By Jawad Bhatti New York
Last month, the second and third week of November was very insightful and productive for the Kashmiris living in America. Shiraz Khan, who is a renowned journalist, columnist and anchor person based in the United Kingdom has traveled to several American states to know the facts about Kashmir and Kashmiris living in America. He conducted interviews with various prominent businessmen, intellectuals, political activists, journalists and active Kashmiri youths associated with Pakistan and Kashmir freedom Movement and highlighted the negative and positive aspects of Pakistan’s Kashmir policy.
The first stop over of his visit was Chicago. Around 90,000 Pakistanis are living in this State of Illinois.
Chairman of Kashmir Solidarity Council and political Analyst Javed Rathore had invited him to discuss Kashmir issue and way forward with many other Kashmiri and Pakistani businessmen and people with political insight. In honor of Shiraz Khan, Javed Rathore gave a reception in which, apart from businessmen, Pakistan’s Consul General Tariq Karim also attended.
Shiraz Khan’s second stop was in Maryland, where senior journalist from Muzaffarabad. Khurshid-ul-Zaman Abbasi is a resident whose brief introduction according to the poet of the east is as follows:
Iqbal could not remain silent even in Hazrat-e-Yazdan Someone shut the mouth of this insolent person.
Shiraz Khan’s next destination was Washington DC, the capital of the United States and the world, where he was invited by Dr. Ghulam Nabi Fai, a prominent political activist and scholarly figure of the Hurriyat Movement. Dr. Fai gave a very meaningful and fruitful insight on the freedom movement of Kashmiris and said that this issue cannot be solved properly without the involvement of Kashmiris and international intervention.
On this occasion Khurshid Abbasi also asked Dr. Fai some very important questions!! Sardar Zubair and Sardar Zarif, vice president of the Muslim Conference in America organized a reception in honor of Shiraz Khan in which senior journalist Asif Ali Bhatti Yousuf Chaudhry and others also participated, where the issue of political instability in Pakistan were discussed. The participants expressed their views on the plight of Kashmiris and Pakistan’s economic decline.
The final destination of the visit was New York, where he was invited by Professor Rafiq Bhatti, journalist Hafeez Kayani and Mukhtar Ahmed in a hotel in Coney Island New York. A grand reception was arranged In which Shiraz Khan candidly and impartially described the purpose of his visit and his thoughts regarding the freedom of Kashmir and his impressions of the American visit. He said that this conflict cannot be resolved without the practical cooperation of the grass root Kashmiri leadership.
He said that Kashmiris living abroad need to be mobilized on the diplomatic and journalistic fronts and the government of Azad Kashmir should also be empowered to play its true role for which it was established. Kashmir Liberation Front leaders Mukhtar Ahmed and Hafeez Kayani especially appreciated the arrival and mission of Shiraz Khan and welcomed Shiraz Khan to New York saying that the survival and security of Pakistan depends on the geographical unity and state identity of the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
It is sad to say that the political chaos and economic decline in Pakistan have had a negative impact on the freedom movement of Kashmir. India is engaged in a global conspiracy to maintain its current position on Kashmir. An independent Kashmir is a much better option for Pakistan and the Pakistani nation than a broken and divided Kashmir. At the end of his visit, Shiraz Khan also met Professor Bhatti at his residence and discussed Kashmir conflict in details.
This visit by Shiraz Khan was purely based on the spirit of patriotism in a private personal capacity. He also discussed the problems of Pakistanis living in the United States, the division of Kashmiris and the political turmoil in Pakistan. He emphasized the need for the US-based pakistani community to play an active role in stabilizing Pakistan.