Shahid was "the victim of targeted killing by some state actors".