Ghulam Mohammad Khan

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The ex-associate of Maqbool Butt known for sporting a signature whisker ceased to be at 73. Ghulam Muhammad Khan, who was the father of National Front chief and senior Hurriyat Conference (g) leader Nayeem Ahmad Khan passed away on Wednesday. He was not keeping well for some time.

During his funeral prayers offered at their ancestral graveyard in Pathanpora, Khore area of Pattan in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district, people from different walks of the life recounted Khan’s contribution for the Kashmir struggle. The mourners described the deceased as faithful foot-soldier of the movement.

Due to his ill health, Khan was admitted in JVC Hospital where he breathed his last.

Fondly called Papaji, Khan was described as an undaunted but silent soldier of the freedom movement. He was jailed for the first time in 1973, which continued, intermittently, after 1990s. During sixties, his association with Maqbool Butt is termed very close. With Butt, Khan is believed to have worked for spreading the word of “freedom” movement in Kashmir. With the result, he faced regular prisons. But that hardly discouraged him to raise his voice against the overwhelming situation unfolding in valley.

His close associates recall that Khan worked like a missionary moving from village to village for motivating people towards the struggle.

He became associated with Kashmir’s pro-freedom movement since 1965. Khan was the founding member of MRF (Muslim Revolutionary Front) and during past three decades he was jailed many times. Khan’s ancestral home is said to be torched by forces during 1947, while many of his relatives felt to the bullets.

As a word of his demise spread, many leaders cutting across party ideologies offered condolences to the bereaved family. Hurriyat Conference (g) chairperson, Syed Ali Geelani expressed the grief over Khan’s demise. He hailed Khan’s contribution towards the “freedom” struggle of Kashmir. Hurriyat Conference (m) chairperson, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and JKLF chief Muhammad Yasin Malik sympathized with Nayeem expressing grief over the demise of ‘fatherly figure’.

The incarcerated chairperson of Democratic Freedom Party (DFP) Shabir Ahmad Shah expressed his condolence and prayed for eternal peace to the departed soul. Shah said the deceased exhibited steadfastness throughout his life.

– Riyaz ul Khaliq

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