Protests were held in London and Kotli in Pakistan on Wednesday to mark the sixth death anniversary of Kashmiri political activist Arif Shahid. Protestors also sought the arrest of those behind his killing.
Activists of the Jammu Kashmir National Independent Alliance (JKNIA) gathered outside Pakistani Embassy in London and shouted slogans against Pakistan government.
They also accused Islamabad of orchestrating the killings of political activists in the country and demanded an expeditious inquiry into the killing of Arif Shahid and the arrest of the perpetrators of the heinous crime.
Shahid, 62, was the chairman of the All Parties National Alliance (APNA). He was killed on May 14, 2013, at his residence in Rawalpindi by some unidentified gunmen. He was a vocal critic of Pakistan for its illegal occupation of parts of Kashmir and other human rights abuses.
“Today, we have gathered here to demand the arrest of the killers of one of our tallest leaders Arif Shahid,” said JKNIA activist Sajjad Raja. “Shahid wasn’t an exclusive case of Pakistan’s barbarity. The country has seemingly mastered the art of eliminating activists and leaders voicing their independent opinion.”
“If they believe that by killing Arif Shahid they can suppress the voice demanding rights, the voice of truth and voice of people dissenting in the region, then they are mistaken. Things will never transpire that way,” he added.
In Kotli district, a large number of people held candle march and peaceful demonstrations to commemorate his death anniversary
May 13 is observed as the martyrdom day of Shahid, who many believe was eliminated by Pakistan’s infamous Inter-state Services Intelligence (ISI) as he questioned Pakistan’s occupation of part of Kashmir, in Rawalpindi in 2013.